Think carefully about what with your menu. Obviously, your regulars will expect their favourites but with outside only dining allowed from the 12th of April, what happens if spring is particularly cold or wet – will you have lots of wastage? Will Brexit and the sudden surge in demand have an impact on what you would normally buy? Have prices changed?
All of which and staffing levels in the kitchen need to be taken into consideration. Then allow time to get the menu designed, printed and added to your website and email marketing campaigns. Will you want to change it again when customers can eat inside on the 17th of May? Lots to think about.
No doubt your website needs to be updated to promote your relaunch. Not only will the menu need updating, but we would also recommend changing photos etc to promote the outside seating giving it more of a summery feel. Opening times will also need to be decided on as will booking policy – with limited outside seating should it be first come first serve or will those tables be bookable? What happens if it rains? Think too about landing pages and your Search Engine Optimisation – your website needs to appear high in the organic searches to maximise its value. We do a lot of restaurant website design and can help get all this sorted for you.
In the next few weeks, it’s worth making sure your email database is fully up to date. So download the contact details of bookings from Opentable, Bookatable and Quandoo and add to your database as well as any customers that have emailed directly. Generating lots of pre-opening bookings are great for morale, so think about your pre-launch email marketing strategy.
Your social media accounts have probably remained dormant over the last few months, so now’s the time to start getting your messages out there again. Photos of getting the restaurant ready for opening, menu tastings, new outside seating etc can all help generate a buzz. But remember to be social – not just post pretty pictures. Engage with local people, companies and organisations – building relationships that are essential for any successful business. Run competitions, promote new dishes, reach out to influencers – your social media accounts should be a hive of activity in the lead up to the relaunch.
Think careful about your relaunch campaign, especially for 12th April to the 17th May. After so many months of being closed, It can be tempting to implement promotions or discounts to get busy straight away, but with a capacity limited to your outside seating, it’s probably best to open as normal and build up to the full opening on the 17th May.
Now’s a good time to run through your main booking channels such as Bookatable and Opentable. Upload new photos of your outside seating, new menu items etc as well as reviewing old promotions. Speak to your account manager about ways to increase your presence.
If you’ve had great results from advertising in local magazines and newspapers in the past, then book them again – you’ll be able to negotiate great deals. Think also about advertising at bus stops, stations and lamppost banners.
Any menu changes need to be updated on the delivery apps. The Deliveroo and Uber Eats algorithms tend to favour restaurants with fully optimised listings. So take photos of any new dishes, update opening times and menu descriptions.
Packaging / Printing
I understand from some printers, they have had some delays to their deliveries of paper due to Brexit and therefore their turnarounds aren’t as fast as before. So make sure you check with them – there will be nothing worse than opening without menus or packaging for takeaways!
Our clients love the fact we can not only create stunning brands and implement amazing marketing strategies, but can help in all sorts of ways which other agencies can’t. Get in contact today to see what we can do for your restaurant.