News Source: theloomisagency.com
7 Things Successful Restaurants Will Do in 2021
News Source/Courtesy: theloomisagency.com

Test your food and packaging to see how they travel.

One of the great triumphs and failures of the COVID shift away from dining in-house has been how restaurants adapted to a predominantly takeout model. This has been especially true for casual dining restaurants that traditionally haven’t had the to-go volume that QSR and pizza chains deal with every day. In many cases, the speed and efficiency required to fill an exponential increase in to-go orders has caused order errors, poorly packed food and beverages leading to spills and leaks, and customers getting food that was cold, wrong, or that looked horribly unappetizing. If you haven’t tested your to-go packaging and process to see how your customers are receiving their orders, do it. Order to-go from your competitors to see what they are doing. Find other brands that do to-go well and “be inspired” to adjust your own process and packaging. All the advertising and good intentions in the world don’t matter if the end product arrives cold and in shambles.

Double down on dancing with the ones who brought you.

Without question, the pandemic has been incredibly stressful for restaurant owners. But right behind them are the restaurant workers whose lives and livelihoods have been thrown into chaos. The servers. The bartenders. The cooks and the kitchen staff. And it’s not just the financial impact that’s hurt. Like the owners, restaurant workers are missing their customers. They are missing serving their friends and longtime patrons and creating a special experience for those visiting the restaurant. As owners navigate 2021, the smart ones (and the best leaders) will increase the care they give to their staff – praising them, inspiring them, feeling their anxiety and disappointment, and answering it with their own empathy and vulnerability. “We’re in this, and will get through this, together” are empty words without the actions and consistent reassurances to support them.

Look for impactful ways to surprise and delight.

There is never a down side to surprising and delighting your customers and that is truer now than ever before. When the pandemic was in full bloom last spring, one restaurant we know added a special “two-bite” dessert to every to-go order. Another brand started adding a quick hand-written thank you note in every bag. When people were allowed to dine in again, chefs and GMs increasingly made their way out of the kitchen to thank guests for their patronage. As diners return, or continue picking up curbside, to-go, or through the drive-thru, think of ways you can surprise and delight them, even if it costs a little more. Extra fries. A free dessert with a large order. A coupon for a FREE favorite on the next order. Those little moments and gestures may not seem like a lot, but they’re meaningful, they’re special, and, in many cases, worthy of talking about on social media and in conversations with friends.

Embrace the power of “Thank You.”

Saying thank you is the simplest thing any of us can do. And yet, too often, it goes completely unsaid. Don’t underestimate the power of “thank you” both with your customers and with your staff.

Thank you is personal and it means more to the people who support you than you might imagine. “Thanks for coming in!” “Thank you for your support.” “Thank you for all you do.” “Thank you for working so hard to make us look good.” “Thank you for reminding us that as hard as this pandemic has been, better days are coming and they’re starting, right now.”

There’s an old saying in our world that’s more relevant now than ever: “Nothing kills a bad product faster than great advertising.” As consumers return in 2021, they’ll find a market full of hungry competitors. If you’re covering the basics better than your neighbor, chances are you’ll come out on top in 2021.

Thanks for reading.

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News Source: theloomisagency.com

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