The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted businesses across all industries, be it large corporations or SMEs. The restaurant industry has particularly taken a turn for the worse due to increasing hygiene concerns among customers and government-imposed lockdown. The pandemic has been a true test for restaurant marketing as restoring customer confidence is a tough task with traditional marketing techniques.
Given its rise as a tourism destination, Dubai has twice as many dining options as New York. To survive in the midst of fierce competition, the UAE restaurants need to increase customer engagement and win their trust back by adopting new and innovative marketing techniques.
This article presents innovative marketing techniques that restaurants can utilize to increase footfall post lockdown and encourage online orders.
Leveraging Innovative Restaurant Marketing Ideas To Restore Customer Confidence Post-pandemic
To overcome the revenue impact caused by the pandemic, restaurants need to focus on satisfying any concerns that customers may have. They should invest in branding and engagement campaigns with the goal to build brand loyalty.
Here are some innovative restaurant marketing techniques to earn back customer confidence post-pandemic.
1. Live Streaming The Kitchen
On-time delivery, establishing new delivery channels, adhering to standard hygiene practices, and strict compliance with food safety norms are crucial for generating customer loyalty. Furthermore, empathizing with the customers and reassuring them by sharing information on your own sanitation and hygiene practices is also important.
Live streaming kitchen operations is one such way that many restaurants have adopted to generate confidence among their customers. Restaurants also hold themselves accountable for their operations when they put their kitchen on display. Being live in front of the audience shows customers in real-time that the food is being prepared in the kitchen with the highest level of sanitation and hygiene.
2. Effective Social Media Marketing
Social media can be an asset for restaurants if used judiciously. Leveraging social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, etc., to engage with the customers is a must to market yourself. As per Marketingdive, 64% of people make a purchase after watching marketing videos on Facebook. Having a solid presence on social media drives customers to order food online.
Consumers can be encouraged to share their reviews and comments regardings their dine-in experience. Seeking customer feedback via online surveys and analyzing customer food ratings will help restaurants better understand their needs.
In addition, restaurants can even upload photographs of their in-house vaccination drives or drivers getting their temperature checked and wearing masks to gain customer confidence. Informing customers regarding the vaccination status of the delivery executive and restaurant staff can also reassure customers.
3. Safe And Sanitized Packaging
Since COVID-19 has accelerated online ordering, packaging has become one of the essential elements of restaurant marketing. Packaging can be used as one of the ways to gain back customer’s trust. By delivering safe, durable and sanitized food packages to your customers, you can instil confidence in them once again.
Furthermore, providing sanitization kits with the food packages so that customers can quickly sanitize themselves before digging in is also recommended. It creates an image in the customers’ heads that the restaurant cares about their health and safety, thereby gaining confidence.
4. Giving Out The Secret Ingredient
Prominent UAE restaurants are realizing that building trust is a two-way street. In the COVID-19 situation, if customers cannot come to you, you can go to them. They are offering customers the chance to learn their secret ingredients by offering ready-to-combine kits which will, in turn, build customers’ trust in the restaurant.
The entire motive of this practice is to give the customers a restaurant-like experience and make them feel valued. This practice is being adopted by many restaurants taking into account the intense desires of customers to dine in at their favourite restaurants. The signature dishes of restaurants that are too valuable to strike off the menu are now being provided to customers in kits so that they can combine it and have the taste at home.
For instance, a Peruvian restaurant in Dubai, COYA, instead of taking the signature raw fish ceviche off the menu, has introduced a mashed avocado guacamole kit for its customers to enjoy at home.
In these challenging times, restaurants must make all possible endeavours to earn back consumer confidence. Adopting these marketing practices will help the restaurants attract old and new customers post lockdown. It will further help them cover the losses incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Keeping spirits high and continuously using innovative restaurant marketing tactics will surely bring enterprises out of the pandemic storm.