In this blog, we outline some handy tips from one of Sydney’s best hospitality marketing companies ON HOW TO NAVIGATE THE CURRENT LOCKDOWN PERIOD IN SYDNEY
So here we are again, Sydney Lockdown 2.0
A year on after our first lockdown and all of Greater Sydney and regions are in lockdown again.
This time with Lockdown 2.0 we are better prepared and hopefully facing a much shorter lockdown period than the first.
We know from the last time what the most effective strategies were for cafes and restaurants, having to operate through this period and what to do to come out as quickly as possible on the other end of it.
So let’s jump into the 5 BEST things cafes or restaurants can do with their marketing during this time.
1. Don’t lose heart based on the first few days of revenue. We know revenues are down sharply compared to a packed seated venue pre lockdown but the first few days are always the worst. In the first few days everyone is scared and watching the news and case numbers and hesitant to leave the house. So it’s mainly about Home cooking and delivery apps. If the case numbers don’t grow too much, which they don’t seem to be doing, then after a few days at home, people start to go stir crazy and are looking for an excuse to go out, even if it's to visit their local for a takeaway coffee. So if this lockdown plays out like the last one then behaviours start to come back again after the initial period and more so this time compared to the last when we thought the world was ending. Also since this lockdown times with the school holidays, parents will still want to get their family out for fresh air.
2. Keep Marketing. Marketing now more than ever is vital to let your customers know as quickly as possible what you are doing over this period. With confusion over who is open, opening times and what they are offering, your customers need to know you are open and what's on offer. Social media plays an essential role in assisting in this. Your Social pages are what customers will turn to for the latest info and on what you are doing. Social media usage rose 47% during the last lockdown and will probably spike over this period too. It is imperative that during this time cafes and restaurants are posting regularly for visibility and increased engagement. All your social media accounts should be updated on your current offerings, open times and delivery options.
3. Keep advertising on your Socials with targeted Ads. Targeted advertising on Facebook and Instagram also be a useful way of heightening exposure of the business. This is more vital now than usual as people are bored and at home. If there are good offerings locally they should be tempted to come out and visit. If you have a good offering or CTA, then this is the time to execute this. The tone of advertising is important , it should be informative and upbeat and supportive of the community you operate in. Your Ad should let them know what's on offer, your delivery options and open times. Also in your Facebook Adset, you should change your targeted audience to a much more localised one. As people are locked to within a short distance of their homes, locals seeing your ad many times is what you want compared to a wider spread of visitors from out of the area.
4. Maintaining regular contact with local customers by offering loyalty programmes, discounts and promotions. As many people will continue to work from home for an extended period, it is crucial to keep in touch with customers who live within close proximity. Providing incentives often increases overall customer satisfaction and makes them feel special. We know that local communities still want to support their local venues as much as possible so thank them and find ways to make them feel special.
5. Get Ready for Re opening. Hopefully Sydney Lockdown 2.0 will be a short one for Cafes and restaurants this time and we will be able to take seated customers again after the 9th of July. As we get to the reopen date, it’s important to be ready to go with the right information on what is happening post lockdown. Most likely there will be reopening with conditions such as the 4 sqm rule and reduced capacities, so if there are limited booking spaces, you should let the customers know. From what we saw last time, as soon as they are allowed, people want to go dine and drink out, meet up with friends and celebrate. Cancelled bookings will start to rebook and it will ramp up again. You just want to make sure that you are ready for them and let people know through your marketing as soon as the lockdown is lifted.
Also just a last minute addition to the Blog as it was just announced, but the NSW govt has just announced a new raft of grants that will help small businesses and especially the hospitality industry, Have a look at this article for more details.
Also they will be extending the Dine and Discover vouchers for another month and allowing to be used for home delivery.
We hope that this helps and that you get to use some of these tips to navigate through this turbulent time again. Hopefully this time the description is much shorter and we are back to normal quite quickly but it’s important to stay agile and navigate while the situation remains fluid.
They Key to this time is to KEEP COMMUNICATING!
Stay safe everyone, we hope that you will get through this as smoothly as possible and if you need help with anything, feel free to reach out to us in the contact information below!
Also for other great cafe and restaurant marketing tips from CPM the hospitality Marketing experts Click below to read our other blogs.
We have helped over 180 cafes and restaurants in Sydney over the last 8 years connect with customers.
“What a lot of restaurateurs and owners will have forgotten is shifting the focus on to the customers when reopening. This may seem like the obvious because at the end of the day you are in the service industry. What I mean by this, is to focus the attention on the customers and away from COVID. Remember, we are all people, we all have emotions and this is a trying time for all of us. Being in the hospitality industry we are really a ‘surplus’ to what people need. Especially when people have lost jobs and wages have been cut. It is more important than ever to provide VALUE to your existing customers. If you want your customers to support local businesses, then you have to ask how are you supporting your customers? Talk to them about THEIR problems, give them a free coffee to show gratitude, random acts of kindness (something that’s not expected) will go