TEMPORARILY CLOSED?

3 ways to keep

your customers while you're closed.

How to plan your

re-opening now.

6 ways we can help now and when you reopen.

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY

“I want to thank you for doing a great job and being creative because we can see the [orders] increase each day.”

— Marty K.

 

3 WAYS TO KEEP YOUR CUSTOMERS WHEN YOU

ARE CLOSED.

Prior to COVID-19, customers were able to physically experience your brand. They could hear the music, feel the energy from the crowded dining room, interact with your staff and enjoy your food. The combination of those elements created moments that were memorable and kept your restaurant top of mind. 

But, that physical experience is not an option for guests right now and in your temporary closure, it's imperative to deliver a digital experience that aligns with your brand and keeps awareness high. Staying connected, even through a closure, will help customers come back when you are ready to reopen. 

Below are some ideas to communicate and connect with your customers in a meaningful way while you are closed. 

Image by Tim Mossholder

1. MAKE YOUR TEMPORARY CLOSURE CLEAR.

Make sure you let your customers know you are closed so you don't cause an inconvenience for them.

Your customers may be trying to support you during this time and you want to be sure that they know what your current status is.

Update the information on your profiles like Google My Business, Yelp, Trip Advisor, delivery platforms and other sites where you know your customers are. 

When communicating your closure, include current information and any details on when you estimate you might reopen. Be sure to be clear that your timing is just an estimate but that you will keep the information updated. In your updates, include as much detail as you are comfortable with and add some personal specifics that might connect with your customers. For example, you might want to let them know why it was a difficult choice to close and what you and your staff might be doing in the interim, like charity work or making donations.

If you need any assistance in writing updates, you can reach out to us here.

Image by Adam Solomon

2. CREATE AN EMAIL  COMMUNICATION PLAN.

Even though you are temporarily closed, you have a story to tell. 

During this uncertain time, your customers may have questions about how you are doing or when you might reopen. Think about sharing ways that you and your team are getting ready for the day that you reopen. Are you cleaning and organizing the restaurant to make sure it's completely clean for customers when they come back? Perhaps you are working on new recipes and dishes to revamp your menu and enhance your offerings. Or maybe, you are working on setting up delivery options. 

You could also ask your customers a question to see what dish is their favorite or if they are interested in your restaurant adding a special dietary dish like gluten-free options. 

Be sure to include pictures to help develop a more personal connection. 

Don't have experience creating email campaigns? Platforms like Convertkit make it easy to get started or you can reach out to us and we will help you create one at absolutely no charge. 

 

3. BUILD YOUR SOCIAL PRESENCE.

Keep customers updated and build relationships through social.

Now is the time to create that social media presence that you've been meaning to build and to actively engage with your customers where they are. 

Consider getting to know your customers by asking questions, offering inspiration that aligns with your brand or creating informative videos right from your phone. Maybe you have a recipe to share or tips on how to correctly set a table. You may not be open for serving food and drinks but you can still engage and add value during this time.

 

Try to set aside some time each day to respond to inquiries, comment on other content and interact through direct messages. 

Not sure where to start with social engagement? Here's a great Forbes article to get your ideas flowing or you can reach out to us and we will help you build some social content at absolutely no charge. 

 

how TO PLAN YOUR REOPENING NOW.

Being in the restaurant industry right now is a challenge and closing down is definitely not something that you had planned when you were toasting to a prosperous 2020. But in the last few weeks, we have seen a phenomenon where every restaurant became a startup overnight.

 

And in the startup world, being optimistic, creative and resourceful are the key factors to success. Here are three ways to start planning for your reopening now. 

 

1. Plan your communications.

 

When you are ready to reopen, how will you let your customers know? Set aside some time to develop, write and layout your communications so you are ready when you reopen. Consider communications through email, social media, direct mail and community sites that can help get the word out. 

 

When it comes time to reopen, you will have your hands full in serving your guests, so preparing communications now will help you have one less thing to worry about.  

 

2. Plan some enticing offers.

Do your customers have a favorite dish? Consider launching a "reopening" special offer or creating an offer for your most request guests. Using incentives to get customers back in the door will help you remind them about the customer experience that only you can offer. 

3. Make it a celebration. 

It's going to be a happy day when you open your doors again. How can you celebrate with your staff and customers? Consider planning a reopening theme that you can use in your communications and incorporate it into your decor or menu. You might want to create a celebratory drink with a fun name, signage that announces you are open again or a giveaway with prizes for all who participate. The key is to involve your guests in the fun and make it a special moment...because it will be!

4. Focus on your customer experience. 

The experience you provide is why your customers come back. Take a look at the current experience you offer and brainstorm small ways to improve it. Divide up the experience into categories that might include:

  • Discovery/Awareness: How do customers find you?  

  • Research: How do customers learn about you?

  • Onsite Engagement: What is the experience in your restaurant?

  • Pickup/Delivery: How easy is it to get your food when you aren't eating in?

  • Online Engagement: How do customers interact with you in between purchases? 

Consider each area and write down ways to make that experience better or more personalized. 

There is a lot to consider and deal with during these stressful moments, but setting aside some time each day to focus on your reopening, might be the motivation you need to keep moving forward. 

 

 

 

6 ways we can help you NOW and when you reopen.

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