No one loves holidays more than a restaurant owner. For them, holidays simply mean more business. More customers. And lots of opportunities to make up for the lost sale throughout the year.
After the 2020 pandemonium, things are slowly starting to open up and the upcoming holiday season is going to prove a healing opportunity for most businesses - especially small and independent restaurant owners. If anything that we can learn from the recent adversity is that we must always be ready for the worst and make such arrangements in advance that would help us stay afloat even during the bad times.
So now that the dark clouds of COVID-19 seem to be fading away with each passing day, and vaccinations helping us go back to our normal lives, restaurant owners must gear up for the holiday season, starting right on with Halloween.
A lot of restaurants are preparing to deliver a safe dining experience for guests who decide to step out of their comfort zones during the holiday season. Having said that, Contactless Ordering has become an absolute necessity and must be embraced by establishments of all sizes. But this doesn’t mean that delivery and curbside should be shown a back door. You still need them, more than ever, to make up for the losses incurred last year and to make the business profitable this year. Delivery and curbside orders are going to be the primary preference for food lovers during the upcoming holidays. In fact, our survey estimates that 63% of Americans plan to order their food online during the holidays to ensure the safety of themselves and their loved ones. In addition to this, they enjoy the comfort and convenience that doorstep delivery brings. Thus, having a concrete plan to capture the attention of this demographic is imperative if you want to make this season the season of resurgence.
Here are a few ways to get more orders from digital channels
1. Be Visible Online: If your customers or potential customers don’t know whether you accept online orders or offer a curbside facility, you might be losing hundreds of dollars of business every day. Send newsletters, run some ads on social media or simply leverage the power of Google Search Engine to communicate your offerings effectively. Your customers should be able to locate you on various platforms whenever they feel hungry or crave a certain cuisine that you might be offering. For instance, someone looking to order a burger meal in Seattle should be able to locate your business on Google Search every time they type for keywords like Burger Places in Seattle, or Best Burgers in Seattle, Buy Burger Meals near me, and so on. Optimize your website, blogs, and social media for similar search trends and see skyrocketing holiday sales.
2. Deliver smooth ordering experience: Now that you managed to get your customers to the website to order food, make sure that your website represents your brand and its offerings well. Every element of the website should reflect your brand identity and achievements in the field. Above all, it should deliver a smooth ordering experience - starting from landing on the page to browsing the menu and making the final payment. Be clear about what you want your customers to experience when they enter your website and how you are going to differentiate your offerings from others in the same industry or those selling the same kind of food.
3. Offer more than one ordering channels: Different people have different needs. Some might want to order in and get food delivered at their doorstep, and some could be just passing by, and decide to order a curbside pickup order. Whoever your audience is and however they choose to interact with your business, make sure you have a channel for ordering to satiate their needs. In the current times, a majority of restaurants in the USA are offering a plethora of ordering options to their customers - including online ordering, curbside pickup, takeaway, and kiosks. In order to stay in the competition, it is highly important to facilitate your customers with the right kind of ordering channel at all levels so you never have to miss a sale again.
The holiday season is undoubtedly the most important time of year for restaurant owners. This is the time when almost everyone craves a hearty meal with their family and friends, and even those who are far from their dear ones would happily celebrate the festivities by ordering in. The trick for this Halloween season is to understand your target audience well in terms of both geographic and demographic and place your bets on the most engaging platforms that allow you to stay on top of your customers’ minds. They are certainly going to order Italian or Chinese or Mediterranean cuisine, and high online visibility will ensure a happy bottom line at this juncture.
Happy Holidays! :)