With the nation dealing with a third wave of Covid-19 cases, there’s further cause for concern considering all that we’ve already been through. Another wave presents another set of challenges for all of us struggling to navigate the pandemic.

As we approach winter, people are heading indoors to avoid the cold weather. We’ve talked about this in recent weeks. Your restaurant is going to need to make adjustments, regardless of the third wave’s intensity in your area.

So, how else can your restaurant stay reactive as we head into this third wave? It starts with staying informed. Today we’re going to be reviewing Datassential’s latest Covid-19 report on the food industry, recently published on October 16. Here’s three trends we’ve noted from the report, along with our takeaways and advice for restaurants.

Stabilized Spending

One of the most significant findings in Datassential’s report is the uptick in consumer spending. While most people are either purposely trying to spend less or dealing with tighter budgets, 28% of consumers are spending just as much as they did before all of this started.

While 28% might not seem like a huge number, it’s actually a 9% increase over April. That’s a big deal.

Our takeaway: Stable spending means stable income for your restaurant. The more consumers that stick to their old spending habits, the more reliable revenue you’ll see. Assuming that number continues to increase in the coming months (let’s hope), spending should continue to increase as well.

That doesn’t mean you can rest on your laurels though. In order to keep customers ordering, you need to keep things interesting. That means customer engagement, appetizing promotions, and keeping things as safe as possible. Make sure you’ve read the CDC’s restaurant and bar page. With a third wave in tow, assuring your customers that your restaurant is safe will be very important.

Tackling Delivery

Delivery has been a touchy subject for many restaurants for many years. But with the pandemic plunging into the industry, restaurants have had to confront the delivery question head-on. Even with direct takeout as an option, there are plenty of customers who prefer the convenience of having their food safely dropped off at their doorstep without any hassle. And many will pay more for that convenience, especially during a pandemic.

Datassential’s report found that consumers aren’t as likely to pay a surcharge added due to increased costs. Instead, they’re more likely to prefer seeing the price reflected in delivery menu items.

Our takeaway: You don’t need a report to know that customers choose takeout over delivery because of price. Why pay a delivery fee when you can just go pick it up yourself? And even if you really don’t want to go pick it up, those surcharges aren’t exactly attractive.

Instead of tacking on a surcharge, try experimenting with your menu prices. Perhaps consider an alternate delivery menu with raised prices, then advertise the delivery as “free.” 71% of consumers agree that delivery fees are necessary. It’s just a matter of how you sell them.

More Visits, Less Spending

Datassential’s report shows that while consumers are dining out more often, they’re figuring out different ways to spend less. For example, 27% of consumers are skipping appetizers, 24% are choosing less expensive menu items, and 25% are ordering from value/dollar menus more often.

Our takeaway: It’s no surprise that consumers are making restaurants a regular part of their day-to-day lives, whether they’re dining in-store or ordering takeout/delivery. There’s that sense of normalcy that restaurants do such a good job of providing.

If restaurant traffic is going up while spending is going down, your restaurant needs to account for that with how it structures its menu. Customers know where to cut costs. And figuring out where that’s happening – not ordering alcohol, choosing bundled meals, using coupons where possible, just to name a few – will ultimately help optimize your menu to bring in the profits you need to keep your doors open.

Succeed 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

Click here for more details on how we’re handling the crisis.

How has your restaurant preparing for a third wave? Let us know in the comments.