2020 is almost behind us – finally.

Considering the virus is spiking again after all, we’re not quite out of the woods yet. If you want to keep your doors open, you need to remain vigilant. So make sure to check out our overview of what restaurants need to know in addition to our selection of Covid-19 resources.

But with a vaccine on the horizon, restaurants can start thinking about a future without restrictions. A future where things can be just a little bit closer to the old normal than the new one.

To help get you started planning for next year, we’ve prepared a quick list of restaurant marketing ideas to consider. Here’s five selections to think about heading into a (hopefully) more prosperous 2021.

Trending Flavors

My first bit of advice? Embrace the trending flavors.

Obviously I can’t tell you what the definitive trends of 2021 will be. But I can give you some educated guesses, courtesy of Big 7 Travel’s list of food trends. From hard kombucha to boxed wine, plant-based protein and fruit jerky, there’s plenty of variety in the trending flavors. Check out their list for a full overview.

Now, I’m not saying you need to go out of your way to completely overhaul your menu. A great way to capitalize on trends is to test them out in the form of LTOs. If they take off? Maybe they can earn a permanent position on your menu.

Another question to ask yourself as you add new menu items: is it right for your restaurant? Don’t try to fit a square peg into a round hole. But at the same time, don’t be afraid to experiment and innovate. It’s all about finding the right balance. You know your cuisine and customers better than I do!

Digital Shift

Planning for a post-Covid world is going to mean understanding how the pandemic has altered the industry – for better and for worse.

With the advent of contactless solutions, there’s been a significant shift to the world of digital. Online ordering, curbside pickup, and other contactless solutions have accelerated how consumers are going to behave heading into the future. Consumer behavior isn’t just going to revert back to how it was before Covid-19. Habits and behavior will impact people for years to come.

Mobile Loyalty

With the pandemic accelerating the digital shift, mobile marketing will prove to be a key factor moving forward for restaurants.

Consider how often you walk past a table of guests and see any number of them staring at their smartphones. It’s probably pretty common! If you get a lot of individual diners, what else are they looking at?

These customers are an opportunity for the savvy restaurateur. And it all starts with a mobile loyalty program.

Why go mobile? Engagement. Hole-punch loyalty doesn’t allow you to instantly engage your customers at the push of a button, be it a deal, offer, or reward.

You don’t even need to design an app. (Click here to learn more about app-free loyalty.)

Oh, and if you’re still not convinced, here’s six reasons why your restaurant needs a mobile loyalty program.

Video Marketing

Restaurants were made for video marketing. Who doesn’t love watching videos of food? (I know I do!)

There’s a litany of content opportunities for restaurants to embrace when it comes to video marketing. From cooking classes to tours of the kitchen, experimenting with video is a great way to liven up your social media feed.

If there’s one marketing tactic to embrace in the coming year, it just might be video marketing. To help get you started, here’s four easy video marketing ideas your restaurant can try.

Subscription Service

Here’s one to really think about. Starting a subscription service for your restaurant.

It’s a fairly new trend that’s starting to pick up, one I actually just wrote about last week. Subscription services offer restaurants an alternative method to shake up the business model, and it’s going to look a bit different for everyone.

If you’re interested in learning more, click here to find out if subscription services are the right call for your restaurant.

Get Started With 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.

What restaurant marketing ideas are you eyeing for next year? Let us know in the comments.