Now more than ever, consumers are taking advantage of the convenience of curbside, takeout and delivery services. With online ordering and off-premise dining picking up steam, the question is: How can you connect with customers and create a memorable dining experience from afar?
As more dine-in customers dine out, turn to these tactics to create a positive experience that draws them in — and keeps them coming back for more.
Perfect your on-premise experience
Just because customers aren’t dining in, doesn’t mean you can neglect the experience in and around your establishment. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes, and give them the best pick-up experience imaginable. Have designated, well-marked parking spots for pickup orders, so it’s quick and convenient. Inside the restaurant, have a clear spot for to-go orders and train staff on the process so there aren’t hiccups. Last but not least, keep cleanliness as a top priority so customers have a good impression as they come and go.
Make your website user-friendly
If you haven’t already optimized your website for online ordering, now’s the time to do it. A hard-to-navigate, inconvenient website is enough to drive even the most loyal customers away. So where do you start? Ensure customers can easily access your online menus, navigate through the checkout experience, and place orders. And while you’re at it, make sure your mobile experience is up-to-snuff, since many of your customers will place orders from their phones.
In our always-online society, social media is an important branding and engagement tool for businesses — especially when face-to-face interaction is limited. It’s not only an important channel for building and maintaining customer relationships, but it’s also a fun way to strut your stuff and show new followers what you have to offer. Keep customers in the know by updating them on your takeout options, delivery services (if you offer them), and operating hours. Regularly update your social accounts with appetizing photos of your food. Personalize the experience with pictures of your team. And of course, respond to questions and comments in a timely and friendly manner. All of these efforts help your customers connect with your brand, even from a distance.
Take the dine-in experience to go
Customers might think their options are limited, or less special, when they’re taking orders on-the-go. Prove them wrong by going the extra mile with your off-premise offerings. While you’ll still want to be careful with how you translate your dine-in menu to takeout, there are plenty of ways to add extra-memorable, smile-inducing elements along the way. Get creative with presentation and packaging solutions, so customers can still enjoy their favorite menu items when they’re dining out. For example, if you have certain dishes that aren’t conducive to takeout or delivery, create a “heat-and-eat” or meal kit option for customers, so they can pick up the meal frozen and recreate it at home. Or, if you want to keep your margins up alcoholic beverage sales, check on your local laws. Many states have loosened their restrictions on alcohol delivery, so you can sell carryout cocktails.
Communicate, communicate, communicate
Communication is just as important — if not more important — with delivery, curbside and to-go orders. Keep customers in the loop on business hours, menu changes and more using all avenues of communication, whether it’s your website, social channels or email. And when customers place orders, keep them up-to-date on their order status via text or email updates. A little communication goes a long way when it comes to keeping customers happy. And always remember: Timely communication is the cornerstone of great customer service.
Equip yourself for success
With the demand for takeout on the rise, make sure you have the equipment you need to keep pace. Delivering a great on-the-go experience hinges on a number of things — one of which remains exceptional food. Keep food looking and tasting great (while maximizing your cooking capacity) with an oven that goes the distance. Learn how the Ovention Matchbox® 1718 can help.
Our goal is to partner with you to help you build your business. We will set up a demonstration that suits your needs, whether you want us to cook your current product, show you a range of new products, or do a side-by-side comparison with another oven we are ready to show you what Ovention can do.
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