The COVID-19 pandemic has had a drastic effect on the global food industry as governments’ decision to close down restaurants and bars to slow the spread of the virus has caused many restaurants to struggle.
This has had a ripple effect on related industries such as food production, liquor, wine and beer production, food and beverage shipping, fishing, and even farming.
In light of World Food Day on the 7 June, we delved into the food industry and the impact COVID-19 has had on the fast food industry, restaurants, food production and consumption. If your restaurant business also falls within the hospitality sector, you might want to read this article first.
In this article we will explore how you can adjust your marketing strategy during these difficult times to ensure you remain operational and profitable during lockdown.
Look at the market
Google Trends report a clear spike of interest in fast food and takeaways searches, but not restaurant searches. This could be because there just isn’t enough marketing done around restaurants adapting their menus and committing to home deliveries via social media platforms.
During the initial lockdown stage (Level 5), people were searching more for home comfort recipes – specifically baking ingredients but as restrictions began to lift, the interest has shifted toward fast food items and takeaways. Small time bakeries as well as high end restaurant and non-franchise restaurants can benefit by partnering with food delivery apps such as Uber Eats and Mr Delivery.
Enlist the help of a really good marketing agency
Although we are giving you actionable steps you can take to ensure your establishment is operational and profitable, you will need a professional digital marketing agency, and a really good one at that. In your industry timing is really critical; your audience are active and searching, which means you need to take action immediately and a digital marketing agency can get the ball rolling, while saving you time and money.
Divide your marketing strategy in two
Have two very detailed and specific approaches to roll out during and after lockdown. We have outlined the strategies for you below.
Prioritise employee health and wellness
During this health crisis, food service companies need to connect with their employees and try to understand their needs in order to keep the engine going. Companies should also ramp up cleaning processes to ensure safety of customers as well as their employees. This can be done by installing hand sanitizing stations, installing sanitary door openers on washroom and kitchen doors, sanitizing POS systems, and more.
Retaining customers is absolutely imperative, so food service companies need to effectivelu communicate with their valuable customers about any changes they may be making. Share sanitization and safety procedures followed by your business on your website, social media, customized emails, and marketing advertisements. Targeted marketing campaigns are probably the most effective way to reach out to audiences through personalized messages.
Analysing past customer data and providing customers with a reward or discount can help you retain customers and increase online orders. Since customers are now looking for budget-friendly meals, restaurants must scale up menus and look for new ways to reduce operating costs to provide affordable meals for budget conscious buyers. In addition, offering an all-day breakfast and brunch menu can generate more business while a lot of people are working from home.
Utilise social media to the max
Social media marketing is one of the most powerful digital marketing avenues available to you. Keeping it real on your social pages and tactfully communicating about the challenges COVID 19 has brought to your business makes you authentic and relatable – qualities that your audience will appreciate.
Allow your audience to get to know the people behind your business. For example, showing them the farm where you get your fresh ingredients, your chef working on new recipes, and introducing your staff with profile writeups. This, along with providing discount codes for home deliveries can bring positive attention to your establishment, making people more likely to buy from you.
Utilising your database
If you have developed some sort of database with frequent customer information, like their phone numbers or email addresses, then you can make use of this to offer them gift cards and discount vouchers that can be redeemed later. It’s also a good idea to send them details on promotions for special occasions, like Father’s Day, as well as discount codes that can be applied on Uber Eats, Mr Delivery or even DinePlan.
Use your time wisely
Use the time you have to create email and social media campaigns that provide special offers and discounts. You also want to enhance your social media by switching up your content. Consider upgrading your website and SEO while searches are peaking and getting new photos of the establishment taken.
If you’re ready to take your fast food establishment to the next level, scale up your business and ensure its continuity, let us help you. Whether you’re looking for a full marketing strategy with a two-phased approach to get you through lockdown beyond, or looking to upgrade your social media and email marketing , contact Arc Interactive on firstname.lastname@example.org for a free quote.
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