How Restaurants Can Survive COVID-19 Pandemic and Ease Customer Fears
COVID-19 has put the entire world on lockdown, and there is still no cure or vaccine to remediate it yet. As of July 29, 2020 there have been 4.43M confirmed cases and 151K deaths in the United States this far. Because this virus is highly contagious, restaurants have taken a significant toll on both revenue (sales are down by 80%) and maintaining a loyal customer base.
People of all communities love to go out to their favorite restaurant and enjoy delicious food in the presence of good conversation. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, restaurants have become a dead zone and have quickly taken remediation steps to stay afloat and ensure their customers remain happy. Though the future paths depend highly on what direction COVID-19 goes, here are the top strategies thus far that have been deemed successful.
Communicate Effectively and Frequently
Communication is key to just about everything in life. If you do not want your restaurant to fail during this pandemic, then you must communicate with your customers and employees as often as possible. Times like these are filled with uncertainty, and people are desperate for information and answers. You can help fill this gap by providing them updates and address any concerns they may have as honest and quickly as possible. It is also suggested you give them access to helpful resources and information as a way to promote your reputability and promote safety at the same time. When this crisis is over, those customers will remember your efforts and will certainly respect you for it.
Online Ordering and Delivery Services
Something that many restaurants are executing is food delivery and pick up. Give your customers the alternative route to dine with you and provide them options. This allows people to still do business with you during this societal shut down and still practice social distancing properly. Food delivery has spiked since COVID-19 became prevalent. If you are a restaurant owner who has not done this yet, you should highly consider doing so to still have a steady stream of revenue funneling in.
Levitate Strict Restaurant Safety and Sanitation Policies
One of the rising concerns amongst people is if their delivered food is safe or not. Even though safety and sanitation should be a top priority, no matter what, one of the best things you can do as a restaurant owner is reinforce that policy more strongly to ease fears. When you and your team are taking the necessary precautions and letting your customers know that, it will give them much more peace of mind to order from you still. It all ties back to communication and updating them at all times. Continuously announce your sanitation steps and share any updates (such as new employee sanitation trainings, improved cleaning procedures, etc.) to your customers, so they see you are playing an active role in reducing risk.
Both large chain and independently owned restaurant companies have diligently been strategizing to serve their communities during this global halt. So far, these innovative strategies have been working quite well, and have received a highly positive response rate amongst the public who are quarantined. Though restaurant owners understand that nothing beats going out on a date night or socializing with family and friends, reassuring and offering alternative methods is undoubtedly better than doing nothing at all.