Ten tips for marketing in the corona crisis: How gastronomes can now reach the right target groups
It's spring and restaurants should be well stocked at this time of year. But people are staying at home, working from their home office if possible and trying to adjust to the current exceptional situation. How can gastronomes still reach their regular guests and build a long-term relationship that will survive the crisis?
Switch to Take-Away and delivery service
Even during the Corona crisis, guests do not have to do without their favourite dishes. Restaurants are no longer allowed to open the dining room, but are still allowed to use the kitchen. So the food can still make its way to the customer - either as take-away or delivered free of charge.
Buy now, eat later! When catering establishments offer vouchers and sell them during the Corona crisis, some money comes into the till now and customers can redeem the amounts later. In this way, guests can already make provisions for better times and look forward to their next visit to their favourite restaurant. Vouchers can be provided in paper form or online.
What a voucher should say
- the voucher must be in written form (paper or PDF)
- Voucher value and service must be stated
- Voucher issuer (the restaurant) must be visible
- Expiration date should be stated (vouchers are usually valid for three years)
Enter on auxiliary portals
The lack of contact during the Corona pandemic forces restaurants to close. Resourceful developers are currently building portals or apps where restaurants, cafés or small shops can register to sell vouchers or their goods online.
Write newsletters or flyers for the neighbourhood
People have rarely been at home as much as they are now. This is the perfect moment for a restaurateur to acquire the neighbourhood as a customer. This can be done either simply with printed out flyers that are pinned or distributed in the neighbourhood or put in the letterboxes of the neighbours. Here, restaurants, cafés, bakeries, etc. can write down what they offer and draw the attention of neighbours to the fact that they will continue to provide culinary services for them even in times of crisis.
If catering establishments already publish a newsletter, all the better. This can also be used to inform the online community about the lunch or cake service. And at the same time a very special community feeling can be created.
Building and expanding the network
These days, nothing is more important than a good network - analogue and digital. If a catering business has not yet set up a corporate account with Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn, now might be the right time to start. People are online more than usual these days and willing to support local businesses and restaurants.
Stronger together: restaurateurs are all in the same boat right now and are facing the same challenges. So it's the best time to network with each other, for example via LinkedIn, Facebook groups or initiatives.
Using the right hashtags
Hashtags are an easy way to achieve out-of-community reach in social media networks like Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn.
When restaurateurs use certain frequently used hashtags in their social media accounts, they become more visible and part of a large community. Important hashtags are, for example #supportyourlocaldealer #supportyourlocal #stayhealthy #buynoweatlater
By the way: You can also use these hashtags analogously. Just write on windowpanes or stands with Edding. That way, the neighbourhood knows that a restaurant will continue to operate even in a crisis.
Set up an online shop
If a gastronome has not only menus but also merchandising articles and packaged or preserved food on offer, he can sell these via an online shop. T-shirts, marmalades or spreads thus find their way to customers even in times of the Corona crisis (and beyond).
With crowdfunding, i.e. swarm or group financing, projects, products and new business ideas can be financed and realised. People pay into a "pot" and donate to projects that interest them and which they would like to support. Crowdfunding is also a welcome way for restaurants, bars and hotels to overcome financial bottlenecks in the Corona crisis.
In these times, nothing is as valuable for restaurateurs as a strong neighbourhood that sticks together. Why not think about a bread roll service or a cake service ("We'll bring bread rolls or cakes to your door") or offer a lunch service or lunch packages to go. Stressed out neighbours who are torn between home office and childcare will thank you.
Support "self cooking"
Everyone has to take care of themselves at home at the moment. But not everyone is a skilled cook. Many in the neighbourhood may therefore be grateful for some support from their favourite restaurants. If it's not the finished lunch, "semi-finished products" could also help: For example, the pizzeria around the corner can deliver ready-made pizza dough to your home for toppings.
In addition, restaurateurs can give tips on how to cook for themselves in how-to videos on their own social media accounts or on the website and show how best to prepare a dish. Ideas for recycling leftovers are also in demand.