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Food Service Industry Updates

5 Tips for Restaurants and Bars to Gain More Customers During COVID-19


Restaurant traffic in June is down about 58 percent compared to last year, and bar traffic is down about 64 percent, according to Zenreach, a San Francisco-based technology company that produces marketing software for bricks-and-mortar businesses.

But the better news is that restaurant traffic has increased about 32 percent from the start of May to the start of June and bar traffic has increased about 31 percent during that period. The economy began to reopen in late April and to a larger extent in May and June.

Considering that these retailers are still struggling and businesses are still opening, Zenreach offers five tips for restaurants and bars to get even more patrons to return to their businesses:

  1. Sell gift card “bonds” — For example, sell a $75 gift card now for a $100 redemption when the business reopens if it hasn’t reopened yet.
  2. Host a virtual workshop and a Q & A with one of your chefs or bartenders — Have them show consumers how one of your signature dishes or cocktails is made and invite patrons to stick around to ask the questions they’ve been dying to get answers to.
  3. Stay active with e-mail and be honest — Explain the hardships your business is going through to provide a human element to your brand, but also tell your patrons about all of the extra sanitary precautions you’re taking during food preparation (masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, etc.).
  4. Position your restaurant as a community player — Partner with other neighboring restaurants for special deals. If you specialize in lunch and dinner, perhaps partner with a bakery to offer a meal and dessert at a bundled price.
  5. Surprise and delight customers — Offer sentimental or fun touches when making food deliveries. People are stressed, so perhaps throw a roll of toilet paper or hand sanitizer in with takeout orders. This goodwill will not be forgotten.

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