Post-Lockdown Marketing for Restaurants (2021) – In this post I am sharing some practical examples of best practices of marketing for restaurants post-lockdown.
In this post you will learn what your audience is mostly concerned about and how to address their concerns.
You will also learn about some quick-win strategies that you can use to raise awareness about the re-opening of your restaurant or café.
While the article targets food establishments like restaurants and cafes, some of the principles highlighted can be easily applied cross-industry.
If you are interested in post-lockdown marketing for restaurants, you might also like these articles:
- Takeaway and Coronavirus: a Guide for Customers and Operators
- Coronavirus FAQs for Restaurants, Cafes and Takeaways
Post-Lockdown Marketing for Restaurants: General Questions
Are Restaurants Open in Ireland?
Restaurants, cafes and gastropubs ‘that have their own kitchens’ will re-open on Friday, December 4th.
What Are the Main Rules for the Re-Opening?
The €9 substantial meal rule will still be in place. Additionally, the food will have to be prepared onsite.
Are Hotels Open in Ireland?
Similarly to restaurants, cafes and gastropubs, hotels in Ireland will be able to offer indoor dining from Friday, December 4th.
Are Wet Pubs Open in Ireland?
Wet pubs in Ireland will remain close until further notice.
Post-Lockdown Marketing for Restaurants: Health and Safety
Make Food Safety Your Priority
In two of my previous articles I wrote that food safety was the main concern for people ordering from takeaways, restaurants or cafes. The two main questions were:
Can I get COVID-19 from a food worker handling my food?
Currently, there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.
Are Restaurants Safe?
For what I wrote above, currently there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with coronavirus.
If you want to be further reassured, make sure to find out, through their social media communication or by simply ringing them, what health and food safety protocols they have in place.
Most restaurants would also apply extra precautions, on top of their regular protocols, to reassure customers in such times.
Answer Your Customers’ Main Concerns
It’s important to reassure your customers about the food hygiene an safety at your premise. Questions you might want to publicly give an answer to with signage at your premise, on your website and on your social media channels:
- What Health and Food Safety Protocols Are in Place?
- What extra precautions are in place?
- Can I get COVID-19 through Food?
- How is COVID-19 Being Transmitted?
Make Sure Your Food Hygiene Ratings Are in Order!
If you like in Ireland, the assumption is that your business is compliant with the fsai.ie food safety regulations.
In the UK people can download an app and check the food hygiene ratings for each food establishment.
Post-Lockdown Marketing for Restaurants: Digital and Media
Keep Your Website and Social Media Profiles Updated
While it’s understandable that some business decide to cut on marketing during lockdown, there is no excuse for not updating your website or social media.
Some of the questions you want to address are with your website and social media strategy are:
- When do you open?
- Are opening hours the same?
- How many people can your place allow at a time and is it able to provide the required distance between the customers?
- What are the conditions for visiting your place?
- Are there changes in the booking process?
- Do you offer contactless payment?
- What measures do you take to keep your place up to the sanitary requirements?
- How will interaction with the staff go on?
Re-opening and Instagram
If you are using Instagram, one of the best ways is to create a carousel highlighting the precautions, like in the example below.
You can also create a story highlight so that it’s always visible to people visiting your Instagram profile.
View this post on Instagram
Reopening and Facebook
If you communicate primarily through Facebook, you might want to consider running some Facebook ads and / or boosting your post about the re-opening.
As you know, you can only organically reach less than 7% of your audience of your Facebook page.
To target your entire audience and beyond, you will need to run Facebook ads.
If you are curious about your competitors, you can also find out if they are launching a Facebook ads campaign.
Send Out a Newsletter about Re-Opening
If you have a mailing list, make sure you send out a newsletter announcing the re-opening.
In the newsletter, you might want to include some of the precautions in place in terms of health and food safety.
You might also want to address the questions highlighted above.
Update Your Google My Business
The Google My Business listing of a number of food businesses was defaulted to temporarily closed during the pandemic.
If that was your case, or if you manually changed it yourself, make sure you remember to switch it back to open.
If you want to know more about updating Google My Business, make sure you check these articles:
Post-Lockdown Marketing for Restaurants: Wrapping Up
I hope you like this article about post-lockdown marketing for restaurants, cafes and gastropubs. I would be very grateful if you could take the time to write a comment and let me know your feedback.
Are you a restaurant owner or manager? What are you doing about the re-opening?
Post-Lockdown Marketing for Restaurants: Sources
Post-Lockdown Marketing for Restaurants: Photos