Since 2020, the world has changed drastically due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It meant that businesses, including restaurant owners, had to find new ways of doing things to ensure they keep thriving. This includes finding ways to relate with their customers and show gratitude for sticking with them through the turbulent times.
To help restaurant teams, we’ve put together ways to show gratitude in a period of social distancing.
Honest and Open Communication
One of the most straightforward ways for restaurant teams to show gratitude is by honest and open communication. Have candid conversations about the changes in the world today. Most companies today connect with customers on social media and email.
Whether you run anything other than a restaurant business like a dating site for top foreign brides, you need to communicate with customers on what they can expect at different times. With every change, you implement, inform your customers about them ahead of time.
It should include how your team deals with social distancing requirements, abridged hours, and reduced capacity limits. If you’re initiating different contactless curbside pickup or delivery, spell out the guidelines. Should you find yourself needing ideas, check different social platforms to see what other restaurant businesses are doing.
Create Special Delivery Boxes
If you haven’t started this, then you should consider creating special delivery boxes. Delivery services flourished when people were locked in their homes with nowhere to go. Most people who started dating during the COVID-19 lockdown and couldn’t have regular dates sent each other meals.
You can also consider a curbside pickup. When making special delivery packages, you don’t have to create any unique design. Customers would appreciate it either way, mainly if it includes a thank you note or simply encouraging words like “Stay strong.”
Words like that show that you care about their well being and not just what they are buying from you. You can go extra creative if you wish by adding unique drawings to the delivery boxes. Remember that the little things matter.
Sanitize the Restaurant
Way before COVID-19 threw the world into a panicky state, no one would eat in a restaurant that is unsanitary and has poor hygiene. Stats show that about 66% of diners would ditch restaurants that have poor food hygiene reviews. 75% of customers will not visit restaurants with a history of giving customers food poisoning.
Those figures are from before COVID-19, and with everything the pandemic brought, no one would eat in an unsanitized restaurant. To encourage customers and keep them, always sanitize cooking and eating areas. Consider putting up a sign that shows the sanitized areas, and talk to customers about your safety protocols. Doing this shows your clients that you value them and want them safe.
Implement Client Loyalty Programs
If you don’t have a client loyalty program, what are you waiting for? You should consider launching well-structured loyalty programs that will generate repeat businesses. One way of doing this is by offering customers one-off discounts for their patronage.
You can do this by emailing customers with promo codes or special discounts on their next delivery order. It could also be a way to say thank you for remaining loyal during the rough times. On social media, you can organize giveaway contests and give out free meals or gift cards.
Be Active on Social Media
Social media plays a crucial role in business, no matter the industry you belong to. It’s one way to not only market your product but stay on top of trends. Social media is also another way to appreciate your customers.
Post regularly and at strategic times, and have customer appreciation days. Additionally, create posts that show the measures your restaurant is taking to provide the best services. Make videos of your staff implementing safety policies, and let your customers know it’s all for their safety.
Host a Virtual Event
One thing social distancing achieved is to make people rely more on facetime and video calls. Platforms like Zoom became more famous with increased usage. You can also take advantage of this to host virtual events for your customers.
For instance, if your restaurant usually features music nights with a live band, you can organize something like that. Get a band together, publicize it on social media and other platforms, and give your customers the link to attend. Ensure you let your customers know you organized the event with them in mind as a way to say thank you.
You can also get your chef — if they are agreeable — to teach a class on how to make simple meals. It could also be a lesson on how to make cocktails. The idea is to keep customers engaged and show how much you appreciate their patronage.
In summary, even though social distancing makes it hard to operate a restaurant these days, you have to stay in touch with customers. Sincere and heartfelt gratitude for the business they bring your way will encourage them to return and help your restaurant thrive.