Since the country went into lockdown in early 2020, one of the most negatively impacted industries has been the hospitality industry, with tens of thousands of hotels, pubs, and cafes closed. However, with the discovery of vaccines early this year, most COVID-19-related restrictions have been eased. Consequently, the food and beverage industry is undergoing a reboot, and more restaurants, eateries, and other businesses offering food services are reopening because of freedom day.
One turning point for the country’s economy is the announcement of Freedom day. Since its inception, customers have enjoyed meals, drinks, and other services inside varying restaurants in the country.
But with the dangers of the COVID-19 pandemic still looming, how will you welcome your customers back after Freedom Day? Before we look into the tips you can use to welcome your customers back, let’s understand what Freedom Day is and how it’ll affect the food and beverage industry.
What does Freedom Day mean to the food and beverage industry?
COVID-19 turned the food and beverage industry on its head. Almost all restaurants were forced to close in a bid to fight the virus. Some people working in this industry were temporarily or permanently fired. However, Freedom day, which happens to fall in the month of growth, brings some hope to the hospitality sector.
The day means liberation from various COVID-19 restrictions. The number of people allowed at tables or outdoors will go back to normal. People will be allowed to go back to restaurants in numbers and stay for whichever days they want. Workers in the restaurant industry will resume work, while more are likely to be hired. As a food or beverage outlet owner, you’ll need to be ready for this day and the days to follow as you expect increased restaurant sales.
How Do I prepare for Freedom Day and After?
As most people joyously enjoy the liberation that comes with Freedom Day, restaurant owners should be working tirelessly to ensure that their workers and customers are safe.
The following tips will help you ensure your employees and customers transition well into the “new normal”:
- Give employees the necessary equipment and tools: Providing your staff members with comfortable masks and gloves will help protect them and your customers from contracting Coronavirus while at your restaurant.
- Develop policies to keep employees and customers healthy: As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your employees and customers don’t get COVID-19 while at your business enterprise. You can increase the frequency with which you sanitize various touchpoints, including tables, bathrooms, doorknobs, tablets, etc.
- Renovate your restaurant: Customers will want to come to a restaurant where their health is valued. You can make your hotel rooms or eatery safer by adding fans or air conditioners.
You can add more measures to this list. The goal is to ensure all employees and customers are safe while working.
How Do I Welcome Customers Back after Freedom Day?
Customers are requisite to the success of your business. Without them, your business is as good as non-existence. And once you have loyal customers, it’s your responsibility to ensure that you don’t lose them to your close adversaries.
You’ll need to offer excellent customer service to welcome clients back to the food and beverage industry to achieve this. Research shows that 89% of customers do business with a competitor following a poor customer experience. So how exactly do you provide a quality customer experience?
As the food and beverage outlet owner, there are several things you could do to welcome your customers back. Some excellent services include:
- Give “welcome-back” discounts: You want to show your customers that you care about them and have been thinking about them during the lockdown. Give them discounts to celebrate the reopening of your business. For instance, you can decide to give a free snack for every meal or beverage bought from your restaurant. You can also bundle up certain meals together and sell them at discounts.
- Give gifts: Gifts will help you welcome your customers back and attract more clients. You can identify a gift that’s relevant to the reopening of your eatery.
- Give loyalty cards: If you didn’t have them, introduce loyalty cards for your business. Make sure to award your frequent customers with gifts and other offers.
- Smile at them: As a prolific writer once wrote, “your smile is your logo.” Use it to promote your business. Welcome your customers back to your eatery with a smile to let them know you’re happy they’re back.
- Fix problems: Make sure to fix the issues that your customer complained about before the lockdown. Replace the air conditioner that wasn’t working or the noisy sound system. You’ll need to convince your customers that you’re a different entity – one that cares about them and their health.
With Freedom Day here with us, the food and beverage industry is continually welcoming its customers back. However, with the risks of COVID-19 still imminent, the beverage and food outlet owners should actively protect their customers. You can come up with policies that protect both the workers and the customers. Stakeholders can also welcome back their customers through gifts, discounts, and other benefits.
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