How Restaurants Should Communicate Online During a Crisis

How Restaurants Should Communicate Online During a Crisis

With Covid-19 impacting businesses in all sorts of ways, Dr. Maria Frangieh, CEO of Socialprise, looks at how restaurants can market themselves digitally during the pandemic.

We live in the “new normal”, business is changing so are customers. Covid-19 has forced companies to change the way they do business and respond to new patterns of consumer behavior. The hospitality industry has suffered immensely and travel is largely on pause.

Online is the place to be. Customers who used to enjoy experiences outside have been stuck at home due to lockdown restrictions. They have had to resort to virtual escapes and business have had to adapt. While many have found it challenging, others have embraced the digital approach.

So what’s the secret? Being agile is key. Keep an open mind, find opportunities online and make them happen. Be positive! Communicate with your audience online and engage in activities to show your loyal community that you share their feelings during these challenging times. You are also planning your strategy post-pandemic to secure higher revenues.

Attend webinars and online workshops to hear from others and share your struggles.
Below are 10 best practices and tips to help you boost your digital marketing strategy and survive the pandemic.
1. Be creative and adopt an omnichannel approach to reach out to everyone.
2. Post photos and 360-degree tours of your venue. If you have a spacious venue, show it and invite people to visit.
3. Highlight your safety measures to reassure your audience and communicate your opening hours or any updates on social media. Let your audience know how you are dealing with the situation.
4. Listen to your online audience and respond to negative feedback.
5. Promote offers for online orders and delivery.
6. Host online live/prerecorded cooking classes with your chef, educate your audience with recipes, share at home workouts, share music playlists, DIY spa tips, share virtual trips and other activities.
7. Sell ingredients for do-it-at-home meals on social media or via e-shops.
8. Shift your team’s tasks to support the customers on social media, engage with your community. Your regular clients will love talking to a familiar team member.
9. Engage in social impact projects and donate meals.
10. Consider shifting your business offers to meet people’s needs.

Maria Frangieh Socialprise Marketing and Digital Transformation
Dr. Maria Frangieh,

CEO of Socialprise
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About author

Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

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