As the Covid-19 pandemic swept the nation, those in the restaurant industry had to shut their doors to comply with various state-sanctioned shelter-in-place orders. Months later, the country and the restaurant industry are still in the midst of the pandemic, with many restaurants still under stay-at-home orders and others open only at limited capacity. Restaurant owners are finding themselves in an unprecedented situation — get creative with their promotional ideas or risk even more devastating financial impacts from the pandemic.
Whether your restaurant is open at limited capacity or you are focusing strictly on takeout and delivery options, there are a variety of marketing opportunities that can help you connect with diners who wish to enjoy a delicious meal and support local businesses. Here, we’ll discuss some restaurant promotion ideas to help your business during the Covid-19 restrictions.
Creative Online Marketing
If your business has yet to become active online via a website or social media, now is the perfect time to start. Many diners are still hesitant to go out, meaning restaurants don’t experience nearly as much foot traffic as they once did. In addition, restaurants that aren’t connecting with people online may suffer from “out of sight, out of mind,” making it harder to be the first choice for diners when they decide to order takeout or return to eating out in person.
By shifting focus to online connection and marketing, you can help promote your business and stay in the forefront of potential customers’ minds even while they stay at home. Ideas for online marketing include:
Growing a social media following (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok)
Sharing recipes, personal stories, and business history on a website or social media channels
Sharing your restaurant’s journey through a YouTube channel
Utilize Facebook and Instagram live to host real-time cooking events
Update website information and social media channels with the latest news on how your restaurant is handling Covid-19 restrictions
An example of a local business using social media in a surprising and funny way during the pandemic is the Oklahoma City National Heritage & Cowboy Museum, where Head of Security Tim inadvertently developed a national following with his #HashtagtheCowboy campaign.
Takeout and Delivery Specials
Many diners are still choosing to eat at home, but your restaurant can appeal to those customers with various takeout or delivery specials. If you have a current delivery partner like GrubHub or UberEats, contact them to see if they are offering support or promotions. If you run your takeout or delivery services in-house, consider running first-time or repeat customer promotions to bring in more business.
Family Meals and Grocery Items
Many restaurants have found it necessary to branch out with their product offerings to appeal to customers who may not consider eating out a priority during the pandemic. By offering unique items like grocery staples (eggs, milk, bread, meat, etc.), complete family meals, or meal kits for customers to cook at home, restaurants can bring in revenue in other ways besides traditional takeout, delivery, or dine-in.
Communicate About Safety Measures
Whether it’s online or via signs at the restaurant, take every opportunity to communicate with customers about how your restaurant is taking precautions. Transparency regarding cleaning procedures, mask policies, maximum occupancy regulations, and other safety measures can help customers feel more at ease.
Cerity — Here for Small Businesses
At Cerity, we know that businesses are dealing with a lot right now. So, we’re here to support restaurants through it all — whether it’s finding unique promotional ideas to deploy throughout the Covid-19 pandemic or finding affordable workers’ comp coverage for restaurants.
We offer a faster, more affordable, and more flexible way to get a workers’ compensation quote. The restaurant industry is full of complexities, especially now, so we’re committed to quickly providing the coverage you want so you can focus your attention on more important things like running your business. To get a free quote online, visit our workers’ comp quote tool.