Before the COVID-19 outbreak, Lunch had been the most-visited daypart. As of 3/23/20, Dinner is now the most-visited daypart.
Consider adding dinner service if you’re not already doing so. You can take advantage of the uptick in traffic for this daypart to focus on family meals, packaged dinners, bundled offers (2-3 lbs of gyros with all the fixings, 20 chicken wings with a basket of fries, etc.).
Many consumers are ordering ahead to reduce the possibility of exposure. Restaurants offering this option should promote it heavily. For those promoting delivery, you can encourage patrons to “Reserve Your Delivery Time”!
An easy way to thank your customers for their continued patronage during this time, and to encourage visitation when restaurants are open again, is to include Thank You Notes in take-out orders! Whether hand-written or printed from the copier or just a note in marker on their packaging, customers will appreciate that you’ve taken the time and thought to thank them for their patronage during this challenging time! You can also utilize this communication to promote a special offer, even include a coupon they can use for a reduced price on a dine-in meal when state and federal restrictions are lifted.
Thank You Notes are one way you can stay in touch with your customers. You should also reach out to them via social media, partner with any communication from your chamber of commerce, local Facebook groups and your email contact list or postal mailing list. Be sure to state your hours of business, the services you are offering — delivery, take-out, curbside pick-up, grocery pick-up/delivery – and any special promotions you’re offering.
A coalition of restaurant brands have created a social platform of #TheGreatAmericanTakeout on Tuesday’s to leverage the strength of the combined force of all restaurants behind this common effort. Partnering with this special promo can keep you top of mind with your customers. They are offering restaurant operators free downloadable images at their website.
You may have streamlined your menu during this time to focus on customer-favorites and items that are easier or quicker to prepare. But do consider adjusting your menu daily to use up perishables that you have on-hand, perhaps by adding a special of the day item.
A Time Of Transformation
Last week, we talked about augmenting your current pick-up and delivery business by offering grocery items. Kronos can help you do this with these meat, pita, tzatziki and hummus items; the products on the list below are all in case boxes, but the inner units all have scannable 12-digit UPC codes for easy sale to consumers.
Please check with your local public health department about any local or state ordinances before selling unprepared foods/groceries.
To expand on the grocery idea, supplement your meal deals with grocery staples to offer additional meals with pick-up or delivery. Nielsen reported a huge sales growth in pantry staples the first week of March! Add a dozen eggs to the gyros family meal so they can make omelets the next day, or a bag of spinach or romaine lettuce for a Greek Salad.
It’s easy to make simple videos on your smart phone! Your employees may enjoy being part of making the videos. Engage your staff to show consumers how to safely reheat the meal they’re picking up or receiving; how to build the perfect gyros sandwich with the meal kit you’re selling. Using our last grocery idea, you can describe or show alternate usage ideas for that gyros meat, e.g. in a Mediterranean Skillet if you provide eggs, or loaded baked potatoes if you are also throwing in some baking potatoes.
You can share these videos on social media, and enclose a note in customers’ orders directing them to your FaceBook page or other social media accounts to find the videos. Also promote them with signage at your pick-up window and/or curb-side delivery area.
Planning For The Now
The National Restaurant Association and the Texas Restaurant Association continue to push state and local legislatures to develop new revenue streams, like SNAP meal benefits and more. Check their websites regularly for daily updates and informative resources.
Below is a link to a second FREE webinar: “State of our Industry: A Discussion of the Current Restaurant Landscape, Economic Hardships from COVID-19 and the Foodservice Outlook”. It takes place Thursday 4/2/20 at 12:00pm EDT/11:00am CDT and features speakers from our industry.
Planning For The Future
The government has been working hard to enact legislature for relief to small businesses.
Below is a link to the guide from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce: “Coronavirus Emergency Loans Small Business Guide and Checklist”.
Subjects being addressed include:
- Am I eligible?
- What will lenders be looking for?
- How much can I borrow?
- Will this loan be forgiven?
We’re here to help! If you have questions or need further guidance, please reach out to your Kronos Foods Sales Manager. We may not have all the answers, but we’re here to figure it out together! Stay healthy and be well.