With COVID becoming the new normal, local businesses have struggled to cope up with the changing times, and technology has come to the rescue enabling innovative strategies. Let’s look at how businesses are successfully tackling this Post-COVID reality. There are 3 simple things which are differentiating the winners from losers!
#1 Acknowledging the New Normal
COVID-19 has forced drastic changes in how consumers are buying, and businesses that can’t keep pace with these changes are running in severe losses or shutting down entirely.
Many restaurants started with extreme discounts of upto 50%, but winners have acknowledged the new normal by focusing on ease of online ordering, pickup and delivery options, food safety, and sanitisation. Some techniques that have worked are delivering fresh fruits, vegetables, and express groceries.
Grocery outlets have also adopted curb-side pickup models — where you can order your items online, drive-in to the store parking and get a contactless delivery straight to your car.
Restaurants like Guerilla Tacos are adding essential goods to their food orders. You can now buy toilet paper and eggs along with Taco Ingredients in their Emergency Taco Kits!
#2 Understanding Changing Customers
With COVID, customer needs, preferences and buying patterns have changed. Businesses that have tapped into this changing pulse have stayed profitable.
Restaurants now have meals like “Buy one hot meal and get one cold one for tomorrow”, or Family meals designed for built-in leftovers, and even Date night meals that include a half-price bottle of wine.
One story that’s turning heads is Brinker, one of the world’s leading casual dining restaurant companies that owns brands like Chillies and Maggiano’s Kitchens. Brinker came up with a separate online delivery only brand called — It’s Just Wings!
Selling wings with a variety of 11 Sauces — Brinker now uses extra kitchen space across 1000s of their Chillies stores across US to sell wings, fries and coke! Interestingly, 70% of customers who’ve ordered online from It’s Just Wings, have never ordered from Chillies online!
#3 Embracing Technology
With offline revenue shrinking, more restaurants have increased their dependency on online food delivery from DoorDash, Uber Eats and the like. Winners however, have adopted technology to optimise their kitchen space, and even share visibility of their safety routines with customers, let’s see how!
Optimising Kitchen Space
We all know about Virtual Kitchens or Ghost Kitchens. What if you could use up your extra restaurant bandwidth (or even re-open your restaurant), serving food for top brands — like a Virtual Kitchen?
Fun Fact — 71% of users agree that if a restaurant near them closes because of CoronaVirus, they’d still be open to ordering from their ghost kitchen. Hence connecting your brand, to a ghost kitchen model may make sense.
Restaurants are now partnering with companies like Local Culinary who have a license of selling specific food items of large restaurant brands like Yoko Bowl.
Now you can utilise your kitchen space and labour with extra online orders coming from your partner brands. Local Culinary, for example, provides dedicated training to help your team cook up replica dishes that are most popular in your partner brands. Foodies in your neighbourhood find dishes from their favourite brands, via DoorDash and the likes, delivered straight from your kitchen!
Winning back the Trust of your customers
If you’re running a restaurant seriously, your COVID checklist is of highest priority. What if your customers could see all the OSHA, CDC, or WHO guidelines you’re following — right when they walk-in!
Restaurants, Cafe’s, Pubs, Bars, Salons, Spa’s and even Hotels are now using products like Delightree to showcase how well they’re following COVID Sanity Tasks on Tablets and Screens — in receptions — where customers get data driven confidence for safety!
Hope you had a fun read! :D
If you have interesting stories you would want to share with 1000s of business owners — share it in the comments section below.