The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak is forcing cities and states everywhere to start implementing drastic measures, including shelter-at-home orders to residents and the closure of dining room service at restaurants. It’s a huge blow to the normal business of operating a restaurant, but it’s important to remember that people still need to eat, and your customers want to support you however they can during this tough time. Here are 4 ways to adapt your restaurant to make the best of a tough situation and better serve your customers during the coronavirus outbreak.
1. Offer Integrated Online Ordering
The best way to help your customers and your bottom line right now is to make sure you have off-premise dining options, whether it’s take-out or delivery. There are, of course, third-party delivery services, but their fees can be burdensome, so we recommend integrated online ordering through your POS, to not only cut costs but also streamline orders directly from your POS and right to your kitchen printer or KDS.
If you are a SpotOn Restaurant client, and do not yet have online ordering already set up, please visit this page and complete our quick form. SpotOn is waiving the setup costs and monthly service fees for online ordering to help get you up and running ASAP.
Additionally, be flexible with the pickup and payment options you offer customers. The goal with all the coronavirus safety measures is to minimize person-to-person contact, so encourage customers to pay online, have them pay in advance over the phone, or consider offering curbside pickup and payment. If you are a SpotOn Restaurant client and need a mobile card reader to take card payments from your mobile phone, we will send you our SpotOn Mobile device for free. Again, please visit this page and complete our quick form to request a reader.
2. Streamline Your Menu & Get Creative with Your Takeout Offerings
Many people are stuck at home with their families for the foreseeable future, and they will be looking for familiar food from their favorite restaurants to bring them a little joy, so get creative with off-premise food offerings. Also, look to streamline your menu so as to reduce costs and waste, as well as opportunities to have employees take on alternate roles, whether it’s helping prepare ready-to-go meals, taking phone orders, or providing curb-side service.
Some examples of creative menu changes you could offer, include:
- Family-style meals rather than individual entrees
- Pre-prepared meals that your customers can heat up or cook at home
- Freebies or deals on low-cost items such as breadsticks or soups as an incentive for customers to order takeout
3. Sell Gift Cards and Swag
In addition to getting creative with your menu offerings, make sure to highlight any gift shop items you have available, as well as gift cards. Selling gift cards gives your business an instant infusion of cash while giving your customers a reason to come back and visit as soon as the coronavirus outbreak passes. Meanwhile, offering gift shop items like t-shirts, hats, and mugs, makes it easy for your customers to show their support for your business.
As with your food items, make sure to be flexible in how you let customers order and pay for giftcards and swag. Remember, your SpotOn Dashboard has a built-in Virtual Terminal, making it easy for you to take orders and run payments right over the phone or via email.
4. Use Email and Social Media to Tell Your Customers What You’re Doing
Your customers want to hear from you now more than ever. Make sure they know what changes you’re implementing ASAP by sending a marketing email and posting updates across all your social media channels and your Google My Business page. Specifically, you should address:
- Whatever measures you are taking to ensure the safety of employees and customers
- What type of food service you are providing during the coronavirus outbreak (ex. take-out, delivery, curbside pickup, etc.)
- Your business hours, particularly if they have changed
- What changes you have made to your menu, if any
- Gift cards, swag, and any other ways customers can support your business during this tough time
Lastly, please know that SpotOn is here to assist our community of business partners in every way we can. If you need assistance implementing any of the actions above, or anything else, please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.