Almost one year into the pandemic, one thing is clear: pandemic fatigue is real. Rather than focusing on the challenges associated with coronavirus, we wanted to highlight some positive ways to attract diners to your restaurant during COVID-19.
If you live in a state with strict contact-tracing guidelines, or if you’re offering contact tracing as a way of helping customers feel safe, try adding some levity to the situation with a weekly contact-tracing raffle. Draw a name from the contact-tracing list and offer an incentive that will reward the customer for visiting your restaurant and encourage them to return. You might, for example, give them a free appetizer or a $10 off coupon they can use on their next visit.
More time at home means parents are always looking for fun activities to do with their kids. That’s why some restaurants are offering family meal kits that provide the ingredients and instructions so families can cook together, while still enjoying high-quality ingredients and recipes from their favorite restaurants. While this concept works especially well for pizza shops, you can get as creative as you want to encourage more takeout orders during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While some states already offered to-go cocktails, others have loosened restrictions during the pandemic. If to-go cocktails are an option where you are, embracing them might help attract diners to your restaurant. If you already have popular mixed drinks, try offering specials that encourage diners to order to-go cocktails with their takeout order. If you’re feeling creative, try creating a new cocktail that speaks to this time, like a “Quarantini.” You can even take advantage of special occasions like Valentine’s Day, the Oscars, and any other holidays or events where people might enjoy a special to-go cocktail.
Some of the best restaurant incentives for customers are both creative and unique. Including fun add-ons to your takeout orders is a great way to encourage diners to order from you, especially when they have so many other options to choose from. Need ideas? Add-ons can be anything from a handful of chocolates from a local chocolatier to a disposable mask or a roll of toilet paper during a shortage.
During the pandemic, it can start to feel like our entire days are committed to working, cooking, and doing dishes. By offering family meal deals, you can provide families with a convenient and affordable alternative to spending two hours in the kitchen. Looking for family meal deal ideas? Try choosing a large entrée like lasagna, and a few side options like garlic bread, Caesar salad, and roasted vegetables. Alternatively, you could choose bundled entrees like a pack of tacos or sandwiches with an assortment of sides to choose from.
For more restaurant management tips, check out our foodservice blog, where we cover everything from the best restaurant patio ideas for winter to the McDonald Wholesale guide to no-contact curbside pickup and delivery.