1. Update your local listings, such as Google My Business, Bing Places for Business, Yelp and other online platforms
Make sure local customers have the latest information on your restaurant, from updated business hours to temporary offers (such as limited menu or operational changes), contact information and directions. Add keywords and categories, such as “takeout” or “curbside,” to make sure your restaurant pops up when someone searches those terms.
2. Borrow the reach of a third-party delivery marketplace
With some companies like UberEats and GrubHub temporarily waiving commission fees for restaurants and delivery fees for customers, it could be a good time to deliver orders through the third-party marketplace. If you don’t already have your own delivery service in your operations, you can maximize your customer reach and visibility this way. Drive repeat business by getting creative with your branded packaging—adding stickers and flyers for future discounts.
3. Get creative with social
Post the specials, incentives or discounts you’re offering—but also think of new ways to engage your audience on social. This could be offering glimpses into your kitchen, a video of your chef adapting a dish for home cooks or a spotlight of an employee. You could also highlight local vendors, create polls to let the community choose a new menu item or crowdsource new menu ideas entirely. This is the time to differentiate your brand and drive more traffic by finding unique ways to cut through the noise.
4. Ask your guests to engage at home
While your customers may be stuck at home, it could be the perfect time for them to leave a review online or post pictures of their takeout order from your restaurant. Use your consumer engagement and loyalty platform to make instant reviews easy and also ask for reviews in your online ordering portal and app—or add a sticker to your packaging like in step #2. Don’t forget to engage back and offer incentives and rewards for their feedback.
5. Show your human side
Advertisers have long known that emotional, empathic content outperforms rational or neutral content. In one study, emotional ads did twice as well (31% vs 16%) than rational ones. Another reported a 23% lift in sales volume with emotional content. Behind every restaurant are its people—you and your staff are facing the same pandemic as your customers. So be frank, emotional and human in your messaging; you’ll also help build a greater sense of community.