How to Use Your Restaurant Website During Uncertain Times
March 16, 2020
How your restaurant website can support your business and keep guests up to date through the current COVID-19/Coronavirus crisis.
COVID-19/Coronavirus is directly impacting the hospitality industry at large. Restaurants and bars are the pillars of communities, and it’s pertinent to keep it that way. With that in mind, it’s encouraged that you communicate to your guests that you are following the CDC best practices for food preparation and taking every precaution necessary to make your restaurant a safe place for them. Your website is a great tool to inform potential diners of the steps you’ve taken to mitigate risk and to keep them updated on what’s happening. There are a few easy ways to let your guests know that you are staying safe and open for business:
Create a Homepage Pop-Up Alert
Add a pop-up alert to your homepage to immediately reassure guests that you’re following best practices when they visit your website. Another great use for pop-up alerts is for updating your guests on adjusted hours of operation, canceled events or for promoting eCommerce options such as gift cards, meal kits or online ordering for pickup and delivery. You can easily hyperlink text on an alert to drive people to your online ordering store. For example, use keywords such as:
“Get Meals To-Go”
“Place an Order Now”
These simple call-to-actions help support your restaurant during a trying time, especially when foot traffic is down.
Clancy’s Inc Restaurant Group updated guests using a homepage pop-up alert.
Send an Email Newsletter
Your website captures important detailed information about your guests such as name and email address if they’ve subscribed, inquired or ordered anything from you in the past. This is particularly helpful in a situation like this when you want to communicate effectively with your guests. Download your customer database from your BentoBox backend and send out an email blast letting guests know that you have their safety in mind. This is also a great opportunity to let guests know you’re open for business and taking online orders for pick up or delivery.
An email template for Two Birds Taphouse.
Dedicate a Page to Your Website
Add a dedicated page to your website where people can read more in-depth about how your restaurant is staying safe. We’ve written some sample language if you need help getting started.
La Spiga Osteria's page dedicated to precautions being taken.
We acknowledge that driving revenue every single day is crucial to your business. Here are some ways you can continue to positively impact your bottom line in case foot traffic slows:
Optimize Online Ordering
With increasing numbers of people working from home or avoiding dining out, you can still give customers access to your restaurant via online ordering. Guests can place orders for pickup and in-house delivery directly through your website with Bento Ordering. No more sharing 20-35% of every order to third-parties. Alerts such as the example below from Buddha Bruddah are particularly beneficial at this time to let guests know that you’re accepting orders for pick up and delivery and creating a conversion opportunity in the process.
Buddha Bruddah promotes online ordering with their website.
Reach out to your account manager or get in touch if you are interested, and we’ll work to expedite the setup for you.
Use Promo Codes For Gift Cards
Offer a discount on gift cards using promo codes to encourage guests to come in when the dust settles. Remind your guests that purchasing gift cards to their favorite restaurants during these challenging times helps them keep their doors open and their business afloat. When things return to normal, guests can go back to enjoying the food, drink and hospitality they love.
L’Artusi promotes gift cards via a homepage pop-up alert.
Sell Items Through Ecommerce
Sell meal kits, baked or packaged goods for local pick up through the merchandise store on your website. If your restaurant offers non-perishables of any kind, promote and sell them through the store as well. This is a way to give the community more options for purchasing needed items if they’re staying indoors.
Empellon promoted meal packages for pick up using their website.
These are just a few ways that you can keep guests updated online and adjust your offerings during this uncertain time. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your account manager or firstname.lastname@example.org if you need anything at all. Whether it’s through our product offering or our team who is always willing to lend an empathetic ear, we’re here to support you.
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