Finding opportunity in times of crisis

Commercial / Customer experience

Every crisis has a silver lining
Uncertain times bring a whole host of challenges for any business, but they also bring with them new possibilities that are just waiting to be explored. The key is to keep an open mind, consider new perspectives and be willing to change the way you do business to cater to your customers in this new environment.

Invest in your people
If budgets permit, now is a good time to invest in your business and upskill your staff to improve your viability during the crisis, and to help prepare for the post-crisis bounce back. People are your most valuable resource, and helping them upskill will reward you with a versatile, talented and loyal workforce. For example, many restaurants have re-trained their wait staff for food delivery. By providing the necessary training and vehicles, business owners not only helped them retain their jobs, but also pivoted to a successful delivery-based model for their business.

Invest in your online presence
With more and more people switching to takeaways and deliveries, you need to make sure customers can find your business online quickly and easily. Help your customers easily discover and order from your restaurant by making sure your digital presence is up-to-date. At the bare minimum, your business should have its own Facebook page and Google business listing, both of which should be updated regularly to show customers that you are still active and open for business.

Get a website
Ideally, you should have your own website with an easy-to-browse menu, restaurant timings and phone numbers clearly listed. Your website is the face of your business, so good presentation is important. It doesn’t have to be complicated though: a clean, simple website that showcases your signature dishes, menu and contact info should be more than enough. There are many free tools online so you can easily make a website yourself, or alternatively, you can share the responsibility with one of your more digitally-savvy employees. It’s always advisable to go for a professional web designer, if feasible. The investment is well worth it. Having a good website will also help Google rank your business higher when people search for food options near them.

Get active on social media
Share new dishes and pictures of your food creations on Instagram or Facebook regularly. Engage your customers! Respond to their comments and invite them to share pictures of their orders online. Building a community can be hard work, but it pays off in big ways through increased customer loyalty, brand visibility and a great reputation.

Partner with delivery services
When most customers are switching to online deliveries, it can be a great idea to partner with a third-party food delivery service. They can help promote your restaurant as well as save you from the cost of managing your own deliveries. Many customers discover new restaurants this way, so it can be an important marketing tool for your business.

Add value to your delivery orders
Create special deals just for your online customers. Bundle special drinks with signature deals to create irresistible value for your customers. Depending on the dish, juices and coffees can be fantastic add-ons that can delight your customers and win you fans for life. What’s more, making refreshing drinks doesn’t have to be hard: a dispenser like CoolPro can create irresistible drinks in seconds, which you can add to a delivery bag for an extra-satisfied customer.

Attitude is the game-changer
To survive and even thrive in uncertain times requires a bit of vision and long-term thinking. Every business is facing the same challenges you are; the difference is in whether you see these challenges as a barrier or as an opportunity. The businesses that are keen to innovate and willing to adapt are the ones that will come out on top once the crisis ends, and we hope yours will be one of them!
All the best!

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