Your restaurant has probably had to close it’s doors sometime in the past few weeks. Offering take-out or delivery services is likely your only source of revenue at this time. Here are some ideas for you to think about implementing to increase customer engagement and take out or delivery orders during this time.
Update Your Website & Social Media Profiles
The inspiration for this post happened when one of my favourite restaurants announced they were offering take out after being closed for the past 2 weeks. I went to their website, and the first thing I saw was a headline stating “no takeout / no deliveries”. Clearly this website hasn’t been updated in years, as this place usually had lineups out the door. Times have changed, and the first thing customers should see when they land on your website or social media profiles is that you are open for business and offering take out or delivery services, and clear instructions on how to order their next meal!
Offer Online Ordering
Having online ordering directly on your website is essential to increasing sales at this time. While it’s easy enough to have your restaurant listed on Uber Eats, SkipTheDishes, and other delivery services, you are missing out on your full revenue as those services take a significant cut. Large brands like McDonald’s and Burger King are offering free delivery on these services, which will put pressure on smaller restaurants to remove their delivery fees, making it even harder to stay profitable. When the order is placed on your own website, you keep 100% of the revenues, and ensure a positive customer experience with delivery.
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t have your restaurant listed on these platforms, you should, but think of them as a marketing opportunity, and not your only lifeline. When you receive an order through UberEats or SkipTheDishes, consider placing a note in the order encouraging your customer to order online direct on your website, perhaps even include a coupon code to sweeten the deal!
Timed Social Media Marketing
Using Facebook and Instagram Ads, you can promote the fact that you offer take out and delivery to your customers. Why not advertise takeout specials from 2-8pm, only within a 5km radius of your restaurant. Or target ads specifically to people who have visited your website in the last 14 days. By focusing on people more likely to order takeout, you are going to maximize your return on investment, and potential for new orders.
Start Building An Email Database
Like buying real estate, the best time to have started building up an email newsletter was years ago, the second best time is today. You can offer your customers a 5% discount on their first online order (direct on your website) if they sign up for your newsletter. From then on it’s free to email out specials to this engaged group of customers. You don’t want to spam them every day, but a weekly email blast before a Saturday night dinner can be a massive boost to your business.
Talk To Digital Marketing Professionals
Many restaurants have not needed any professional marketing services in the past as they have built up a loyal following in their communities over the years. Things have changed drastically in the past few weeks, however, and things look to continue in this direction for the foreseeable future. If you want help with setting up online ordering, Facebook & Instagram advertising, and setting up an email marketing database, contact us using the form below and we will setup a time to discuss your goals.
Have you had success in marketing your restaurant during this time? Have any tips for other restaurant owners? Let us know in the comments below!