Will We Make It To Mother’s Day?
Of COURSE WE WILL!
In the meantime, here are some ways to boost your business until we get there.
The recent COVID-19 Crisis has our entire industry turned upside down. As we all learn to pivot with the day to day changes, one thing remains true – Mother’s Day is still coming (this year, it’s on May 10) and Mom is still going to want to eat! How can we make the best of the situation and prepare with a positive outlook? Here are a few tips to consider as well as some practices you can put into place right away.
Social media is the driving force behind many restaurants these days. With customers stuck at home, staring at their phones and the unknowns associated with going to the grocery store, we literally have a captive audience. Make the most of the situation by posting daily about what you’re offering and how customers can order.
If your establishment has a Facebook page, be sure to join local Word of Mouth groups as well as the many industry support groups that have evolved over the past month. At FFS, we’re doing our best to share your Facebook posts onto our page. If you mention us in your post or comments, we’ll share onto our page, boosting your reach and allowing more customers to see what you’ve got to offer. (You need to LIKE our page to be able to mention us and you may need to enter @ before our name if mentioning from your mobile device)
Mother’s Day Tip: Get followers involved by asking them to share photos or stories about their mom in the comments. Drive follows by creating a contest for a gift certificate. The comment /photo with the most likes wins the prize.
Speaking of gift certificates, if you haven’t already, now is the time to put a gift card program into action. Cash generated from gift card sales can be used for weeks, months, or even years before the card is redeemed, which is ideal during this time of uncertainty.
If you don’t know where to start, there are many websites that aggregate gift cards from all kinds of restaurants so guests can easily view and select which restaurant they’d like to support. Rally for Restaurants does just that, while also donating $1 for every gift card purchase shared on social to organizations that help restaurant workers. Sites like this experience quite a bit of traffic, so that’s more eyes on your restaurant. Again, if you join a site like this or are offering new online options, be sure to mention us when you share the information on your social sites. We’re here to help you succeed!
Another way to push gift card sales is to donate a portion of each gift card sold. Many establishments are using gift card sales to give back to their staff—a cause that any diner would rally behind.
Mother’s Day Tip: Pre-sell Mother’s Day gift cards. Consider making the card all-inclusive, covering the entire meal, or offering a small token, like a flower if the card is redeemed on Mother’s Day.
Be Honest & Be Thankful
If your restaurant is struggling, let your customers know! No one wants to see their favorite establishment fall on hard times and customers are rallying behind our industry to keep us afloat. Let your customers know that you’re fighting to stay open so you can continue to serve them. Express how grateful you are for their loyalty throughout the years. Service doesn’t stop just because you’re not face to face at the moment – continue to send the message that you care about your customers and you need their support.
Makeover That Menu
It seems the hardest part of updating your menu is finding the time to work on it. Almost everyone has a little extra time on their hands during this season. Consider making the best use of that time and re-developing your menu. If you get started now, you can have fresh new menus in place when your doors re-open.
Bottom line? We’re going to get through this. And we really are all in this together. Your customers are stressing out just as much as you are. And unlike those of us working in essential business, many of them are stuck at home going stir-crazy! Encourage them by sharing photos of your outdoor dining or new menu items you’re working on. Speak about the days to come when, once again, we’ll gather around a table together.