Getting Ready for Reopening

by | Feb 23, 2021

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Restaurants would have been shut for six months and there’s a lot to do. Huge debts have piled up and therefore it’s essential to hit the ground running, busy again from the moment you open. Restaurateurs will have an enormous amount to think about, no doubt things like fridges will stop working the moment you turn them on again! Pent up demand together with record amounts of money held in banks by individuals who’ve been earning but not spending, means this should be a bumper summer.
Many won’t have the time (or the inclination) to work on their own marketing, so as a leading restaurant marketing agency, here are some suggestions, drilling down on what really matters:
Now we finally have some clarity from the Government with regards to the reopening of hospitality venues, it’s time to plan for a very busy relaunch. There’s an enormous amount to do – including, for some, taking down last year’s Christmas decorations!

Restaurant Interior Design

Indian Restaurant Menu Design

The Menu

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.

Burger Restaurant Mobile Website

The Website

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.

Email Marketing 

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.

London Hotel Newsletter Design

Instagram Feed Design

Social Media 

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.

Relaunch Campaign

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.

Restaurant Outside Sitting Area

Booking channels 

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.

Newspaper advert

Booking Media 

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.

Delivery App

Delivery apps 

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.

Burger Restaurant Packaging Design

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.