Your restaurant is the real deal. I’m serious. If your restaurant is still open, even after everything the pandemic has thrown at us, that means you’ve overcome every obstacle that’s come your way. Sure, there’s been hiccups, bumps, and maybe a few bruises. But the important thing is that you’re there. Still going. Still serving customers and staying afloat.
The National Restaurant Association recently reported that after six months of the pandemic, nearly one out of every six restaurants has closed, totaling roughly 100,000. If you’re still open, that means you’ve beaten the odds so far.
Here’s three reasons your restaurant is going to be in a lot better shape once COVID-19 is a thing of the past.
More robust off-premises dining. If there’s one thing your restaurant has surely done, it’s made takeout and delivery work. In the early days of the pandemic, before dining rooms and outdoor space became available, they were the only options restaurants had. In order to survive, you had to make takeout and delivery work. Whether you wanted to or not.
And the numbers don’t lie. At-home dining has been growing in popularity since before the pandemic started. In October 2019, a survey from the National Restaurant Association found that 60% of all restaurant dining was occurring off-premises. On top of that? 79% were taking advantage of delivery at least once a month.
Now you’re ahead of the curve. Even when the pandemic is long behind us, off-premises will continue to be a major driver of business for your restaurant. The National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Industry 2030 report found that the off-premises market is where the majority of growth is going to occur across the next decade. So the answer is yes, you should absolutely keep investing in takeout/delivery when the new normal finally becomes the old normal.
Stronger customer relationships. Another crucial thing restaurants had to do when dining rooms closed down? Communicate.
Restaurants had to leverage every channel available to them in order to engage customers and maintain relationships. From overhauled social media presences to text and email marketing campaigns, customers had to know more than just what the latest deal was. They had to know what your restaurant’s new hours were. How were you handling takeout? Were there menu adjustments? How were you sanitizing your restaurant and doing everything possible to keep customers and employees safe?
These questions needed to be answered. And doing so has helped engender loyalty – critical for restaurants fighting their hardest to keep their doors open. If your restaurant has managed to secure consistent business, that’s demonstrable proof that you’ve captured the trust and loyalty of your customers. Moving forward, that’s invaluable. If you handled the pandemic well, your customers will remember that for years to come.
Better solutions in place. Time after time, restaurants have had to keep innovating to maintain pace with the ever-changing demands of customers. And the pandemic has forced a lot of innovations out in a very short period. Expanded outdoor dining, curbside pickup, and drive-through ordering, just to name a few examples.
Restaurants across the country have had to implement new technology in order to keep delivering the experience customers expect. The major throughline here stems from contactless solutions, designed to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep people safe. But the thing about going contactless is that many of the solutions have helped build a better restaurant experience.
From setting up digital menus to introducing contactless payments, integrating tech into your restaurant not only builds the experience, but helps provide you with data that can actively fuel your marketing efforts. Services like CoGoBuzz leverage marketing automation to discover when customers are dining and how often, while also giving restaurateurs the tools to engage.
Keep Improving With CoGoBuzz
CoGoBuzz is here to help your restaurant succeed as it moves forward from the pandemic. Our state-of-the-art digital marketing service can help your restaurant build and maintain a strong base of loyal customers, which will ultimately help your restaurant survive.
Our service directly promotes your services to customer mobile devices. Leveraging advanced WiFi, SMS, and Email solutions, CoGoBuzz promotes your restaurant both in-store and out. It comes packed with a fully digital, text-based loyalty program, allowing you to let your customers know what services you’re offering – all with just a simple text. Click here to learn more about CoGoBuzz.
Whether you’re one of our current customers, or you’re interested in joining the CoGoBuzz family, we’re committed to helping businesses affected by COVID-19.
For current customers, we’re providing free text message service, allowing you to send a link to order online, purchase gift cards, and/or notify customers of new hours.
For new customers, we’re offering our hardware at cost, donating our services, time, and covering shipping costs. Prepare for the future with CoGoWiFi Free to collect your customers’ phone numbers. There are no contracts or monthly fees, and we offer unlimited customer data storage.
Message from our CEO
“From pricing to packaging, our mission has always been to provide customers with unbeatable value. That’s why, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, we are seeking to provide the most aggressive offers to help suffering restaurants survive. We believe that half of small restaurants will fail in the year after operations return to normal. The restaurants that survive and thrive will be the ones that win loyalty and focus on bringing customers back over the following year.”
– Steve Gould, CEO
How has your restaurant improved during the pandemic? Let us know in the comments.