After months of lockdown and uncertainty, there’s finally talk of people getting out and heading back to their favourite restaurants.
The new normal though, wherever you are, is a little confusing. It’s time to think about how you’re communicating with customers whether you’re open, when you’re open, and to what extent.
We’ve put together a few quick tips that you can work through to make sure your restaurant’s online presence is accurate and reflects your current or future opening hours.
1. Update your Google MyBusiness profile
The first place you need to go to update your online presence is to your Google My Business account. Here you can manage your businesses information across the Google suite. For example, an update to this will update your Google maps listing.
Keeping your account up-to-date makes sure that Google has the most accurate information to share with potential customers.
Here are the types of business information that you can update with Google My Business:
- Business hours
- Physical address (If you change your address, you’ll need to complete the verification process again to confirm the new address.)
- Phone number
- Category (What kind of business do you run?)
In some cases, Google may not accept changes if they believe they’re inaccurate, so doing this ahead of time is good practice in case of any delay.
You can login here: https://accounts.google.com/servicelogin?service=lbc
2. Update your website
A simple tip, but one that’s easy to overlook. People expect to find accurate information about your business on your website, whether that’s events you’re hosting, or in this scenario your reopening schedule and policies.
This update should clearly spell out both your current opening hours as well as your policies in place to help protect staff and customers. For example, you might stipulate that you’re operating at a reduced capacity and encourage people to book a table in advance, or instead of coming in to order online delivery.
3. Update your status on your social media channels
Because of its ubiquitous nature, social media is one of the best ways to reach your customer base. Additionally, it is one of the first places people will look if they are looking for up-to-date information about your business.
Head over to your social media profiles and prepare a post or two updating users on your current and future opening policies.
4. Email your customers
If you’ve got an email list, sending out a clear, informative email to let them know that you’re open will help encourage a busy opening period.
This is also a good opportunity to educate customers about how you will be enforcing physical distancing inside the restaurant as well as best hygiene practices to help mitigate the risks for community transfer of COVID-19.
5. Start a live video on social media
If you’re not used to them, this might feel intimidating. But, live videos on social media often get a lot of views as people are actively notified by the app (unless they’ve turned notifications off).
Think about a live video showing how the restaurant looks now, and the precautions you are taking as you’re preparing to reopen safely.
This is a method that could allow you to interact with customers on a personal level, while simultaneously sharing precautions you are taking to follow health and safety guidelines.
6. Update Online Listing Sites
Over time restaurants often get picked up and listed on various directories. Some of these disappear back into the woodwork, others stick around. If you’re listed on any of these the likelihood is that they lifted your information off of your Google business profile. If that was incorrect or has recently changed then their listing is probably wrong.
Do a quick search for your restaurant online and double-check that any and all information that you find is up to date and correct.
With restaurants now beginning to reopen but many people still working from home, it’s likely that you’re not getting a lot of foot traffic past your door. If your restaurant is not clearly listed as being open and ready for business online, people won’t know that they can in fact dine-in or take-out. It’s worth taking the time to update these few things to keep things as clear as possible and help your customers find you.
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