If – like the majority of businesses across the world – you’re struggling to connect with customers right now, we hope this is of use. In a self-isolating world, it’s key to engage with customers and keep them in the loop. Whether that’s by making the most of Instagram or Facebook live, offering ingredient deliveries or joining forces with nearby businesses, here’s some of our top tips for staying afloat in quarantine.
Unique Ways To Connect With Customers During Quarantine
1. Communicate any Updates with Your Customers
First things first: make sure you update your website opening hours and post regularly on social media to let people know what your current situation is. It sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many places still haven’t made it clear whether they are open for pickup or delivery.
Be transparent with your customers as you go through this current crisis – they will appreciate your honesty and be more likely to support your business if they understand your struggles.
2. Start a Subscription Offer
If you’re already giving takeout and delivery a go, why not branch out a little with a subscription offer? Try offer meal deal plans for a set number of dinners per week, or a weekly delivery of coffee beans or wine. This can work well, especially if you have produce that can’t be sold otherwise.
3. Do Live Cooking Demos
We would love to see more restaurants doing this right now! Let customers know on social media that you will be sharing via Instagram or Facebook live how to make one of your signature recipes. Make all of the ingredients available for pickup/delivery the day before the demo so that people can recreate it exactly.
4. Promote Gift Cards
Let your customers know that it’s key for you to have as much revenue flowing in as possible right now, and that gift cards are ideal for this. Offer an incentive such as 10-15% additional value free, if you can. E-gift cards are also useful during the quarantine period. This way, your customers can send them to friends and family for delicious deliveries.
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5. Team Up with Local Suppliers
Does your vegetable supplier have lots of tasty produce they can’t get outsource? What about any homemade breads or artisan suppliers? Team up with them and try to build a mini grocery store full of goodies to sell. You could even do a ‘weekly virtual farmers market’. Customers could book virtual shopping slots and you can show them all the fresh produce in stock so they can pick exactly what they like. This restaurant in Dublin is doing this well.
6. Virtual Tip Jar
If, like many businesses, you have had to let staff go in order to survive financially, this is a nice way for people to support your staff. Money goes directly to service staff and can either be split per restaurant, per person or per city, depending on how you organise it. This US-based site is fantastic – add your own city here.
7. Make a Menu of Customer Favourites
Now is the time to let your customers know that you appreciate their support and input. Put a call out on social media to ask your customers their all-time favourite dishes from your restaurant/bar. Then, create an All-Stars menu full of legendary dishes that they can look forward to eating as soon as you re-open. Let people engage with your efforts to keep things ticking over!