The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finally lifted the mask regulation for those who have been fully vaccinated, and the U.S. is opening again, state by state, slowly and surely. With bars and restaurants opening up across the nation, restaurateurs need to find ways to get people to come. One of the best things business owners can do now is to maximize the cultural moment, or this point in time when our entire world is experiencing the same set of preoccupations, meanings, and emotions.
If you want customers to flock to your place of business instead of to your direct competitors, here are some ways you can capitalize on the cultural moment.
Channel the joys and freedom of the roaring 20s
The 1920s were marked by the end of the Spanish Flu—a pandemic that’s not entirely different from the one we’re currently enduring. It was also a period of prohibition, which means that people were not allowed to manufacture, sell, and purchase alcohol, forcing people to be creative every time they wanted to party. Why not capitalize on the fact that we are also in the 20s and that we can have our own post-pandemic era right now? Here are some ideas for you to achieve this concept:
- Create the atmosphere by investing in some jazz musicians
- Switch to a Gatsby-inspired interior and hold flapper parties that Daisy Buchanan would be proud of
- Partner with a vape business to encourage people to find alternative and healthier ways to smoke
Bolster your delivery services
If your business survived the worst of the COVID-19 crisis, then it’s highly likely that your restaurant pivoted to delivery services as soon as lockdowns were announced early last year. You must have mastered the art and science of excellent delivery services, and you must for sure be more aware of the best practices that will keep your customers coming back for more. Now that the world is opening up again, surely we no longer need delivery services?
Experts say we still do. We live in a time when customers are most accessible to restaurateurs, and even before the pandemic, this trend has seen steady growth, and the numbers project that food delivery sales will grow to as much as $220 billion by 2023. This is hypergrowth that was no doubt accelerated by the pandemic, but it’s a revolution that has been taking place long before the novel coronavirus found its first host. This is why pandemic or not, economic lockdown or not, you will need to keep bolstering and improving your delivery services. You must continuously find ways to improve your operations to ensure that your customers keep coming back. Here are some ways you can capitalize on quarantine trends that will most likely remain post-pandemic:
- Design menus, meals, and lunch boxes for employees working from home. Not everyone has time to cook, so you will be servicing a sector of society (or at the very least, your town) that has a demand for sumptuous food delivered straight to their door.
- Consider asking your customers for feedback and reviews. Not only will you gain valuable insight from what they have to say, but you would also be communicating that you care about them having the best customer experience with your restaurant.
- Stay up to date on all the apps, platforms, tracking software, and other tech tools that can help improve your experience as a business owner and make things easier and more convenient for your customers. There will always be new apps and platforms, as well as businesses, that you can partner with to ensure that your restaurant offers the best food delivery service out there.
A word of caution
While there are still so many reasons to practice precaution, we can still do so without sacrificing some joy and fun in our places of business. Just make sure to stay on top of the number of cases in your area and abide by state regulations on social distancing and maximum capacity. While we may be at the tail end of the pandemic, we’re still battling with new variants that may be more vaccine-resistant than others, and it is still incumbent upon us to protect our employees and customers.
The COVID-19 crisis has not been good for businesses across the world, and dine-in restaurants were some of the first casualties. If your business survived the past year and a half, congratulations! Now the battle begins again, and believe that there are plenty of tools at your disposal to ensure that your restaurant doesn’t just live another day, but gets to thrive and succeed.