Restaurants across the country have had to overhaul their off-premises offerings. If you’re running a restaurant, you know better than most how massive a shift it’s been for the entire industry. Entire business models have been disrupted all because of the pandemic.

As the new normal continues, and more customers continue to return to your restaurant, you might be inclined to start diverting more resources away from your takeout and delivery plans. While it’s important to cater to your in-store experience, I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to continue investing in off-premises dining.

Here’s why.

Dining’s Future

A few weeks ago, I highlighted three reasons why your restaurant is going to be improved after the pandemic is gone and dealt with. The first reason I listed was that your restaurant will have successfully improved its off-premises offerings.

As I highlighted then (and I’ll reiterate for you right now) off-premises dining isn’t going away. In fact, it was gradually gaining steam even before the pandemic. Here’s what a pair of reports form the National Restaurant Association had to say about it.

  • In October 2019, 60% of all restaurant dining was already occurring off-premises. And to top that off, a whopping 79% were taking advantage of delivery at least once a month.
  • The association projects that the off-premises market is where the majority of growth is set to occur over the next decade.

Off-premises dining isn’t unique to the new normal. If anything, it’s going to be even more popular because of it. Keep investing in it.

Dining’s Present

For once, we actually received some good news a few days ago. As reported by Restaurant Business, the drug company Pfizer revealed promising news regarding a potential coronavirus vaccine that’s proven 90% effective. And it actually caused large gains in restaurant stocks too. Perhaps there’s finally some light at the end of the tunnel. Dr. Anthony Fauci recently told CNN that he expected the vaccine to be widely available by April.

But while this is incredibly promising news, restaurants will still need to be vigilant. Covid-19 cases are surging out of control, and more lockdowns may threaten restaurants trying to make it through the (hopefully) final legs of the pandemic. If there’s another lockdown in your area, you’ll want to be prepared.

Marketing Demands

According to a 2017 report from Morgan Stanley, 43% of consumers ordering delivery noted that they were replacing a potential dine-in meal. That number was up 5% from the previous year already. Given the acceleration of the pandemic, that number is sure to continue rising.

Our takeaway? Even once the pandemic is over, not only will you need to continue investing in off-premises dining, you’ll need to continue investing in the marketing of off-premises dining. Just having off-premises solutions in place won’t be enough. You need to promote them in order to compete. This will hold true for the duration of the pandemic and beyond.

Online Ordering

Another report from Morgan Stanley released in February of this year – a few short weeks before the pandemic was declared – stated that food delivery orders via phone were projected to lower 3% annually into 2025. The implication? Customers are shifting toward digital ordering platforms. That doesn’t mean your restaurant necessarily needs to invest in a mobile app. You should just look to invest in an online ordering solution. If you’re still taking calls, you might be losing orders.

Get Started With CoGoBuzz

CoGoBuzz is here to help your restaurant or bar 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 establishment survive.

Our service directly promotes your services to customer mobile devices. Leveraging advanced WiFi, SMS, and Email solutions, CoGoBuzz promotes your restaurant/bar 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 is you restaurant investing in off-premises dining? Let us know in the comments.