How your Restaurant can Evolve to the Digital World during the Covid-19 Lockdown
As the global pandemic has persisted and worsened, the approach of governments at different levels has evolved to counter the problem. The restrictions that have been put in place mean it’s now our turn, as businesses, to evolve as well.
There is now a ban on dining-in at restaurants as the health risks are currently too great for this to continue. But,the fact is, people still need to eat. Not everyone is able to stay home and cook their own meals (think of the health workers on extended shifts who may not be able to live at home anymore for fear of infecting their immediate circle, for example). And sometimes, people may just want to have restaurant meals, as a way to treat themselves or take a break from the situation. Whatever the reason, restaurants are an essential service right now.
So how do you continue a service that has traditionally operated on being able to meet in-person? Simple: you Evolve.
Making Your Restaurant Modern With Technology
We’re lucky that we live in the digital age and that business can easily be conducted online. As a restaurant owner, you may wonder – how? You still need people to physically prepare the meals and while this is true, the important thing is that your customers can still support you without having to leave their homes or interact with many people.
Let’s take a look at how you can modify your business to effectively function during the social distancing era.
A Website For Your Local Restaurant
The first thing you’ll need is a modern website. If you have loyal customers who know your establishment, know your phone number and know your menu, they can continue to purchase from you. But for those people who don’t know you and are now restricted in their movements, you’ll want a digital presence so people can find you online. If you’re just setting up your website, you’ll also want to incorporate Search Engine Optimization, so that your restaurant shows up when people are searching for restaurants in their area.
Customers Need To Be Able To Order Food Online From Your Restaurant:
Typically, people will come into a restaurant, be seated, peruse the menu and then place their order with their server. This process can still happen, just digitally now. There are two things that need to be in place to ensure this runs smoothly:
- Online Menu: If someone is looking to order remotely from your establishment, they’ll want to know what their options are. That means your menu should be online. This could be as simple as placing your printed menu as a series of photos on your website or creating a page on your website that lists all of your menu items.
- Ordering Options: Since people can’t tell you what they want in-person, they will have to be able to do so remotely. Orders can be placed via phone or, you can develop a section on your website where customers can place their orders. Again, there are options for incorporating the latter function: from simply completing a form to creating a unique page where customers can select the menu items they want.
Order Payment Processing On Your Website
The easiest, most social-distancing-adherent way to do this is through payment on your website. With an e-commerce component on your site, you can have a complete checkout process through which customers select their menu items, then pay for them, all from the comfort of their couch. If this is something that you’re not able to implement at the moment, your customers will have to come into contact with either their delivery person or your cashier, should they be doing a take-out option.
Delivery or Takeout/Pickup Options on Your Website
If your customers are looking to minimize their time spent outside, then their preferred option will be delivery. If your restaurant is not set up for delivery, you can offer take-out/pickup. Either way limits the in-person interactions for both your customers and your staff.
Online Customer Service Through Your Website & Social Media
Many people are not sure about which restaurants are still open right now, so you’ll want to communicate your services to anyone who might be interested. This information will be on your website, of course, but to ensure it reaches a larger number of people, you can post on social media and engage with your customers. If you still have Daily Specials, this will be a great reason to connect with your audience on a daily basis and potentially grow your customer base.
It’s Time To Take Your Offline Restaurant Online!
We hope this information has been helpful to those of you managing a local restaurant. If you’re interested in taking your business digital or would like to learn more about connecting with your customers during this time, contact DigiHype Media today! We have had the pleasure of helping many local businesses in similar situations and we hope to help you succeed through this COVID-19 digital transition.