April 12th cannot come quick enough, for either you or your customers! With spring fast approaching, the date for restaurants being able to offer outdoor dining is drawing near. It’s time to get ahead of the game by increasing interest around your restaurant. Here we will go through 3 quick and easy ways to peak interests and ensure that your restaurant is buzzing with people (outside) on re-opening day & beyond!
1. Remind and reassure your customers of the hygiene steps you are taking.
A year into this pandemic and you may think that everyone may be accustomed to the present situation. However, the majority of people will still need to be reassured that your restaurant is safe enough to dine at. Although April 12th is now the official re-opening date for outdoor dining, your consumers may need additional information on how your specific restaurant will operate!
Make sure that your customers know the exact details of your re-opening. Will they need to book in advance and if so, how can you make this readily available to them? Make it easy for your customers by having your opening times posted as well as any changes in menu or promotions on your social media. All this information can be made easily accessible for customers. Either post about it or place the info in your Instagram Bio. You can also facilitate making reservations to your restaurants by placing a link that directs your customer straight to your booking page.
Post about your COVID precautions & outdoors dining area! Will you be providing outdoor heating and cover in case it rains? Take a picture of your outdoor setup so that your customers can envision themselves dining outside comfortably. Posting consistently in general will build up the hype. Don’t forget to add some posts that reinstate which COVID procedures are in place, will you be providing sanitisation stations, track & trace? Do you have social distance markers to show your customers where to sit? If you have any sort of certification for your hygiene levels, then show it off!
Chai and Chapati showed off their 5-star hygiene rating certificate whilst also showcasing employees wearing PPE which gave the post some added authenticity. Such assurances will go a long way in the current climate. Do not underestimate how much of an advantage your restaurant will have by showcasing a 5* hygiene rating and all the COVID precautions that you have implemented.
2. Arrange a competition.
This is a great way to get some prelaunch interest and get your customers hyped up about return to your restaurant. Running a competition can definitely increase your reach into a larger target market. Simply offer a prize such as 2x free dishes which can only be redeemable upon reopening and encourage the post to be shared by asking your customers to share and tag their friends and family. Post a picture of your popular dish in an outdoor setting so that your customers can really envision their upcoming experience. You can add a caption such as “Win a free entrée for 2! Just tag someone who owes you a visit!”
3. Run ads or influencer collaborations.
Don’t forget to keep running simple Facebook & Instagram ads that are targeted at people in your area. This can be done for as little as a £1 a day and you can easily reach thousands in your community with an ad highlighting your venue re-opening offers, updated COVID precautions and more.
You can also work with local influences who have a large following within your local area who can share the news of your reopening in exchange for a free dish when you reopen. You can even have them co-host the competition by having them redirect their followers to your page to enter your competition. This will attract more attention and therefore more followers to your page and more positive endorsements for your venue!
Not only are both of these options relatively low cost, but they also see great results. Both target the local community and reach the relevant audience.
To recap now is the time to prep your team for the arrival of old patrons and the welcoming of new ones. Hype up your restaurant by showcasing your outdoor facilities and any specials that you may offer, whether that be new items on your menu or new promotions for your consumers. Don’t forget to make all this information readily available for your customers by highlighting them on your social media! Last of all, remember to reassure your customers that they will be receiving quality outdoor dining with all safety precautions taken to ensure they a have fun and safe experience!
For more ideas on how to increase interest in your restaurant, make sure to check out our other blogs!