Restaurateurs, like many small business owners, are feeling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Empty rooms, reduced traffic and an uncertain future are making it difficult for some restaurant owners to stay open. We’re all trying to smooth out the curve of the virus’ spread, but we’re also all asking ourselves the question: when will we be able to conduct business as usual?
How to prevent your restaurant from losing its livelihood during this difficult period
The return to normalcy is being planned, in the meantime there are a few things you can do to generate profits and feed your customers.
Communication with your customers is essential
To begin with, you need to inform your customers of your adjustment measures. It can be difficult to pay your electricity bill if you have no customers to serve. The good news is that it is easier than ever to communicate with your customers. Emails, newsletters and posters in your shop window are good ways to keep your customers informed, but to reach a wider audience in real time, use social media.
Platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter allow you to share all your information, including the following:
- Opening hours
- Food ordering options
- Hygiene measures and protective equipment
- Daily specials and modified menus
- Efforts to retain your employees
- Increased limits for contactless payments
- Community support and relations
- Ways in which customers can leave feedback
- Ways customers can donate to COVID-19 charities
- Live streaming videos are particularly useful for showing your customers how you prepare, cook and package their meal safely.
Social media is about more than keeping your customers informed. They allow you to have discussions with Arcadia’s Vision your customers and respond to their questions and comments. This customer service practice will allow you to better understand your customers’ needs, and in return, they will be grateful for your efforts.
In order to overcome the challenges of this pandemic, you need to improve your commitment, not only to your business, but also to your community.
Serve your customers where they are most comfortable: online
While communication is important, it is equally important to find new ways to bring meals to your customers.
By offering delivery or take-out, Star Diner Essen and other restaurants worldwide are providing ordering options that encourage physical distance. This change in your business requires the configuration of an online ordering system. Choosing options that fit your needs will help you create a restaurant model that prepares you for your post-crisis future. Here’s why:
- The demand for online ordering will continue to grow. Online ordering systems let your customers know that your restaurant is modern and accessible.
- Online ordering will increase your revenue. Through simple upselling tactics, online orders are typically 40% higher than traditional orders, so you have more money in your pocket. Because customers can take their time when ordering, they can order more food and come back more often.
- Orders will be more accurate. Because it’s easier for your customers to see and edit their orders, the chances of them containing errors are minimal. Also, by integrating orders directly into your POS system, orders go directly to the kitchen, unaffected by human error.
- Data on your customers can be collected. In the business world, restaurants that know their customers better are more successful. Online ordering is an ideal way to get to know your customers better.
Specialists can help you provide a unique customer experience with its intelligent and intuitive online ordering tools. In their online ordering systems, you can customise the interface to match your image, offer flat rate delivery via DoorDash, create combos or complementary products and launch promotional offers to your customers.
Once your new system is in place, work with your employees to adapt your workflow. You need to make every step of the ordering process, including delivery, as safe as possible to keep your customers coming back.
Ready to optimise your restaurant operations? Customized, streamlined online ordering systems will help you boost sales and build customer loyalty.
Offer gift cards
Now that you’ve established good communication with your customers and your new online ordering system is in place, there’s another way to improve your cash flow.
By offering gift cards, you give your customers the option to support a restaurant they love, and you increase your cash flow. For restaurateurs who wish to continue accepting contactless payments only, offer electronic gift cards. This option is ideal for both online and in-person payments, as the cards are embedded in an e-wallet.
Protect yourself against the unexpected
While it’s important to give your full attention to your customers and ordering practices, it’s also essential to be prepared for unexpected events that can affect your business.
During the period of physical distancing and isolation, the number of break-ins and thefts has increased in small businesses. To help you avoid these events, you can take precautionary measures, such as removing items from behind your window, hiding or taking home high-value items, removing any money from the premises and installing a security system. Right now, the last thing you need is an event that disrupts your cash flow.
It can be difficult for your restaurant to navigate the murky waters right now, but by following our advice and checking out our online resources for your small business, you’ll see the light at the end of the tunnel.