21 useful and effective marketing tips that your restaurant can follow to overcome COVID-19 challenges

Restaurant industry is heavily impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Therefore, it is important for all the restaurant owners to be aware about the best marketing techniques, which can help them to get back on the feet after the end of the crisis. You should never give up your marketing efforts these days. Instead, you need to continuously engage with the customers and boost awareness. This can provide amazing returns to you in the long run.

Here are 21 useful and effective marketing tips that your restaurant can follow to overcome the challenges caused by COVID-19 crisis.

  • Over communicate

This is the high time for you to over communicate with the customers. You should get in touch with customers through multiple channels and tell that you are accepting new orders and you are delivering them through delivery channels. You can pay more attention to cost-effective marketing methods, such as email marketing and social media marketing, so that you can end up with securing better returns. You should also share your open hours, delivery platforms and the open locations. Once your customers are aware about facts, they will come to your restaurant or buy from you.

  • Share the food menu

You must share the food menu with customers and tell them about what you have for pickup and delivery accordingly. While doing this, you should never forget to appeal to the cravings of the customers. All the people will get sick about cooking pasta at home. In such a situation, they will refer to your food menu and place an order.

  • Donate the extra food that you have to a food bank

If you have excessive food, you can think about donating them to a food bank. You can do this for the food that are about to expire as well. Some of the people are struggling hard with lockdowns and they tend to seek the assistance of food banks to get the food they want. You can enhance the reputation of your restaurant by donating excessive food to the food banks. Then you can expect those people to come back and support your business after the pandemic.

  • Place a sign on the door

If your restaurant is located in an area where there is heavy foot traffic, you can think about placing a sign on the door. Some of the people leave their homes to get some fresh air. You can get the attention of those people by placing a sign on the door. Then you can get the customers to walk in through the doors. You can also think about placing the menu on the door, so that the potential customers who walk by the side can see.

  • Give out gift cards

Giving out gift cards is an effective method available to consider. Even if your customers are reluctant to come and dine in, they will buy the gift cards. This will assist you to raise your capital. In order to make sure that you are getting the most out of gift cards, you should provide them to the customers at a discounted price. Then you can expect a higher number of gift cards to sell.

  • Go ahead with co-branded partnerships

You can think about going forward with co-branded partnerships with the restaurants that are in your neighborhood. Through these partnerships, you can incentivize the orders. On the other hand, you will be able to enhance your reach through these co-branded partnerships. That’s because you will be able to promote your restaurant through multiple channels in an effective manner.

  • Develop Zoom backgrounds based on the restaurant

Zoom is one of the most popular tools being used by people out there in the world as of now. In fact, people prefer to use this tool to have meetings and conferences. You can make your restaurant more visible to such people by developing Zoom backgrounds. Then the loyal customers of your business will be able to download and use them during conference calls.

  • Offer meals for the healthcare workers

Healthcare workers are struggling hard to help people to overcome the global pandemic. Therefore, you can think about offering meals for the healthcare workers as well. This is another great method available for you to support the community and enhance the good reputation that your restaurant is maintaining throughout.

  • Provide coloring book pages

You can make it interesting for the customers who dine in and order the foods to their homes. One of the best methods available for you to do this is to provide coloring pages. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on this. However, it can provide worthy returns to you. More customers with kids will order from your restaurant because of the coloring book pages. These coloring book pages can help those customers to keep their kids occupied.

  • Include a Thank You card

You can appreciate the customers who purchase the products that you offer food through your restaurant by including a simple Thank You card along with the orders. This can help you to increase repeat customers.

  • Share your recipes online

The loyal customers of your business might get the interest to make the favorite recipes offered by your restaurant at homes. That’s because they have lots of time available to try out new recipes while spending time at home. You can impress those individuals by sharing your recipes online. Social media networks such as Instagram can deliver all the support that you need to share the recipes. This will help you to build goodwill and awareness for the restaurant with minimum hassle.

  • Have social media sweepstakes

You can develop a community on social media. Then you can encourage the people in your community to go ahead with more orders. This is where you can offer meals or prizes by asking the customers to tag you in their stories or social media posts. Along with that, you can enhance the brand visibility in a convenient manner.

  • Feature the customers through your social media channels

Your customers are already featuring your restaurant on their social media profiles. Likewise, you should go ahead and feature the customers through your social media profiles as well. This will help you to get closer to the customers. Moreover, it can also help you with developing a vibrant community. Along with that, you can expect more people to come to the restaurant. The customers who are featured through your social media channels would make repeat visits.

  • Share behind the scenes

Since most of the customers are spending time at home while browsing social media, you can think about sharing behind the scene videos through social media. Facebook Live and Instagram Live will provide all the support that you need to do it. You can then get more people to see what you are offering through the restaurant and tempt them to buy.

  • Add wine and beer to the to-go menu

A burger would not taste the same without a glass of wine or can of beer. Therefore, you should think about adding such beverages into the to-go menu as well. You can expect more people to buy them.

  • Organize a CSA along with the suppliers

You can discuss with the suppliers and then put together CSA boxes containing your products and other essentials. Then the customers will be able to place weekly deliveries. This can generate a solid revenue stream to the restaurant business along with time.

  • Sell the inventory directly to the customers

It is the high time to make a change with what you are offering. This is where you can think about selling your inventory directly to the customers without cooking them. For example, you can sell the uncooked burger patties to the customers directly. Then you will be providing a helping hand to the customers to try out their favorite burgers at home. In the meantime, you can generate revenue as well. This change that you do to your selling model can bring in amazing returns.

  • Transform your restaurant to a general store

There is a high demand for the grocery stores that exist out there. Therefore, you can think about transforming your restaurant to a general store. This is where you can think about selling essentials that are needed by the customers to prepare their meals at home, such as spices, olive oil and sauces. Likewise, you can sell your burger patties and burger buns as well.

  • Offer family meals and kids meals

This is the right time to diversify your food menu. In order to do that, you can think about offering family meals and kids’ meals. In order to take it to the next level, you can think about offering meal kits. Then people will purchase the meal kits, which will help them to prepare food for a week. You will be able to do that and get more people to buy what you are offering.

  • Give your customers what they want

The needs of your customers are changed with the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, you need to understand what your customers want and make sure that you are offering them to the customers. In most of the instances, you will notice that comfort food have a higher demand than others.

  • Get connected with the delivery partners

You must not ignore the partnerships that you have with the delivery partners such as Uber Eats and DoorDash. They are offering promos such as free delivery. Through the partnerships, you can gain advantage out of these promos as well.

Final words

Focus on these useful and effective marketing tips. Then you can make sure that COVID-19 crisis is creating the least impact on your restaurant business.