COVID-19’s suddenness has restaurants scrambling to reach customers. Lacking a playbook for communicating in a time like this, many foodservice operators are turning to social media.
Online connections can keep orders coming in, even when guests can’t come into your dining room. If your business isn’t active on social media, it may be time to start. If you are active, it’s a good time to explore opportunities. We asked experts we know at Facebook why social media is vital to your business during these unprecedented times.
Why does social media matter now?
People are stuck at home. Electronic connections, including social media, are a link to the outside world. You can benefit because:
- Reaching customers on social media now can build long-term loyalty
- Your social media message about takeout or delivery is instantaneous
- It can drive traffic to your website, where you market your menu and your story
Who does social media reach?
Before COVID-19 drove almost everyone to social networks, reviewtrackers.com reported over 70% of people said they used social media to make restaurant decisions. Here’s who’s looking:
- 59% of millennial diners review menus online very often
- 69% of millennial diners photograph food before eating it
- 50% of Gen Z diners prefer limited-service and fast-casual restaurants
How can my restaurant benefit?
The average person expects to spend more time online while in isolation. This is a great opportunity to strengthen connections:
- Find hungry customers looking for a kitchen break
- Improve trust, build loyalty with safety messaging
- Enhance your brand through customer recommendations
- Provide real-time business updates
What should I say?
This is always up to you, but be genuine. Speak to customers as if you were greeting them at your tables. Things you might want to let them know:
- Tell them when you’re open for takeout and delivery
- Promote daily specials and family meals (include images)
- Create a hashtag and encourage them to use it when they post about your food
- Ask them to share your posts with others
- Utilize this guide from Facebook for How Restaurants Can Respond To COVID-19
Yes, you can market your business during these difficult times. The level of involvement is up to individual operators. But know this: Planting your flag on social media can help you through the COVID-19 crisis and also build long-lasting connections for later.