As you well know, the hospitality industry has had quite the shake-up since the onset of COVID-19. Some locations have become take-out only, some have largely expanded their outdoor seating, while other have all-together been forced to close their doors permanently. Even the National Restaurant Association Conference was forced to cancel their event for 2020. And this made us sad…because we were really looking forward to seeing all of our friends and exploring Chicago. With all of the looming uncertainty – how can you stay positive?
- A solid game plan to start with is to restructure your marketing. I believe this will reap great benefits for your locations. It is important to realize that your market is now a drive-to specific market. Consumers are concerned with the spread of COVID-19 through air travel and are foregoing long distance travel all together. By focusing your attention to this new consumer group, you will be able to reconfigure discounting and featured strategies to improve revenue, therefore bringing a new wave of positivity over your business.
- Health and safety guidance is no longer the boring “fine print” on a website on the back of your menu or website, but a template for how guests are going to pack their bags and what they are going to leave behind. It has become a standard that all businesses share their company beliefs and standards as well as those mapped out by federal and local government. These guidelines help a guest gain trust whether a business is taking their health and safety seriously or not. By posting this information to your business website and social accounts, you can save a great deal of time and effort with phone calls and emails questioning the subject. A fun way to showcase this information is by creating a video. Did you know video is being used by 81% of businesses in 2020 and 75% of all video plays on mobile devices? That means you’ll want to make your video no more than 3 minutes in length and make sure the volume is appropriate for mobile users.
- Connect with the Community!! There are plenty of opportunities for your business to connect with the world around you to stir up business. If you are a restaurant – offer virtual cooking classes, if you are a hotel – offer virtual staging classes to help local customers set up their homes, if you sell goods – offer live streams of how your product is enhancing the guest experience outside the home and why they need to get out there and keep spending money! Other ideas are to have a community sale. If you have a venue that could hold such an event – this is an opportunity to showcase your space to a locally-focused crowd. If you sell goods – reach out to a venue near you that would be a good fit to house such an event. Just remember “it takes a village to raise a child” and sometimes to keep businesses alive too – so get out there and work together!
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