Here at Modern Currency, by day we’re an up-beat PR and Marketing agency that is fuelled by liquid gold (aka coffee). By night though, like most people in Melbourne, we’re on the hunt for the next best dining experience. So you can imagine how excited we were for restaurants across the state, when doors were allowed to open on June 1.
A great step back into some form of normality. We know our clients were excited, but also know the general public a ready to dine out once again. In saying this it is definitely a make or breaks time for hospitality businesses far and wide depending on how they’re presenting themselves to their customer base. The messaging you need be sending out for your customers to see should include a mixture of what you can do for them, what is available (both dining in and takeaway if you have the options), and the measures your business is taking to keep them safe.
It is important to stay connected with customers both now and as further restrictions are lifted to adjust to the ‘new normal’ after this COVID-19 pandemic.
Our suggestion to communicating your messages – Social Media.
With social media usage and engagement hitting record highs since lockdown began, the utilisation of your social channels is a great opportunity to communicate to your followers and entice new ones to try your offering. So that re-opening has begun, it doesn’t mean you have to change your messaging completely, but more so feed in the below suggestions to your content.
Post relevant updates.
Social media can be the perfect tool to not only tell your customers that you’re open and adhering to regulations/restrictions and guidelines. It is, in fact, the perfect way to show your customer base that you are practising this. Post updates on any changes to your availability. Encourage online ordering, booking online and notifying your followers of last-minute tables that may be free. With significant social distancing restrictions for restaurants and bars likely to be in place for some time, combined with consumer hesitancy about how safe it is to be dining out in public, to-go orders are now a vital way to maintain a viable business until you can full reopen your restaurant seating.
Since screen time and engagement have dramatically increased, supplementing your organic posts and content with paid ads is a great way to widen your reach and begin re-populating your marketing funnel. Use ads to promote specials and take-out or delivery options.
Creative & Engaging competitions
Social media challenges are another fun way to get your customers to engage with your restaurant or bar. By coming up with your own challenge, it brings your restaurant’s name to the front of your customers’ minds. Whatever your unique style/selling point is, you can create a challenge around it. However, it is important to consider your tone and not challenge anyone to do anything that could contravene social distancing and mandates that are currently in place or you’ll risk a backlash that could damage your brand.
Convincing someone that your restaurant is low risk will take frequent and repeated messages regarding how your business is operating safely and is likely to include positive user-generated content from guests who do come to dine with you. Make sure you monitor social channels for the positive feedback and re-purpose that content on your own social channels and website (with permission from the content owner).
For more information, or if you’re looking for help to get your location post-COVID-ready, drop a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Chloe O’Donahoo, PR & Communications Assistant