Communicating to customers in a post-covid world
How restaurants and hotels can communicate to customers post-lockdown
Restaurants and hotels are the backbone of their local community. Obviously, unless they have been able to offer a takeaway or delivery service safely, the majority of establishments have had to remain closed. Just because they are closed, it’s important that they don’t remain silent.
The doors may start to creep open early July, but for some, it’s going to be difficult to implement social distancing measures whilst keeping the ambience that customers typically enjoy. So, it’s important to keep communicating with customers, the local community and appropriate stakeholders. Share plans. Share events. Help the community.
Customers need to have reassurance that when they return all safety measures are in place. An instagram story featuring the housekeeping team, the installation of new hand sanitizers and screens, it’s important to give that reassurance. Why not generate an appropriate new hashtag for all relevant social posts #covidcleaning #dreamcleanteam (for example)?
Put yourself at the heart of the community
It’s important to remain in the minds of local people. There is going to be definite trend towards localism, staying local and creating community. So, make sure you’re in regular contact with your regulars – or potential regulars! Right now, how about organising a virtual pub quiz? Start the Fantasty Football League (after all, they’re being allowed to play).
Once you’re open, whilst it’s going to be difficult trading times, you many benefit from offering discounted vouchers for local people or companies? A thank you for their support, an opportunity to visit, an incentive to meet with extended family and friends (adhering to government guidelines, of course!). It could encourage people to leave their sofa, leave their home brew and give Netflix a night off.
It’s important to care. And show you care for local people and the local community. Host an afternoon tea party for NHS workers (who get a free tea). Hold a month-long celebration for a local charity with a contribution from each afternoon tea, cup of coffee or pint sold (whatever is the most feasible). Design a new dessert that contributes a percentage to charity (it could be named accordingly).
This shows that you are giving back, saying thanks. But there’s the obvious PR benefit of course – don’t forget to share on your social media and send information to the local papers, radio, digital and broadcast media.
Potentially, there’s going to have to be less people in the kitchen. Make menus more realistic (but retain the favourites). To do this, shop wisely for ingredients. For example:
- invest in more convenient items like pre-sliced burger buns
- choose ingredients that can be used in a variety of dishes across all day parts
- Look at ambient options like chutneys and compotes
- Consider frozen – it’s more convenient and there’s less waste
- Seasonality is king – ingredients are at their best and at the best price
- Proud of Provenance – support your local, artisan cheese-mongers, bakers and producers. Reduce food miles. Shop Local.
In Need of Help?
Splat PR offer freelance marketing and PR support for food, drink and hospitality businesses. We love working with all types of business big or small. What we just want to do is help you make a difference.
Please do get in touch if you need help in these challenging times.
Stay Safe x