During this time of COVID-19, it has proven to be rough for many companies, especially those in the food
industry. Many restaurants will end up permanently shutting down with this loss in revenue. Many
restaurants are still trying to stay in business by offering their customers the options to pick-up or
take-out their food. But don't we miss those old romantic dates, those weekend nights out with friends,
and just enjoying a great time out after a busy week? Well we could still experience all those things just
by adapting slightly and welcoming this new change.
Here are a few strategies that restaurants can avail of to get their customers back to the table and give them the best dining experience given these circumstances.
1. Communicating the way food is being made in their kitchens via social media
Cleanliness and the manner in which the food is prepared is going to be the major concern for restaurant goers now. Taking precautions and documenting it in the form of a video and posting it on social media is one way restaurants can prove their loyalty and commitment to best serving their customers. Showing the sanitary precautions and social distancing measures chefs are taking will not only boost trust, but also have customers feel comfortable about coming back in to dine. Also, restaurants should take measures to test employees for COVID-19, keep cool temperatures within the establishment, and also regularly sanitize furniture to ensure safety for everyone in the establishment.
2. Quarantine meal kits for customer engagement & targeted upselling
The ingredients of the chef's favorite dish can be offered as a "DIY" kit and could be sold online or via a drive through to increase customer engagement in this off time. Along with this, restaurants can set up a certain time when the chef is live on social media to prepare that dish and have their customers follow along with him/her to make the dish. This would increase the bond between the restaurant and their clients. This ensures customer engagement as they get to try a new experience at home and is an easy cure for the work week burn-out for professionals. This strategy not only helps in incentivizing customers to come back, but also develops a personal relation with them and the restaurant. This would ensure customer loyalty which would help the business further when the pandemic is over. For example, a Chicago based restaurant Ina Mae Tavern, sold Chef Jamoke's famous Sticky Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs and Buttermilk Biscuits as a kit of ingredients to prepare at home and suggested mac & cheese or collard greens as a side for the dish. This helped with targeted upselling and was very popular amongst its customers and saw a good response in regards to the sales of the kit.
3. An app based contactless dining solution for customers to observe social distancing norms.
Glyde is a contactless app-based solution for restaurants. A menu is a prime point of contact for all customers in a restaurant and it generally has a bacteria count of around 185,000 per square centimeter. With the pandemic we are all facing, a contactless solution where users can order and pay right from their phones is essential. It not only eliminates contact with a menu/kiosk, but also with the waiter/waitress as credit cards/dollar bills do not have to be exchanged between them and the customers. During crazy times like these, it is very necessary to have a customized and safe option where customers are not set back while ordering their food.