As governments across the country close restaurant dining rooms to slow the spread of coronavirus, many restaurateurs are having to offer takeout service to remain open. This is a difficult change in both service execution and marketing. This article gives you specific guidance on how to get orders coming in even though past customers don’t think of the restaurant as a place for takeout.

At AssetLab Marketing we believe that during this time of massive change, every business we help to remain open represents staff that will continue to be employed. The more people we can collectively keep employed the faster we will all recover once the public health emergency subsides.

So You’re Offering Takeout Service

If you have a restaurant that is now takeout-only you have a massive marketing challenge to overcome:

  1. Your customers don’t know the restaurant is open
  2. Your customers don’t think of the restaurant as a place for takeout

If you want the restaurant to remain open for more than a few days and want to get more than a few orders you must take action to solve these two messaging problems.

Review the list in this article for specific action items that will let your customers know you are open, give them trusted information about ordering and menu, and get sales coming in.

How To Get Takeout Customers

  1.  Add a popup to your website declaring that you are open, providing your phone number, and linking to your takeout menu with prices. If you need technical help to add the popup hit the Request A Consultation button and we’ll be happy to take care of it.
  2. If you don’t have a website it is critical that you add one now to gain customer trust. Starter websites are less than $50/month.
  3. Update your Facebook Page Header image; make it a graphic with an image on one side and text clearly saying you are open for takeout. Example from Melrose Grill (client). Example from Rain City Too (client).
  4. Post to social media daily with your hours, instructions for ordering, and link to your menu. Customers need to know that you are open and with so many closed restaurants you don’t want them to question whether you’re open! Example from Rain City Too (client).
  5. Put a big sign on your door that says “Open For Takeout” and directs people to the website or social media for details. It needs to be readable from the street and ideally you can light it 24/7 so that people who drive by know that you’re open.
  6. Update Facebook, Google, & Yelp hours so that they represent the hours you are open for ordering. If you take orders by phone or in person the hours should represent when you take orders. If you take orders online only then the hours should be your pickup hours.

Pro Tip: If you have a list of reservations to cancel you are sitting on a goldmine of potential takeout orders. Hit the Request A Consultation button in this post so we can understand your specific situation and provide guidance.

Pro Tip: If you are going to provide in-house delivery there are specific strategies your delivery team can use to generate more takeout sales.  Request A Consultation so we can learn how exactly you are doing delivery so we can provide the right strategy.

Pro Tip: Local Facebook marketing works really well for takeout and depending on your location and type of food there may be some more easy and cheap order-boosting strategies you can use. Get in touch with us so we can understand your situation and tell you what precicely will work.

In this time of such extreme change to the business environment, the businesses that quickly pivot to the new reality and connect with the past customers are the businesses that have a chance to stay open. Take on the challenge, understand that it will be difficult, and don’t hesitate to ask for help. Let’s keep your business open and staff employed.