If you own a restaurant, it is practically guaranteed that your business has been disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the first few months, no business besides carry-out and take-out was allowed, and now as the pandemic has, for the most part, slowed, restaurant owners have entered a world of masks, social distancing, and mainly outdoor seating. Although life is beginning to get back to normal, the restaurant industry is still developing online, and a lot of customers are still choosing to bring restaurant food home.
A lot of people are financially struggling and have been since the pandemic began, and while it is harder to make money in the restaurant business when dine-in eating is not available at full capacity, digital marketing and the embracement of carry-out can propel a business forward. Updating a website and additional digital resources can give your business a leg up on others; here are some tips on how to do just that.
Have a Digital Menu for Your Restaurant
Although it may seem hard to believe in a day and age where almost everyone is constantly using technology, whether it is for business, education, social media, or other reasons, some companies and restaurants are still very traditional and have not adopted digitally. Having an online menu, as well as an email for questions and a phone number for carry-out orders, will dramatically increase the success of your business.
If patrons are going to order carry-out, they need to see an online, updated menu to make their choices. It is quicker and more convenient for them, and easier to find than an old, paper menu that might be shoved away in a junk drawer somewhere. Making sure you have a digital menu that is easily accessible and easy to understand will greatly help your restaurant.
Add Pictures as Visual Aids
They say you eat with your eyes first-presentation is everything when it comes to food. Something can taste amazing, but be poorly presented, and many potential customers will be turned away just because of how the dish looks. Attaching pictures to the descriptions of your menu items online can be very beneficial. If a customer is between two options, looking at the pictures can help them make a final decision.
However, this isn’t always a great tip. If your restaurant is more focused on fine-dining, then pictures can seem off-putting, even if they are accompaniments for complicated dishes that diners may not be familiar with. On the flip side, a more casual eatery can use pictures to increase sales. Additionally, pictures of the restaurant and the staff on the website, even if the customer isn’t eating in the building, can allow for a more professional appearance.
Take Advantage of Other Digital Resources for Your Restaurant
Having a website and an online menu is crucial for a restaurant’s digital success, but there are other digital resources that can lead to success for restaurants. One of these is fairly obvious and can help any business: social media. Social media reaches millions of people every day, and promoting your business as well as occasional special deals can draw customers to your restaurant.
Furthermore, there are multiple review sites that can circulate news of your service. Interacting with reviewers and taking into account criticism can lead to even more positive reviews and positive business. Focusing on local patrons can also help, especially if you are a small business and are just breaking into the restaurant service. While out-of-towners are always great to have, as it means that word of the restaurant is spreading, local customers are the ones that are more likely to come back again and again.
Personality of workers and the environment of the restaurant goes a long way for consumers. Patrons don’t want to eat somewhere they don’t feel comfortable, so making sure they do, in-person and online, will be extremely beneficial. The restaurant business has changed dramatically since the COVID-19, and even though people aren’t dining in as much as they used to, there are still many ways to digitally advertise and promote your restaurant.
Having and perfecting a website and online menu, as well as using pictures as visual aides, can be very beneficial, as can interacting with local patrons, reviewers, and those on social media.