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Reinventing Restaurants with Digital Commerce
For restaurants in 2020 the recipe for survival has been transformation. Businesses and consumers have had to be flexible as they adjust to government restrictions and fluctuating Covid cases. Keeping a restaurant alive during the pandemic has required a certain degree of pivoting, to take on this historic challenge many have turned to digital commerce. Here is how you can rewrite your business plan and reinvent your restaurant during Covid 19.
Restaurants are the perfect candidates for digital commerce reinvention. Just like how the internet created new opportunities for e-commerce and creative industries, the next market to experience a revolution is set to be the restaurant industry. Even before the pandemic, online reservation systems, free WIFI, and digital menus were changing the way restaurants operated. In our interconnected world a restaurant’s brand is no longer only about the food they serve, customer service is as important, if not more important in our new normal. In 2021 it is the digital experience that will leave a lasting impression on your customers, embracing a digital reinvention will help you capitalise on increased consumer interest.
At Strive Digital we can help your restaurant create an impression that lasts a lifetime. With our wealth of creative experience in building and shaping brands online and offline, we have the skills to transform your business in line with your ambitions.
Before the pandemic, services like drive-through, takeout and delivery made up 60% of all restaurant offers. Over 63% of millennials have at least one delivery app on their phone, so it is no wonder that this figure has crept up to 75% in recent months. Delivery apps have become essential to restaurants survival and pivoting to digital orders has prevented many owners from having to close for good. Take-out and delivery are only just the tip of the iceberg, there are many ways to make your restaurant more accessible. The trick is to find a digital solution that works for you and your customers. Some restaurants opted into ‘Eat Our to Help Out’ while others have offered pre cooked dishes or groceries so that their customers can prepare restaurant quality meals from the comfort of their own home. If the trend towards working from home continues, it could be worth offering an option for larger deliveries for the week or a flat rate for a certain number of meals a month. Pret a Manger for instance have pivoted to a subscription based business model with their £20 month coffee service. Now is the time to get ahead of the curve by considering what alternative services your restaurant could provide.
As consumers gain confidence in using food delivery apps as an alternative to dining out, restaurants have seen success in using social media to promote their new services. There are a few ways social media can be used to drive awareness of your offerings; use clear and informed messaging about the services you provide that enable dining in or at home, utilise Facebook products to allow customers to download menus or ordering apps and pin or feature menu items that offer a unique alternative to at home meals. You can even enable a booking system on Facebook for delivery or curb side pick up. In a Facebook commissioned survey more than half of participants admitted to missing dining out one to several times per week, by empowering customers to add variety to their at home eating habits you can leverage digital commerce from discovery to purchase to loyalty. Research shows that the pandemic has also led to a new found appreciation for discounts (Eat Out to Help Out) and free/contactless delivery. Use your digital platform to communicate your safety procedures and bring meaningful benefits to your customers.With the right social media strategy you can future proof your customer engagement no matter what the future holds.
To compete in a digital space restaurants need to promote ordering that is easy, flexible and safe. Customers have heightened expectations for safe service and empathetic and authentic engagement. Successfully reinventing your restaurant business online therefore means creating a stronger connection to your customers and listening and responding to their needs. If you need help marketing your services our Social Media Team can enable your brand to connect to today’s audience in the way they want to be connected with. Reach out today to find out how you can future proof your restaurant business.