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If you are depending on take-out to survive, I’d like to help

We are in a crisis … and some restaurants won’t survive while others will thrive. 

Due to “social distancing” dining-in at restaurants is not recommended and getting banned all over the world . 

Although dining-in is taking a nosedive in regards to restaurants’ income, people still need to eat and one area that is surging is delivery and take out services. 

As of now, restaurants have no other option. On average, this area of a restaurant’s business accounts for 20-30% of their income – but now it has to be 100% of your income. 

So how can you take advantage of this surge in take-out/deliveries and maximize every order that is placed to ensure that you can continue to keep your doors open? 

I have some actionable tips that you can do right now to help you get through this challenging time and beyond.

1. Are you signed up with the popular online delivery services? Make sure you are signed up with as many of these services as possible. The big reason that this is vital to you now is exposure. These services have their own database of restaurants and people often have a favourite service that they use all the time. You want to make sure that your restaurant is listed on these delivery service websites so that people can find you. Services like UberEats, DoorDash, and SkipTheDishes may be waiving or reducing their fees during this time. Talk to their reps to see what they are doing to help restaurants during this crisis.

2. Have you claimed your Google My Business listing? I’m always surprised to see how many local businesses haven’t bothered to claim their Google listing. Apart from the risk of having someone else claim your business, not claiming your Google listing hampers your chances of people finding you online. Most people use Google for web searching. Yes, you may have a web site or a Facebook page but claiming your Google listing allows you to add all sorts of information about your business right there where people are searching. 

So my second tip is to go here to claim your Google listing! If you’ve already done that then the next thing you need to do is make sure that it’s up to date. Have your hours changed since the crisis? What about your menu? Did you know that you can create posts right on your listing and use that to post the most current information about what’s going on in your business? You can also create a list of frequently asked questions.

Having an up to date Google listing is good business practice and will be crucial in the coming days and going forward.

3. How are you communicating with your customers? I’ve noticed that many of our local restaurants are posting information to their Facebook pages. That’s cool but did you know that only about 20% of your customers are seeing those posts? Do you have a way of communicating with your customers outside of your social media channels?

Don’t get me wrong, keeping up with your social media is important, especially during this time, but relying on social media alone doesn’t allow you to communicate directly and individually with your customers. To do that you need to keep your own list of customers. With every delivery or take-out bag that goes out the door, do you have a way to capture your customers’ details so you can grow a database to keep them informed and present them with offers and specials so that they will come back and spend more money with you?

Businesses that have their own customer list are able to reach out whenever they like to keep the lines of communication open, offer coupons, notify their customers of specials or changes to their service, and to maintain that top-of-mind awareness that will keep your customers coming back. Growing your customer list is the single most important thing you can do right now to keep those customers coming back during this crisis and later when things settle down. 

BONUS QUICK TIPS:

A. Are you using a Point of Sale system? Some of these POS systems allow you to sell gift cards or gift certificates. Talk to your POS salesperson about setting this up for you. 

B. Do you use chatbots on your website or Facebook page? If so, you might want to automate your frequently asked questions or updated menu. 

C. Have you been buying Facebook ads? Set up “click to call” ads so that your customers can contact you directly from your ad. Most people use mobile these days so click to call ads allow them to call you directly from their phones.

Well, there you have it! These are some practical, actionable steps you can take right now to get through this crisis.

Please know that you are not alone and that I’d like to help. I run a small, local, boutique marketing agency that specializes in customer retention. I’d like to help you put an automated system in place that will allow you to build a database of your customers so that you may easily communicate with them now, as this situation unfolds, but also later when things return to normal.

If this is something that interests you, then reach out and let’s have a chat.

In any event, whether you decide to let me help you and work with me or not, I hope you find that the tips I’ve shared with you are helpful.

While no one can predict the future, there is one thing we can be certain of – as Canadians we will come through this challenging time stronger than ever.

Again, if you’d like to see how this system would work for you, simply reach out and I’ll send you a link to a demo.

UPDATE: Google has just announced that because they have to downsize their staff, certain features of Google My Business are being suspended. The link to the article is below but what this means is that one of the tips I gave in my article no longer applies.
https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-my…/356300/