Let’s be real: people are itching to get back into the world. 54% of consumers say they plan to dine out at a restaurant at least once a week this year.
Whether that means finally getting the sit-down dining experience they’ve been craving or sipping a fresh draft beer that just doesn’t pour the same at home, the roaring ‘20s are coming back with a bang. As COVID-19 restrictions ease, people will be increasingly on the go, leaving the competition for their business stronger than ever.
So how can your business beat out the competition? Ultimately, it comes down to crafting a memorable experience for customers. Below is a guide to keeping your customers engaged and entertained as you get back into the swing of operating at full capacity.
Insight #1: Frequent changes to COVID-19 protocols require businesses to stay up to date on local mandates.
Make sure your business is prepared with the latest information so you can communicate confidently with customers and employees on the experience they can expect as they come back to your venue.
Opportunity: Transparency is key going into the summer. Regularly update customers and employees on the measures you're taking to keep them safe. Digital signage and social media are great tools to share information, capturing their attention in the restaurant and on-the-go.
Insight #2: COVID-19 has forced the restaurant industry to reevaluate how to engage with customers and activate new technology.
From redesigned seating to contactless delivery, customers have become accustomed to the innovations brought on by health and safety measures. And what may have started as necessary safety protocols, has now become an element of the restaurant experience that customers look forward to. In a recent survey, 83% of customers said they hope restaurants keep the increased outdoor seating, and 71% say they want contactless menus and payment to continue.
Opportunity: Embrace the change. Experts say these behaviors are here to stay, and businesses will have to differentiate from competitors by creating unique, digitally-led experiences for customers.
Insight #3: If the menu is what gets people there, your restaurant’s environment is what will bring them back.
Heading into the summer, there will be more competition than ever to encourage customers back into your venue. Several studies have shown that ambiance plays a key role in customer satisfaction, and can be the motivator for staying longer or coming back again. Content isn’t just background noise; it’s a critical element of your restaurant’s ambiance that is too often overlooked.
Opportunity: Elevate your environment by making your space work harder toward your bottom line.