As beer gardens, self-catering accommodation, and festivals are all selling out, it would be wise to look at dine-in for growth as restrictions ease and other digital channels become less relevant.
With £50 billion to spend, and 28% of people anticipate increasing their spending in restaurants and cafes this year1, focusing on the customer experience will be key to attracting, retaining and growing your base post CoVid.
People are looking to support their local businesses, the ones that have been there for them during the pandemic, the ones that source their produce locally and employ within their city, town or village. Work from home will continue to offer opportunity during the day for home fatigued customers to indulge themselves in a different environment.
People, even those who are vaccinated, are looking for a demonstrably clean environment.
A recent OpenTable survey2 showed 79% want increased sanitation, 52% socially distanced tables, 45% want to limit capacity, 40% want you to offer contactless payment, 39% want you to communicate safety preferences & offer contactless menus and 38% want staff to wear PPE.
Many people are looking forward to meeting family, friends, colleagues and customers as lockdown eases.
Dine-in is looking to return to 35% post CoVid according to a Simon-Kucher & Partners3 survey in the US with in-store pickup, drive-thru, curbside and delivery reducing from CoVid peaks.
The top 5 items in the in the same survey are taste of food, food quality, restaurant cleanliness, sanitation standards & previous positive experience.
Pent up demand will lead to busy restaurants in the near term with the need to retain and encourage customers in the medium term.
In-store digital promotion
Measurement in-store, across your estate, is more important than ever as you open up and discover how your old and new customers behaviour has changed. Footfall, occupancy, dwell and flow can help you understand your buying customers, walk-aways and passing trade.
Your current investment in digital menus, kiosks, in-window, brand and drive thru displays can be maximised in these difficult times to provide competitive advantage by designing your messaging to reflect system wide, situational and contextual needs of each site.
To reassure customers, regular safety signaling regarding your store sanitation standards, employees sanitation routines & customer CoVid compliance expectations should be built into your in-store messaging.
Offering current occupancy levels & wait times alongside location specific data will help you store be more welcoming, modern and most importantly, safe to visit in the mind of your customers.
Your local suppliers, charities, community involvement and information should be bought to the fore.
Showing promotions and messaging regarding local events and responding to weather increases your customers understanding of your store and how it sits in your community.
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