As we move into further stages of recovery from COVID-19 lockdown, it is estimated that, sadly, 25% of small restaurants in the US will not survive the pandemic. Globally, the picture does not look any brighter. To survive, any owner of food-venue will have to make enormous efforts to rebuild trust, confidence, and visibility to bring back wary customers and build a stable client base.
Technology can help your dining-business to stand out amidst uncertainties, and even thrive while you’re at it.
Let’s take a look at how a robust loyalty manager can help your restaurant to shine during gloomy days like the current ones.
Use technology to build and sustain loyalty
Two kinds of dining-businesses are struggling to survive today. Establishments that do not nurture an emotional bond with their guest, and those who fail to implement and use technology to sustain loyalty and nurture trust. To give your business an advantage over others, focus on building real relationships with diners, with the help of technology.
Use a loyalty software solution that builds and runs a program that works for you and your customers. A good loyalty manager tracks unique individual tastes and customer behavior and rewards it. It sends out the incentive that best fits the individual customer so that they choose to come back again and again.
Show customers you care
Everyone is going through a hard time, and those who visit a restaurant take enormous risks to be there, just to grab a bite or have some good times with their friends, after a long and mostly lonely weeks of quarantine and lockdown. Reward their courage and magnanimity by enrolling them in a special rewards program.
Use technology to help customers self-declare they are wearing masks or have sanitized their hands right on the app. This not only reassures your customers but is also an opportunity to reward them with points or coupons for following safety measures. Partner with establishments that provide health or self-care services, and urge your customers to take care of themselves by redeeming points at these outlets.
Communicate with your regulars effectively
A good loyalty manager helps you manage a list of loyal customers, and communicate with them regularly. Create content and social media posts that keep them engaged, and reassure them that their favorite restaurant is still around. As many restaurants will close down in the next few months, your sustained communication and targeted incentives, rewarding their retention, will make your establishment stand out.
Automate regular communication, and reward customer engagement, on your mobile app or in social media with coupons. If your restaurant is not open, or you’re just making deliveries at the moment, social engagement and communication with regular customers are crucial to help to retain them.
Build trust during the crisis and across the recovery stage
The pandemic has eroded customers’ trust in restaurants’ ability to serve food and beverages safely. Build their trust by making their dine-in experience streamlined, and in concordance with the latest health guidelines. You can tweak a loyalty manager’s settings to get people to self-report their temperature before they arrive at your venue. The same application can be used to reward this behavior if they are wearing a mask.
Even after the pandemic ends, health safety issues will persist. WHO has warned that we need to be prepared for the next pandemic. Let your regular customers know that you are prepared, by focusing on safety and hygiene. Reward positive customer engagement on social media posts related to health guidelines.
Make reviewing and providing feedback integral to the dining experience
Reviews build confidence and directly help you attract more customers. Make sure that your regular customers write honest reviews about how prepared your restaurant seemed while they dined. Ask for feedback regarding the food, the experience, and what you can do to improve safety further, and make sure you communicate how you implemented those suggestions.
Although people are afraid to visit restaurants, they still crave for outings, albeit in a well-protected environment. When they read reviews that suggest you don’t flout the safety rules, guests will tend to make bookings easily. You can automate both writing reviews and seeking feedback from customers with the help of a good online loyalty manager.
Don’t work alone – use a loyalty manager
There is bound to be a spurt in the growth of new restaurants as markets slowly return to normal. Yet, there will also be many closures and restaurants will find it hard to make revenue at pre-COVID levels. With careful planning and efficient implementation of an online loyalty manager, you can make your restaurant stand out and retain regular customers.