With Covid cases rising across the US, it’s clear that many restaurants will face another round of dining room closures. During the summer months, restaurants found new ways to expand offerings, like outdoor seating and contactless dining;butcolder weather will render outdoor seating impossible across much of the country. Even in warmer climates, on-premises dining may be prohibited as the nation weathers a second wave of infections.
Since the pandemic truly took hold in March, our clients have been trying out new ideas and learning how to transform their businesses to handle the next wave. The restaurant industry has a huge impact on employment in the US. In New York City alone, the introduction of outdoor dining added as many as 83,000 jobs after the initial layoffs in April. The threat of these jobs going away again will have a huge impact on restaurants and employees in the near-term.
Here are 5 things we learned about how to retain business during a slowdown in on-premises dining:
This has been a year of rapid change: restaurants and convenience stores alike were forced to make quick pivots in how they approach guest engagement, technology, and business operations.
During times of tumultuous change, solid brand leadership becomes even more critical to success. During PXUX 2020, Chief Executive of Market Platform Dynamics Karen Webster led a panel of other chief executives in conversation about how the hospitality and convenience landscapes have changed over the past few months, and how they’ve positioned their brands to weather the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ray Wiley, founder, Hot Head Burritos and Rapid Fired Pizza
Ryan Dion, CEO, 110 Grill Restaurant Group
Adam Halberg, CEO, Barcelona Wine Bar
These leaders described the ways they’ve led their brands through monumental changes this year, about the investments they’ve made that are already paying off, and about how they’re supporting their employees, an essential piece of the puzzle. The panel left attendees with five key takeaways:
Meet guests where they’re comfortable. Whether it’s understanding shifts in consumer behavior or using traditional loyalty channels, use technology to create multiple opportunities for the guests to engage with the brand.
Create technology ecosystems, not silos. Consumer preference and public health guidelines shift rapidly, so the guest-facing technology will need to keep pace. Ensure each piece of technology, from fuel pumps to mobile apps, works together to adapt to this changing environment.
We’ve come a long way since the days when subscriptions covered only magazines and newspapers. From entertainment and fashion to consumer goods and meal kits, subscriptions have been steadily gaining traction in numerous industries for several years — and that includes restaurants and c-stores.
The model can be used in different ways. One common example involves asking customers to pay upfront for services or meals redeemed later. For instance, Olive Garden’s Never Ending Pasta Pass is paid in advance, and then customers redeem their “pass” at every visit.
But this is far from the only model available. The flexibility of subscriptions allows you to tailor your options based on your store or restaurant’s needs, then adapt your subscription quickly to take advantage of factors like seasonal preferences, customer interest, or promotion of higher-priced meals, services, or products.
Four to Consider
Within the breadth of subscription types, there are four main models that can form the basis of a program:[…]
This year’s Paytronix User’s Conference was unconventional, to say the least; but thanks to our incredible clients, the first-ever virtual PXUX was a success!
Thank you for bringing valuable feedback, nuanced insights and dynamic conversation to the event and making PXUX 2020 one for the books.
While we would have loved to have gathered, dined and shook hands with each and every one of our clients (PXUX 2021, perhaps?), we know some of you were not available and others might appreciate a recap of the conference’s events. Here is a high-level overview of some of the year’s biggest takeaways. […]
Turn customer engagement into meaningful guest experiences.