MARKETING IN TIMES OF COVID-19
With the world bunkering down in an attempt to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus or Covid19, the hospitality industry is bearing the brunt of social distancing measures with many restaurants and cafes reporting sharp decreases in customers and revenue, or even closing their doors.
To help our customers stay top of mind, we’ve come up with a few marketing tips on how to promote their business throughout this health crisis and stand out from the crowds with creative ways to boost sales.
1. Perfect your presentation
Use this situation to your advantage. This is your opportunity to hero your signature dishes and deliver them into your local’s living rooms.
For many high-end restaurants however, offering takeaway and food delivery is a first. With the right food packaging in place, you don’t have to compromise on presentation.
See how high-end eatery Franca Brasserie has turned an all-time favourite into a delivery dish? Their takeaway menu is now offering the same high-quality dining experience delivered to your door in one of our home compostable, sustainably-sourced sugarcane bowls.
If you are interested in finding out more Do's and Don'ts of takeaway, read on here or download our takeaways catalogue to see the full range.
2. Promote your business
Cutting through the noise and making your website as user-friendly as possible is now more important than ever. Focus all your efforts on getting your menu online and your business out there.
Load your takeaways menu to the website
If your takeaways menu differs from your original dine-in one, make sure you highlight this on your website. Ideally, install a pop-up notification that promotes you are open for business within the first 3 seconds a visitor enters your site. Web banners and a clear navigation bar will increase the user experience and help people find what they are looking for right away. Make it easy for your customers to browse through your takeaway menu by making all your digital assets mobile friendly.
Tap into your delivery service partner’s promotions
If adding online ordering to your website is proving to be difficult or your website doesn’t support this type of service, consider picking a delivery partner such as Deliveroo and access a larger group of customers actively seeking out food delivery options.
BioPak has a partnership with Deliveroo which includes exclusive discounts on packaging for Deliveroo restaurant partners. They will also allow customers and riders to opt for ‘contactless’ delivery. The option will see food left on doorsteps with customers notified that their food has arrived.
Activate Google and Social Media channels
Make sure you’ve claimed and optimised your Google MyBusiness profile to help locals find your business. Take it to the next level by adding your takeaway menu, some enticing food photography and the link to your website.
Similarly, social media offers a brilliant opportunity to promote your new takeaway or food delivery offering: publish an announcement post and ask your customers and fellow local businesses to rally behind you by sharing your posts. Use the hashtag #supportyourlocal to make your posts visible to more Instagram users. Ask your family, friends and customers to share your business to their audience. Regularly update your social media channels which will land you more followers and make your business stay top of mind with your audience.
Spice up your content: use Insta Stories and TikTok for insider tip videos and teasers of new dishes, introduce your staff to the public and highlight customer favourites to boost sales.
If your business is less known, you might profit from advertising it across Facebook and Instagram to reach a wider audience. It’s been proven that an increase in marketing spend during a recession can gain a long-term advantage for a brand (MarketingMag). You can re-target visitors to your website or social channels with exciting images of your signature dishes that will link them back to your online ordering platform or give them a number to call.
Creatively, it would be wise to ensure that content doesn’t cause panic or show behaviour that is contrary to local health authority advice and government regulations around social distancing. Instead, stay positive, focus on food and staff. Offer specials and encourage people to leave reviews on your social channels.
If you are short on time, you can always follow BioPak on Instagram and share any of our content, too. Or tag us in your Stories and we will share your business to our community for greater exposure @biopak.packaging!
Optimize Your Digital Spaces
Whether it’s your blog, website or third party sites where you’re listed, you can take the time now to make sure these are fully optimized. Clean up and refine your SEO and B2C marketing strategy to ensure your current content is as visible as possible. Update all old information. Pinpoint what is and is not working within your strategy and adjust your tactics and budget accordingly.
Community partnerships and PR
There’s a real sense of community spirit and people coming together right now. Check in with your local newspaper or food and restaurant magazines, who have released Live Lists of restaurants who have added takeaway to their repertoire. Reach out to your local newspaper and let them know that you’re still operating and have launched a new takeaway menu or food delivery service.
Amongst grim headlines, local stories and good news can go a long way.
Make your brand stick
Make the most of your delivery bag by popping in a copy of your menu or contact details on a fridge magnet so customers can re-order with ease. You might want to include a special offer to encourage them to re-order (“order 5, pay 4”), or even a personalised note to ask them to continue supporting your business.
If you don’t have a graphic designer at hand, Canva.com offers a great variety of free templates and is totally user-friendly.
Communicate health and safety standards
We know that the hospitality industry is already subject to strict health and safety measures. However in times like these, people are hypersensitive to the risk of germs so it’s good practice to communicate your health and safety practices to your customers to avoid any concerns.
Again, Canva offers free templates such as posters and social tiles.
3. Thinking outside the box
With people spending more time at home and an increasing pressure on supermarkets, this is your moment to shine and define your unique selling proposition(s). Pause for a moment and ask yourself:
1. Brand: Have you chosen the best packaging for your signature dishes? Does your packaging reflect your brand and business ethos? If you are all about the environment, stick to this strategy. Choose paper and sugarcane products over plastic. Tell your customers how to dispose of their packaging correctly.
2. Alternative revenue streams: Can you sell cook books, gift cards, restaurant merchandise, or host live-streaming cooking shows “how to make your own pasta”, anyone? Are there any events you could host in the future that your customers buy tickets for now?
3. Further cost savings: have you exhausted all cost efficiencies, i.e. could a compost bin help with reducing your general waste bills? Can you cook with seasonal produce, how many dishes can use the same ingredients?
Whatever it is that you will be pursuing over the course of the outbreak, let us assure you that you are not alone. BioPak is dedicated to encouraging residents to buy from local restaurants, cafes and shops to revitalise community spirit and bring money into our neighbourhoods. Our marketing team is at your fingertips should you need help with the promotion of your business, too.
We hope you, your family and staff are healthy and safe during this crisis and when this ends, every gig and game will be sold out, and every restaurant will have a 2-hour wait.
Hang in there, world.