How To Market Your Restaurant In A Pandemic

By Sophie Rischmiller April 22, 2020

As we find ourselves in the middle of a lockdown, with our venues closed and uncertainty about when they will reopen again, many would think it is counterintuitive to be marketing to our customers. But in reality, this might just be the best time, while we are not busy tackling day-to-day operations, to get in touch with your audience and scrub up on your marketing skills.

Below we have put together some things to consider when you are marketing during the lockdown. Whether you haven’t spent much time on your marketing previously or you are relatively in touch with your audience, considering these areas might help give your restaurant the boost it needs while your doors aren’t able to physically open.

1. Define your audience.

If it has been a while since you have looked at your restaurant and thought ‘who am I really trying to attract’ then now may be the perfect time to think about it. Your audience cannot be anyone and everyone, else you will be casting your net too wide and not tailoring your marketing to your ideal customers.

First, think about the locations of your venues; are they in retirement areas? Are they in areas with lots of families? Are there open spaces near you for walkers or are you in a built-up city where lots of people come to work? Determining these factors will help you determine the type of audience you are trying to approach.

Once you have determined these factors, put them into a consumer profile; write a small description of your ideal consumer so you can clearly visualise their wants and needs. Try writing up to three consumer profiles for different people who require your restaurant’s services. Include age, gender, occupation, interests, where they live and what their preferences might be. These are the people who your marketing will be trying to target.

2. Think about the selling points of your restaurant.

When deciding what to write on your social media page or in your marketing material, you need to think about the highlights of your venue. You can do this by not only thinking about what stands out (i.e. the cuisine, the location, the customer service) but also what your customers think: read your reviews online, look at what dishes sell the most, find out what other people love about your venue.

Putting this data together with who your ideal consumer is will help you start to paint a picture of how to move forward with your marketing. Simply put, whatever your customers love the most, give them more of it.

3. Where do you think you are most likely to get your audience’s attention?

Right now, online is the best and pretty much only way that any business is keeping in touch with both their audiences and their employees. There has never been a better time to get in touch with your audience and grow your online presence. Jump on to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn and start showcasing your venue highlights and finding people to advocate your restaurant.

As we always like to try and support our customers, especially through difficult times, the Feebi team will be releasing some useful resources very soon to help you keep your online presence booming!

4. How are you going to be heard over the noise post-pandemic?

Thinking ahead to when the lockdown is lifted and venues can reopen, a marketing strategy put in place to make your venue heard over the post-pandemic noise will be key to ensuring you don’t miss out on the imminent surge of sales. At Feebi HQ we are putting together some FREE resources to help with this and your marketing plan as a whole, so make sure you are following us on social media for updates!

One of the biggest things to consider is what you can offer your audience post-pandemic. Think of what they will be looking for: time catching up with friends and loved ones, big groups going out together for drinks and food, celebrations after making it through the lockdown. Put yourself in their mindset and think about what would appeal to that customer’s wants and needs.

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