Restaurants and Cafes Post-Lockdown 2021
Restaurants and cafes to re-open for dine-ins means excitement is kicking in! The anticipated date announced today for reopening restaurants is October 11, though this could slightly change. We’re certain the majority of Sydney-siders would agree about this dreadful feeling of our extended lockdown, stuck at home, working from home, home-schooling, home-deliveries, and stuffing ourselves with the same local take-out for three months! The thought of glamming up to leave the house for date-night (or perhaps a lovely alfresco lunch) seems like a distant memory. But thankfully, we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel as lockdowns will soon come to a closure.
Restaurant and cafe businesses, among many other industries, have done it tough – and that’s an understatement. With the lockdown restrictions soon to be lifted, we all, as customers, want to ensure, first and foremost, that we get a safe, hygienic and comfortable dining experience when we eventually get to enter a restaurant or cafe for a sit-down meal to enjoy with friends and family.
With thanks to social media, you can easily and quickly get the word out there about your reopening plans. You can use both organic and paid marketing to effectively promote your business, but there are a range of strategies and trends to keep in mind so you can get maximum reach, exposure and engagement in order to help get people through the door again.
We’ve put together a list of actions and tips to consider for your social media, and you don’t need to wait till after lockdown to do this. In fact, you should do it sooner than later to best inform and connect with your community, so when lockdowns are over, you’re ready for the rush!
INFORM YOUR AUDIENCE
Just because lockdown will end, don’t assume that customers know you’ll re-open for dine-ins. Tell them! And tell them now! Create a range of posts, including videos, to notify customers about your official re-opening date and what the procedure will be in terms of entry, social distancing and other rules. By letting them know beforehand, your customers will feel more prepared for the changes ahead. Many people don’t scroll through their social media feed and prefer to just view Stories, hence, you should create multiple stories about these updates and post them consistently so that you’ve reached people at different times.
POST ABOUT PRE-BOOKINGS
Many restaurants as well as other sectors are taking bookings before reopening. Consider doing this, and share this notice on your social media.
BEFORE & AFTER SHOTS
Showcase some before and after photos of the restaurant/cafe environment. How has your business adapted to the new normal? What changes have you made in line with the Covid Safe standards? This type of content will give customers a sense of comfort and trust.
Show us what you’re making. Showcase any new dishes, new specials as well as behind the scenes prepping. People love to have a snoop at what you’re up to. Again, this helps to not only build trust, but also connection with your business. Remember the saying: know, like, trust. That’s what it’s about.
CREATE GIVEAWAYS AND CHALLENGES
As we look forward to freedom day, why not create a fun vibe around your social media such as giveaways and challenges? For instance, you can target both existing and potential customers in this type of content. You can ask customers to post their dishes with a specific hashtag. This encourages them to share their photos of your dishes on social media – a win win for both parties. Or, for potential (and existing) customers, create a giveaway contest where, for instance, audience need to tag a friend and comment on a dish they’d love to try. Giveaways are great for building hype and increasing your followers, but make sure you carefully consider the rules and instructions in your giveaway content.
GO LIVE WHEN YOU RE-OPEN
Keep audience in suspense and tell them you’re going Live when you re-open. Show them how your restaurant/cafe looks now, how your team is collaborating, how customers are entering and overall, the un-lockdown mood you’ve been able to break out of! It may help to lift the viewers’ spirits and allow them to look forward to getting out and about, while also building familiarity of your restaurant.
Lockdown or not, you need to connect with your audience. But more so, now is a very crucial time to stay connected as it shows you care, you’re human, and you’re not ignorant to what’s happening around you. Use polls and ask questions about what your customers prefer. Create stories that include sticker questions and polls. You’ll be surprised just how much people love to interact with your content when you ask questions about them, in relation to your products/services. Your social media is not just about your business, it’s about your customers.
If you need some assistance with your social media strategy, feel free to reach out to us with an email at firstname.lastname@example.org . Happy un-lockdown and stay safe!