This storm, like many before it, can be weathered if operators take a pragmatic and sensible approach towards business and marketing. Right now, external marketing should switch direction, from the generation of new business, to the retention of existing customers. This should be achieved through transparent action and clear communication.
Be clear with them about how seriously you are taking the COVID-19 situation and reassure them that if they do want to visit – or order food for collection/delivery – that you’re working to ensure their safety. The most important thing is to keep the lines of communication open, if business hours change, let them know, if you’re only taking card payments, tell them, and if you launch new services (i.e. delivery) make customers aware of how to use them.
As for what we can do, you will know that Preoday offers digital ordering options to restaurants and caterers. Our intention is to go all out in order to streamline the process for any business needing to get online and take digital orders ASAP. We can now get new clients online, taking orders for collection and delivery in a matter of days – our hope is that by doing so the platform can provide a revenue stream for restaurants forced to shut their doors.
The long-term effect of COVID-19 is not yet known, we cannot say how long the recommended restrictions of movement/socialising will be in place. What we do know is that we’re all in this together, and as a global community, we all want to help our communities and businesses get through this. If you’ve got advice and experience you want to share with other restaurants, get in touch, we’ll put it onto our social channels and support you in supporting others.
It’s not as catchy as: ‘When is a door not a door?’ (answer, when it’s a jar) but it speaks to the idea that in-car collection, and the technologies that support it, are flexible enough to bend to the needs of a business and its guests.
Delivery can be daunting to the uninitiated, and it might be tempting to sign up with a third-party ordering aggregator that offers the service, such as UberEats, but other options could suit your business and brand better. Here we present three different ‘levels’ of delivery, starting with the most basic – and cheapest method: doing it yourself.