This past year has been a unique one in many ways, including remote learning and never-before-seen staff shortages. But it would be fair to say that restaurants have really borne the brunt of the stress from the pandemic, with forced closures and reduced seating capacity. That’s why we wanted to help by bringing you some tips for local restaurants to help you bounce back and adapt to this new normal.
How These Tips for Local Restaurants Help
Business, in general, is an ever-evolving machine. And restaurants are no exception to this.
So these tips for local restaurants do not mean that you’re doing something wrong. They are simply ways that the restaurant business is changing — and some of these changes might help your restaurant to bounce back from the effects of the pandemic even quicker.
So without further ado, here are 5 tips for local restaurants that we genuinely feel can help!
5 Tips for Local Restaurants to Help You Adapt to the New Normal
1. Update Operating Procedures
Initially, the push was for a “safer” dining experience. Restaurants responded by implementing masking, cleaning tables thoroughly between customers, and making hand sanitizer freely available.
As the pandemic continues, it’s important to remain vigilant. This will help anxious customers to feel safe and secure in your establishment. Post your restaurant’s COVID safety policies visibly throughout the restaurant so that people can see exactly how you are caring for them, even in ways that they cannot see.
Such vigilance will help everyone to feel at ease and know that they can return with the same reassuring expectation of safety.
And this is not a one-time thing. Pay attention to your customers’ behavior and comments to find other ways that you can adapt your operating procedures to the evolving situation.
2. Create a Loyalty Program
A loyalty program can be a great way to keep people coming back. A simple “Your 10th meal is 50% off” promotion creates loyal customers and keeps them coming back for more.
3. Use Online Ordering
Even since restaurants started opening back up, there have still been a large segment of customers who prefer to stay out of restaurants. For these, the convenience of online ordering on a restaurant’s website is a crucial factor in where they will order.
You don’t want to miss out on this important segment of your customers. Invest in an online ordering system that will be convenient for customers and easy for you to access and prepare orders.
If you would like assistance with this, check out DevourNow’s restaurant solutions, where we also offer free online ordering.
Related Content: DevourNow: A Powerful Alternative to DoorDash and Similar Apps
4. Maintain a Digital Presence
Let’s face it, everyone is digital now. From social media to Google, everyone is using digital platforms to learn about and connect with businesses, including restaurants.
One of the most important tips for local restaurants is to build your digital presence.
A major part of your digital presence is having a restaurant website. Restaurant websites are a central place where customers can view your menu, learn about your backstory, and get a sense of your restaurant culture. Pictures on your website can be like a window into who you are as a brand.
The next major component of your digital presence is social media. Social media networks like Facebook and Instagram are ideal for restaurants. On these networks, you can post engaging pictures of yoru food and restaurant ambience, as well as engage with your audience through comments and direct messaging.
If you haven’t yet taken steps to build your digital presence in these ways, start now. It’s never too late — and the sooner you do, the sooner you can start reaping the benefits.
5. Change Up the Menu
Your menu is what brings customers into your restaurant, both physically and online. So if you’re noticing a dip in customers, then maybe it’s time to take a fresh look at your menu.
But how do you know what changes your menu might need?
Listen to your customers. Are there dishes that they never order? Can you swap these out for more trending dishes?
Visit Facebook and other social media apps to see what people are saying about your restaurant and other similar restaurants. Check out popular restaurant groups to see what is popular.
You never know where you might get inspiration for new menu items.
And this doesn’t have to be a complete revamp of your menu. You might decide to play around a little bit with a one-day-a-week special or even a daily special.
Concluding Thoughts on How Restaurant Can Bounce Back
There’s no doubt that restaurant owners have been through the wringer this past year… But it’s far from hopeless.
Continue to look for ways to adapt your restaurant business to the changing times. You never know what little changes could make a big difference!
What did you think of our tips for local restaurants? We would love to hear what you think and if there are any other tips you would add. Let us know in the comments below.