The restaurant business has endured a great amount of change over the past year. Like many others, restaurant owners and staff demonstrated tremendous resiliency and developed creative solutions to serve customers through carryout, outdoor dining and other social distancing practices.
As restaurants welcome customers back, there are many new protocols to follow from cleaning and seating to service and atmosphere. Here are five tips on how to help increase traffic as things are opening up and getting back to the new normal.
Increase Social Media
Posting once or twice a week may not be enough to let people know your doors are open and you are ready to welcome customers. Think of ways to engage your audience. Post a picture of a new menu item, post appetizer or drink specials, and remember to invite customers to come dine with you.
Expand Happy Hour
The new work-at-home structure has allowed a lot more flexibility in today’s workforce workday. Many are able to start their day early and are ready for lunch by 11:00 a.m. or for an afternoon snack and drink by 4:00 p.m. Depending on your location, happy hour can include specials on appetizers and not just drinks and start as early as 11:00 a.m.
Promote New Menu Items
During the past year, many restaurants had to go to a reduced menu. Customers may have missed their old favorites so adding them back to the menu gives them another reason to visit your establishment. Don’t feel like you need to add them all back at the same time, add them back as you are ready and be sure to have your staff promote these favorites as they get added back to the list.
Keep a Clean and Maintained Facility
This one will remain a top priority as people often associate a well-kept and clean restaurant with the quality of food. If there are tears in seat cushions or cracks in bathroom counters or tabletops, customers have reason to believe the restaurant isn’t interested in safety and cleanliness and they may decide not to return. Keep a cleaning service and a repair service on retainer to manage your budget, and to ensure your customers have an excellent dining experience.
Deliver Service with a Smile
Thank customers for coming back. It’s no doubt this past year has been a challenge, and customers have felt a lot of the pain too. Many restaurants not only thank the customers for being there, but the staff also lets customers know, “We’ve missed you and we’re glad you’re back!”
Surface Repair Service can provide full-service repairs to a single restaurant project or for an entire chain of locations across Iowa. We pride ourselves on quality work to support Iowa’s businesses to offer clean, safe, and well-kept furniture and surfaces. Give us a call at (515) 276-5453 for a free quote and consultation.