Those who work in the restaurant and foodservice industry have needed to get a little creative this year. Some people may not be comfortable venturing out to get a meal even after the worst of the virus finally passes. To boost business during COVID-19, it’s necessary to try new things and present different dining options to your customers. Find ideas for COVID-friendly dining options below.
In any normal year, you likely adapt your menu as the seasons change.
Over this past year, however, COVID-19 has changed the way restaurants put together menus. Seasons aren’t the only factors to consider these days.
Many restaurants have adapted themselves to accommodate pickup and delivery services. This is a great way to lessen crowds and adapt to safety limitations or shutdowns. Expanding off these ideas, think about your customers and what they like about your restaurant. There are a few creative menu or service adjustments you can make to drive more business:
If you want to entice more families into ordering for pickup or delivery, think about what you can do to adopt family-style dining in your restaurant. Busy parents still love the idea of having an order-in night or having someone else make dinner for them – and their options should expand beyond fast food! Make sure you have meal options that satisfy picky easters as well as foodies and more adventurous patrons.
Meal Kits or Take-and-Bake Options
Another option you might consider for families on the go is creating a meal kit or take-and-bake option. Meal kits are a great option for busy families–those who want a specialty meal but are uncomfortable shopping around for ingredients. It can be tough coming up with last-minute ideas for dinner. You can take care of that for them!
Pantry or Grocery Items
When customers were at their most panicked, many restaurants replaced traditional drinks and sides with things like toilet paper or hand sanitizer to boost orders. Now that we’ve had time to calm down a bit, these items aren’t as scarce, but still make unique additions to orders. Aside from toilet paper and cleaning products, consider other grocery items that people might not want to travel or venture out in public to find.
We’re all familiar with the idea of happy hour or dinner specials. Now, restaurants can benefit from “flattening the curve” of lunch and dinner rushes by offering off-peak specials. Offer discounts for orders placed or scheduled during the less busy times to help even out the day.
Some restaurants jumpstart stagnant sales with discounts and special buys on gift cards. As the holidays approach, this is a great time to take advantage of these types of deals. The holidays are also a good time to consider a philanthropic promotion. For example, offer a promotion to have customers purchase a meal for a little more than the normal ticket price and then donate those extra funds to a charitable organization.
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