With a third wave of the pandemic in full swing, lockdowns are an unfortunate reality that many restaurants are inevitably going to face – if they haven’t done so already.

As of this publication (reported via Restaurant Business), restaurants in Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington have been forced to close dine-in services. California, Colorado, Missouri, New York, and Pennsylvania are facing similar restrictions in some areas. Considering cases are spiking pretty much everywhere right now, you can reasonably expect that more restrictions will be enacted.

That means your restaurant needs to be prepared. Depending on your location, a shutdown order could be imminent. You don’t want to assume it won’t happen just to get caught off guard. It’s why I decided to talk about the importance of off-premises dining in my previous article. Off-premises will be crucial to restaurants for the remainder of the pandemic.

What To Know

As we reviewed last week, there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon. Since the announcement of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, which is now reported to be 95% effective, Moderna reported positive results for its own vaccine as well. With Dr. Anthony Fauci telling CNN that he expects a vaccine to be widely available by April, restaurants can expect to be dealing with the threat of restrictions until around that period of time. (We’ll keep you updated if that changes.)

In order to keep your doors open, your restaurant needs to be aware of how consumers are reacting to the pandemic, as well as what you can do to secure their business during uncertain times. Courtesy of Datassential’s latest Covid-19 report, here’s some of the latest data.

Holiday Marketing. We’re in a unique intersection where the pandemic is spiking to record levels yet the holiday season continues to barrel forward. As with everything else in 2020, conventional wisdom can be thrown out the window here. The holidays are going to look a little different this year.

Datassential highlights that many consumers are open to making restaurants a part of their holiday plans – with somewhat of a catch. Younger families appear to be significantly more likely to look to restaurants as a source for their holidays meals. For instance, nearly half of Gen Z (47%) is open to supplementing their holiday meal with restaurant food. Holiday meal kits are another opportunity to explore, with 35% of millennials indicating they’d be interested.

Concerns Continue. If your restaurant isn’t facing any restrictions yet, that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. Consumer concern continues to remain high with 54% reported to be very concerned. Only 9% aren’t concerned at all.

With cases reaching record levels, these concerns may continue to heighten, potentially hampering business. Restaurants need to be vigilant in assuring customers they’re doing everything possible to keep them safe. Alleviating those concerns will often be the key toward securing business.

Covid-19 Resources

Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve done everything possible to help struggling restaurants. As your restaurant heads into potential restrictions, here’s a comprehensive list of Covid-19 resources to help.

Marketing Resources

Even as your restaurant does everything it can to hold a profit, you can’t afford to sacrifice marketing. Throughout these resources, we’ve highlighted how restaurants can keep marketing themselves effectively heading through the coming months.

Operational Resources

If you work in a restaurant, you’re already well aware that operational changes have been quite numerous. From contactless solutions to outdoor seating, there’s a lot to consider. These resources cover some of the ways your restaurant can navigate some of the operational intricacies of the pandemic.

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 preparing for the coming months? Let us know in the comments.