With more and more people gravitating towards online ordering in an effort to stay safe, the restaurant industry is witnessing a change in consumer behavior. 80% of regular diners in the US agreed that ordering food online and getting delivered to their doorstep is safer than going out for a meal. And they’d like to keep it that way until things get stabilized, which seems to be quite far from now.
Such a drastic shift in consumer behavior has caused a ripple effect, leading restaurants to seek an omnichannel approach to address responsible consumption, while maintaining their uniqueness and quality.
But just having an omnipresence is not enough if you don’t refresh your marketing strategy to reach the target market.
Your customers understand the impact of the pandemic on your business, they are open to the idea of direct ordering, but what they don’t know whether your business is prepared to deliver to the changing market.
For instance, the new measures that you’re taking to ensure safety and hygiene needs to be communicated in more than one ways, through more than one channel.
But before we begin segmenting the strategies, let’s understand the importance of having an omnichannel strategy for marketing communication, and why your restaurant needs it now more than ever.
Omnichannel marketing integrates the different communication channels that businesses use to deliver a more optimized and effective marketing message to customers.
Once popular with only retail, the new-age restaurants have recognized the opportunity that having multiple sales channels can offer additional revenue streams and acquisition of new, as well as different customers, especially in the Covid-19 stricken world.
Whether through enhanced ordering options, mobile-first experience, pop-up units with curbside pickups, automated drive-thrus, more restaurants are embracing omnichannel commerce.
While the omnichannel approach is the path forward for many operators, executing a marketing strategy to support the channels is paramount. This includes connecting with customers and engaging them with a website, mobile app, blogs, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Restaurants must use these channels to deliver a seamless experience and consistent brand messaging.
These three tips will help you lay the groundwork of your restaurant’s omnichannel marketing strategy and attract more customers in the challenging COVID-19 environment.
Dine-in, online ordering, curbside pick up, and take away - now that you’re reaching your customers in multiple ways, you must ensure that your branding is consistent throughout these channels. Apart from this, having a consistent brand message on all marketing channels will ensure that your customers recognize your brand as soon as they see your logo or read about you.
Given that most of your regular diners won’t be able to immerse themselves in your restaurant ambiance, your marketing team should put special emphasis on replicating the same experience on your social channels. For instance, on Instagram, you can create all your posts using a color palette that reflects your brand identity.
Pay attention to the tonality of the message too. For instance, if you own a coffee shop with a warm and cozy ambiance, speak to your customers in a warm and welcoming tone that implies that they are a part of your extended family.
The essence of online ordering and food delivery is satisfying consumers’ need for speed, convenience, and consistency with safety at top-of-mind. Since the majority of customers won’t be visiting your restaurant for the first-hand experience, it gets crucial to stay connected with them at all stages to build a mutually beneficial relationship between the customer and the brand.
This means that if some of your customers weren’t satisfied with a particular meal, your team should be quick to address their feedback or negative reviews. Even if you don’t get too many negative reviews, Surveying your customers on a regular basis can offer valuable insights into what works and what doesn’t for your business. Consider their feedback, and use it to fuel your marketing activities.
Searching for new ways to make their experience more immersive will demonstrate your dedication to quality -- something that will keep them loyal.
Not everyone understands the significance of a solid content plan when it comes to marketing. The restaurant industry, in many cases, has fallen short in this department.
Although most restaurant brands are producing creative content, many lack a consistent content strategy. In addition to this, not many are able to maximize the content by marketing it consistently on social media channels.
Online communities of food lovers are hungry for great content. So if you really want to engage with these communities, your content strategy must focus on developing a content menu with new digital flavors and experiment with new technologies to pique customers’ interest.
Ultimately, your content strategy should create a coherent, aligned customer experience across multiple platforms. Now, how are you going to achieve this objective?
To begin with, in the post-covid-world, people would be far more comfortable in ordering from your restaurants if they know that you are following all the safety protocols to prepare and deliver their food. For instance, create videos that showcase kitchen operations such as process to wash and sanitize ingredients before being used in any dish, how the prepared food is packaged in tamper-proof boxes before handing over to the delivery boy. Such content will help win back customers’ trust and confidence in your brand.
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