The Coronavirus pandemic has created a mess for the bar and restaurant industry here in Louisiana, keeping them closed for months. Thankfully, the infection rate seems to have slowed enough for the powers that be to allow bars and restaurants to reopen.
But how do you market your restaurant or bar’s reopening after this COVID-19 pandemic? How do you let the public know that you’re getting one step closer to normalcy, albeit in a limited capacity?
This blog post hopes to answer those questions and provide some other actionable marketing strategies to reopening your Louisiana bar after COVID-19.
Here we go!
Update Your Website To Increase Awareness
People have been cooped up for months with little to nothing to do, bar tabs have been nonexistent, and dining rooms have been virtually empty.
Now that we’re (hopefully) entering the post COVID era, as a bar or restaurant owner, you want to let the public know that you’re opening.
Think about it. People are going to go somewhere. You’ve got to make sure it’s your place they visit.
Diners and bar patrons rely on restaurant and bar websites and their social media to provide the most accurate information about the establishment.
Craft an announcement when you will be open for business, including links to safety measures (masks, social distancing, etc.) that you’ll be taking to ensure patron’s safety.
Provide updated menus, hours of operation, online reservations, and/or online ordering for curbside pickup and delivery.
Create an Email Blast to Your Subscribers With Reopening Information
Now that restaurant operators are deciding on how and when to reopen; they need to get that information out quickly and efficiently.
Email marketing is the way to reach the masses.
If someone has already subscribed to your email list, chances are they’re already loyal to your small business, making them an easy target to drive business to your place.
Send out a marketing email highlighting the safety measures you’re taking for reopening, what menu items will be available, how dining on-premise will operate, and hours of operation.
Just like with your website, it’s equally as essential to provide off-premise options for diners who may still be a little wary. Consider incentivizing diners with promo codes to drive more online orders.
Make sure that your email has a clear call-to-action that links (drives) the subscriber to your website to convert them into a paying customer.
If you’re a bar here in Louisiana (other than a Daquiri Shop), you can’t offer takeout and delivery, but you can still leverage your email list to quickly and efficiently reach your customers.
Update your Google My Business (GMB)
Google is a critical part of any diner or bar hopper’s lifestyle. If your restaurant or nightclub hasn’t created your Google My Business page, STOP reading this post right now and go do it.
If you need us to, we can setup and optimize your Google My Business Page for you.
Your GMB page is one of the best digital marketing tools that you can have. And it’s free!
It’s what makes “restaurants and bars near me” show up in search results.
When someone’s looking for somewhere to eat some wings, watch an LSU game, or drink a cold beer, chances are they’ll turn to Google.
When searching Google for a restaurant or a bar, would-be patrons will find the place’s address, phone number, website, hours of operation, reviews, and more. Restaurants can also add links to their reservations and online ordering, or links to where they can buy merch and gift cards.
If you already have a GMB page for your restaurant or nightclub, make sure it’s updated with the latest information for your employees and customers about your post-COVID-19 operations.
Create a Restaurant or Bar Reopening Social Media Strategy
Social Media is essential to marketing your reopening and driving business to your place during COVID-19. Create a well-constructed strategy to promote both the dining experience and menu offerings accurately.
Capture your customers’ attention and prioritize the health and safety of your visitors. Here are a few suggestions of social media posts about reopening your bar or restaurant:
- Safety highlights – Show (photos) and talk (text content) about what measures you have taken to ensure both staff and diners’ safety.
- Spotlight the dining/visiting experience – Have you added sidewalk seating? A new bar setup? Give your visitors a glimpse into what they will experience when you reopen.
- Highlight menu items – Have you added new entrees? New drink specials? Provide photos and descriptions of your additions and get their mouth-watering.
- Feature Employees – Celebrate your staff with images of your team cooking, mixing drinks, or arranging tables. Doing so builds an emotional connection with your diners and patrons and will increase engagement and customer loyalty.
Remember, since the pandemic onset, more people have turned more to social media and websites to get information.
That’s why it’s critical to leverage those platforms to build more in-depth relationships with their visitors.
Ensure that all of your restaurant or bar’s social media properties are present on your website with links. Do the same thing for your social media properties; include a link to your website.
Linking your social media channels and website not only provides an easy avenue for visitors to browse the two, but it also helps search engines see the correlation between the two, which will give you an added SEO boost.
You’ll even rank higher in the search engine results pages.
Maintaining relationships with your bar or restaurant’s patrons is essential for survival during your reopening phase after COVID-19.
The best way to engage with your target audience and drive business to your establishment is through your social media channels, website, and Google My Business page.
Contact us, and let’s talk about your project. We’re all in this together. #GodblessLouisiana