Quick tips to help restaurants during COVID-19

Between various lockdowns and tier systems it’s been a tough year for hospitality. With many areas now facing losing their December dine-in business we thought we’d put together some quick tips to help businesses get the most out of their delivery/takeaway potential and keep those orders rolling in!

Delivery apps deliver profits

We say this with a pinch of salt and appreciate that different restaurateurs will have differing opinions here, however now so more than ever digital is king and with people unsure or unable to go out for their usual meals and drinks they are turning to the likes of Deliveroo, Uber Eats and JustEat to fill the void. So if not forever, during the next few months it may be worth considering your options.

The main point here is that you’re making it as easy as possible for current and new customers to find you and more importantly place some delicious orders! An added bonus is that these apps will actively market for you, they want your restaurant to be successful so will recommend it to your area as a new comer and show you to customers who already order from similar restaurants. Additionally, in exchange for some social promotion on your end they will occasionally front discounts for your business, giving you extra exposure and a boost in orders!

Top Tip: Keep an eye out for when these apps are offering discounts such as free delivery, use this as an opportunity to post on your socials and get those extra orders in who may have missed the email or notification.

Get the most from your post

If there’s one thing that’s gone up during this outbreak it’s people’s social media use. These platforms are free and an excellent way to organically market your restaurant. So, we’ve listed some of our top tips to help you market during this tricky time:

Facebook's COVID-19 update:

Facebook have published a new type of ‘status’ so now when you’re writing your post you have the option to publish it as a COVID-19 update. As they will tell you, you can’t use this feature for every post, but you can use it to tactfully advertise your business and update your customers. Are you now doing contactless payments? Have you put new protective screening in your restaurant? Maybe you’ve signed up to UberEats or are offering your own deliveries. Make a new post detailing this and choose ‘COVID-19 update’ before you hit post, this will over-ride Facebooks algorithm and show your post to a much larger audience than would usually see it. 

Instagram's 'Support Local' features:

Earlier this year Instagram launched a new set of features designed to help businesses boost their marketing. For restaurants in particular the two you need to know about are both features you can find in the ‘story’ function. When you look at adding stickers to add to your story you will now see ‘Support Small Business’ and 'Order Food' stickers are available.

The support small business sticker lets users place it on their story and tag their favourite local business, this is then uploaded to a ‘shared story’ maximising your exposure far broader than just your followers. You can also use this feature to promote yourself! Simply create a story and add the sticker, where it prompts you to tag a business tag your restaurant and post. Not only is this great free advertising but it’s geo-targeted to users in your area – giving you a great chance to bag their business.

To activate the order food sticker you will need to go into 'edit profile' on your profile page and choose 'action button' in this menu it will let you pick which 3rd party you wish to connect with. You can swap and change this whenever you like (great if you're promoting just one delivery platform in exchange for a discount) but more importantly it gives users an easy way to order that yummy dish you've just posted!

Connect with online bloggers

Another great tip to elevate your restaurant’s social media marketing during COVID-19 is to look for your local bloggers and community pages and get involved. Just like you, food bloggers are struggling currently as their usual way of earning has had to adapt. Instead of touring restaurants many are now acting as information points and take-away gurus so make sure you reach out to let them know you’re open and keen for more business. Most will happily post an update to their hungry followers to support you in this difficult time. Peer led marketing has always been a very successful tactic and when you combine this with the current climate, now so more than ever people are keen to support their local restaurants and simply just need to be told you’re open for business.

Keep on the lookout for new opportunities 

As COVID-19 evolves so does the digital response to it. New features and opportunities are popping up almost daily, so make sure you’re keeping an eye out and getting the most out of them.

Top Tip: An easy way to do this is to find a weekly newsletter you like so that these updates are collected, explained and sent straight to your inbox. If you’d like some suggestions, pop us an email and we’ll send you our favourites!

Extend the 'Eat Out to Help Out' scheme

On the back of the scheme's success, some restaurants have extended 'Eat Out to Help Out' in a bid to keep their tables booked out, especially during the quieter days of the week. If that feels like too much of a financial commitment, consider limiting the days or offering something smaller such as 20% off for dine-ins.   

Most importantly remember, when we’re all back to business as usual your efforts now to promote your business, grow your following and getting involved in your community are bound to pay off in spades. So when we get back to business as usual, you might even find yourself in a better position than you were in before!

If you have any questions about this blog or would like a hand marketing your restaurant, send us an email and we’ll take care of the rest.

info@boostdigitalmarketing.co.uk | 07765 591 184