It feels like forever yet no time at all since Coronavirus arrived in Europe and changed lives across the country. Everyone has made sacrifices and changed their day to day habits, with a number of sectors including hospitality being particularly hard hit. Here, we look at restaurant marketing tactics operators can consider when thinking about re-opening.

At Me:Mo, we’ve been working hard throughout the pandemic to help clients navigate the rapidly changing landscape.

We released guidance and top tips, for operators, in the days directly before lock-down was announced which included key updates around government financial support available as well as industry advice and ideas for re-assuring customers.

Following this, and in the middle of lock down, we shared new guidance for operators around the importance of marketing and how best to manage this while doors may have been closed.

We now find ourselves in a new phase of the pandemic within the hospitality industry, as restaurants, bars, and cafes have been allowed to re-open.

With stringent health and safety measures in place, many operators are concerned about how they can trade in the new environment plus how to manage their restaurant marketing – providing a warm and inviting enjoyable experience for their guests while not running at a loss.

Here, we share some of our top tips to consider:

  • Physically re-opening doors is great but it’s worth also considering other revenue streams, that will also help to maintain brand awareness. At a base level, offering delivery or take-away should be considered if a menu is suitable for this but also have a think about whether you could perhaps create a deli/shop front within your restaurant. Do you have one signature dish that is hard to replicate? This could work really well as a DIY kit for customers not ready yet to physically return. Shoryu and Doughnut Time have done this really well. It might also be worth considering creating packages, such as Megan’s picnic box or Cutter & Squidge’s Afternoon Tea
  • One of the key ways to re-assure customers is to clearly and proactively explain the new health and safety measures being put in place. Listing these out on a website is a really good place to share this information, alongside having measures sign-posted physically within the restaurant. Cocotte has a good example of this and can be linked to via social and for customers making decisions ahead of booking a restaurant
  • Consider your restaurant marketing output. Are customers aware of when you are re-opening (or when you did!)? Do they know your opening hours and current menu? Many customers will expect your restaurant to be different to ‘normal’ and PR, social media, and your online presence really need to be fully up to date to avoid disappointment and confusion. Now, more than ever, community management is important. Are you taking part in the new government ‘Eat Out Help Out’ initiative, are you offering a new service? A robust restaurant marketing strategy is key for keeping customers up to date with what you’re doing
  • Try to retain atmosphere within your restaurants. Music, plants, and friendly service are areas you could review. Are you able to build or expand an outside area to maximise covers and provide an area customers might feel more comfortable visiting?

These are just a few areas to think about, with re-opening your business. Me:Mo continues to offer free consultancy to restaurant businesses in need. Feel free to give us a call and we can look help with tailored advice.

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