One of the pressing concerns, when shelter-in-place and social distancing were implemented, was how people would have access to food. Despite the widespread closure of most business establishments, restaurants, grocery stores, and other food and beverage sellers were allowed to remain open, as they were considered an essential business.
The food and beverage industry plays a significant role in the US economy as it provided for almost 6.4 percent of all jobs based on the data of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2018. Furthermore, people splurge more than 13 percent of their everyday budgets on food, ranking third among housing and transportation.
The Landscape of the Food & Beverage Industry During Pandemic
While other brick-and-mortar establishments, such as movie theaters, bookstores, and fitness centers still have not recovered from the early pandemic impact, many of the nation’s restaurants redirected their business approach. Restaurants have found innovative ways to keep their customers and even find new ones by offering takeout and delivery services and also expanding their retail options.
As more states ease up with their quarantine restrictions, outdoor dining became a convenient addition to the services dining establishments were able to provide. This also helped provide jobs to people. Cities like New York even created an interactive map that allows people to check restaurants that have outdoor dining options.
Surefire Tips to Boost Restaurant Sales Amid Pandemic
However, amid the resourcefulness and resilience of businesses belonging to the food and beverage sector, many are grappling with how to balance their finances to cover new or additional overhead costs. Increasing sales is one of the viable solutions most restaurants are looking into to meet the financial obligations they are facing.
Resort to Digital Marketing Strategies
With social distancing still strongly implemented by local governments and states, this is an opportune time for restaurants to enhance their online presence, using digital marketing strategies. Consumer trends amid the COVID-19 pandemic are pointing towards digitization.
Posting ads on various digital channels is one of the best ways to boost your digital presence. Generating relevant content with eye-catching headlines and applying search engine optimization will surely make your website stand out among the hundreds of local businesses in your area.
Streamline Online Ordering
Even before the Coronavirus outbreak, a lot of people prefer ordering food online, just like how they purchase other products.
Improve your restaurant website by offering online ordering for delivery, takeout, and drive-thru. The majority of customers prefer ordering online rather than calling because it is much more convenient and easy. Offer also online payment options for a more expedited process.
Make Waiting Time Bearable
It is undeniable that in the food and beverage business, waiting is part of the deal. However, in this fast-paced world, people all the more hate long waiting periods. Apart from offering a smooth online ordering process, streamline as well the waiting time of your service.
To hasten the food preparation, you might consider investing in high-quality semi-automatic piston fillers. That way, your customers no longer have to wait in long queues. Also, train your staff to engage customers in small talks. Even a simple “How’s your day?” could make a huge difference, especially during these trying times.
Bank on Food Presentation
Since there are still states that restrict dine-in options, it is high-time for restaurateurs to give more attention to deliveries and takeouts. Even these are the only options available, give your customers the ambiance as if they are enjoying your food inside your establishment by making Instagramable takeout food presentations.
Furthermore, show some love and gratitude to your loyal customers by inserting handcrafted notes or greeting cards on their food boxes. Your customers will surely appreciate such a simple gesture, and it makes your business feel more “human” than a money-making enterprise.
Make Healthy Food Options
Amid the spread of the Coronavirus disease across the world, people have become increasingly health-conscious. Grab this opportunity and include healthier dishes on your menu. Not only will it show how much you care for your customers, but you will likely expand your market reach to people who are vegetarians or who are on a special diet.
Improve Food Inventory
Having a proper food inventory is crucial to successful restaurant management. While you do not want to lose customers because of shortages in stock, you do not want to have excessive stocks as well.
The best way to deal with this dilemma is to resort to restaurant management apps that allow you to simplify your procurement and inventory procedures.
Establishing a good communication line with your supplier is also necessary. That way, you can always ensure your supplies are well-maintained and you avoid food wastage.
With the COVID-19 most likely lingering a little longer with us, businesses in the food and beverage industry will continue to face new challenges along the way. Nonetheless, by being innovative and adaptable to changes, restaurants will continue to survive during this pandemic and beyond.