Are you the owner of a restaurant operating in the United States? Are you worried about the survival of your business in the face of the Coronavirus outbreak? If yes, then this article is for you. If you are like most business owners out there, then the COVID-19 outbreak has probably caught you flatfooted. With everything seemingly grinding to a halt, many are wondering how they are going to survive the coming few weeks. Just to illustrate the point, the Governor of California has just ordered that restaurants only use a “takeout,” mode of business. So, how do you survive this scenario? Hi, my name is Francisco, and I am the owner of Planet Marketing, a digital marketing agency. If you are worried about the survival of your business during the Coronavirus outbreak, then I am here to tell you that all is not lost. Read this article to give your business the chance to survive the COVID-19 outbreak.
How can restaurants survive the Coronavirus meltdown?
I have worked with plenty of restaurants over the past 2 decades, and one of the things that I have discovered is that this type of business tends to be conservative and resistant to change. Ask any restaurateur out there and they will tell you that they got their best recipes from their grandparents, who, in turn, got it from their own grandparents.
Now, that is all great, but it’s not going to help you survive in these troubled times. What you need to do right now is to go digital. The enforced shutdown may be with us for up to a month, and those that refuse to move with the times will definitely not be able to survive the outbreak. Below are tips to help restaurants survive Coronavirus;
Set up a website with eCommerce
Don’t know how to set up your own eCommerce website? Don’t worry! Get in touch with us now and we will be glad to do it for you!
This is the first thing that you, as a restaurant owner in the United States, need to do to survive Coronavirus. Don’t worry if you don’t know the next thing about creating a website. You don’t have to do it yourself. Feel free to get in touch with us and we will be happy to make it happen for you.
The website needs to have eCommerce
Most restaurants already have websites. If your restaurant has one, then that’s just great. You are already on the right track. You will, however, be surprised at the number of small businesses in the United States that do not have websites. Some do not even have an online presence. If you are one of these, then it’s about time for you to get out of the 18th century.
Okay, so most people will say, I already have a website for my restaurant, bar or cafe, so is that going to make me survive Coronavirus? The answer is no. Chances are high that you have a very beautiful website featuring the best items on your menu. Now, it’s all very well to have glossy images that attract customers under normal times, but the times could hardly be far from normal.
You don’t need an ordinary website. What you need is an eCommerce site. I have already mentioned that the governor of California has decreed that all restaurants in the state are now takeout only. What this means is that you need to be able to do remote selling to your customers. All they will now be allowed to do is stop by your restaurant to collect their orders.
What if I already have a website?
If you already have a website, then that’s good because it means you probably already have traffic to your site. All that you need to do is add eCommerce functionality to the site and you should be good to go. How do you do that? Well, again, get in touch and I will be glad to help.
Make everything on your menu a product
This is the next step after you have set up an eCommerce website for your restaurant. You now need to turn all the items that are on your restaurant’s menu into products that appear on your eCommerce website. The idea here is to ensure that when people visit your website, they will be able to buy whatever they want to eat directly from the site.
To be frank, there is nothing different from the way you have been running your restaurant all along. The only difference is that we have turned everything digital. And instead of having people come to your restaurant, where they are at risk of giving each other Coronavirus, they will only stop by for a few seconds to collect their orders.
Use Facebook Advertising and to market your restaurant to the right audience
So, now that you have set up an eCommerce site for your restaurant, how do you get the word out to your customers? One way of doing it would be to go door to door while handing out flyers. But that’s forbidden during the COVID-19 outbreak. You definitely do not want to put yourself and your clients at risk of contracting the virus.
The good news is that there is a far more effective way of reaching out to your target audience from the comfort of your home or office. Facebook advertising offers restaurant owners the chance to precisely target their audiences during these troubled times. And Facebook Advertising is something that I do very well, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with me if you need help.
How to market your restaurant using Facebook
I am not going to go into detail on how to create Facebook ads for restaurants in this article. Feel free to check out my article on the subject if you want to learn more. You can also check out my DIY Facebook Ads marketing course to learn more about how to do effective Facebook Advertising. Here, in any case, are a few tips to get you going as far as reaching the correct audience using Facebook Ads is concerned;
- Run paid ads that show 3 miles around your restaurant. Restaurants, bars and cafes are localized forms of business. What this means is that they can only attract clients from so many miles around their physical locations. A 3 mile radius is about as far as most people will be willing to go to get some food. The great thing about Facebook is that it allows you to create ads that precisely target your audience. That way, you can be sure that your ads are being delivered to the right people.
- Take a peek at the DIY Facebook Ads Marketing Course. Let me repeat that if you are not sure what you are doing, you can either get in touch with me and I will be glad to help you get set up as far as Facebook Ads are concerned, or you can sign up for my DIY Facebook Ads Marketing course. The course contains a lot of useful videos that can help you as you set out to ensure that your business survives Coronavirus.
Integrate with Zapier
If you have never heard of Zapier, then it’s this really cool platform that allows you to link all your apps. If you are like the ordinary person, you probably use tens of apps, from Facebook, to Gmail and Twitter. And Gmail may not even be your only email provider. Now, that’s all great. We all want to move with the times, right?
However, the challenge comes when it comes to keeping track of all these apps. To be frank; though you may have all of them, you probably only favor one or two. If that is the case, then chances are high that you don’t check what’s happening on all those apps. There is simply not enough time in a single day.
This is where Zapier comes into its element. It allows you to get notification from all connected apps, whenever and wherever you are. Just to illustrate the point, let’s say you have integrated Zapier with Facebook Ads. What then happens is that if you get notification on your Facebook, an email will automatically be send to you telling you that you have received an notification from such and such.
Why is this important for restaurants during the Coronavirus Outbreak?
Once you have set up your ecommerce website, you will probably start marketing on Facebook or Google Ads. You can set up Zapier to ensure that the moment you generate a lead via Facebook, you get the notification in your email and you can quickly get in touch with the customer. That way, you won’t miss out on your customers’ orders and you will be able to quickly respond to their queries.
How about GrubHub, Doordash or Postmates?
Restaurants using digital tools to interact with their customers is definitely not an innovative idea. In fact, many restaurants out there use GrubHub, Doordash and Postmates. Frankly, food delivery services are great. They are another solution in these times of restricted movement due to coronavirus.
However, the challenge with these services is that they are run by third parties who take a big chunk of the profit. Not only that, but there is also too much competition on these platforms, whereas you do not get any competition when it comes to Facebook Advertising? And you get all the profits.
So, what are you waiting for? Get in touch with me today for help setting your Facebook Ads campaign. Also feel free to sign up for my DIY Facebook Ads Marketing course if you want to learn how to do Facebook Advertising on your own!