When we look back at its initial arrival, little did we expect to see the financial and operation challenges that have now succumb to the tragic oppression felt from the COVID pandemic. Now almost a year later, restauranteurs have had to develop new ways in which to adapt to the ever changing challenges facing them. Although many thrived with the assistance of the ‘help to eat out’ scheme, benefitted further from the opulent summer that 2020 provided; many have had to rely solely on the continued business received through their delivery service.
With the public still hesitant in leaving their social bubbles, the internet has been their window to the outside. Shopping online has spiked like never before and with this the demand for online food delivery has not disappointed. To remain successful, restaurateurs will need to follow those industries around them, utilizing social media as their new word of mouth - customizing their current marketing strategy to align with the times.
Below we will discuss 5 different ways restaurants can utilize the power of social media to not only improve their services but to reach out to a larger target market.
1) Use delivery-focused imagery
Gain their attention. We have all seen those websites using stock photos, dishes perfectly served up on white china; with the undisputed realization that your food would certainly not arrive as such. Instead, utilizing photos that have the food presented in their takeaway containers, allowing the consumer to visualize how they may receive their orders can provide a new perception to the service you are providing.
You now have the attention of your potential consumer, now to reel them in. Highlight your delivery partners. Our consumers are well aware of the big names; Just Eat, Deliveroo and Uber Eats, to name a few. They understand how easy it is to complete an order with one of the many providers now on the market, so utilize this knowledge! By overlapping their logos on your photographic material, we provide an immediate understanding of the ease and method in which to order.
2) Take part in the local conversation
Social media is exactly that, creating a social connection between your business and your clients. Not only can you reach the many, but if done correctly, a personal connection can be formed. Word of mouth is online now more than ever. Being present, replying to comments and inquiries, and engaging in your local community allows us to see the human behind the screen. We were proud to work with Dough Boys Pizza during the most recent lockdown here in the UK, who provided free pizzas to children after the half term #EndChildFoodPoverty movement. The social-economical effect of such an approach can not only benefit the community, all you need to do is look at the comments and ‘likes’ received from the subsequent post to understand the benefits a company can enjoy.
3) Humanize your brand
No one can argue that the last 12 months have been difficult, and that is okay. Everyone has been struggling together, but it can be hard to remember that the brands we know and love are struggling alongside us. If you have made some changes to support yourself, your employees, or your customers, then this is the time to share it!
You can also share tips on how to recreate items on your menu, until the time comes when your loyal customers can return for their favorites. Creams Café has done just this, engaging with their audience and subsequently strengthening the bond many have with the brand. Multiple venues such as Starbucks have even taken to posting stories and videos on their feed showing how to utilize their branded ingredients to recreate those items most missed. If your restaurant produces their own sauce or coffee for example, encourage people to purchase them to recreate meals and drinks in the safety and comfort of their own homes. Highlight these items along with the recipes and provide direct links to make it easy to purchase.
4) Make ordering easy
Next, make it easy to order. As mentioned before, placing the logo of your partnered delivery service will direct the consumer to that particular delivery app. Why not make it easier and more accessible to the consumer by creating a direct link to said application? By posting direct links on your Instagram bio it allows the consumer to quickly and conveniently place their order with you. Don’t forget to share your delivery partners and promotions on your feed or highlight them in your stories. Utilizing the ‘Order Now’ button on Instagram stories allows customers to click and be diverted straight to your delivery platform to order!
5) Talk about your Hygiene & Safety Measures
Lastly, talk about your Hygiene & Safety Measures. Reassure your customers that their food is safely packaged and they need not stress over the handling of food and delivery. Remind them of your new protocols of contactless delivery or pick up orders. When preparing for reopening don’t forget to update your audience! Let them in on how you plan on keeping not only them but your staff safe as well. Post images that reassert your commitment to the new rules, such as social distancing and reminders to wear masks within your locations.
We are entering an ever changing world, where our normality is now a thing of the past. Restauranteurs must learn to evolve and embrace the needs of their clients in order to successfully compete moving forward. It is clear that your online presence now plays a pivotal role in the ability to have your business known, and with the growing array of information out there, grabbing the attention of your potential customers is vital. Stay ahead of the game by preparing for reopening, keep your clients in the loop, and remind them why you have always been one of their favorite restaurants to visit!
Follow Double Up Social on Instagram for more tips or get in touch now for a free consultation and action plan!