Industry performance and leading indicators of an improved outlook are top of mind as we enter week 8 of the COVID-19 crisis.
On the restaurant side, sales and visits bottomed out in late March and were down between 60 and 70 percent when compared to pre-COVID trends. Today things have improved so that sales are now “only” down 50 percent as compared with pre-COVID, up from a low of 60-70 percent.
In the chart below, you can see the following:
- Beginning around March 12, 2020, restaurant sales declined rapidly, and by March 18 week-on week sales were down more than 50%.
- The decline continued until late March, by which time sales were down ~60-70% from pre-COVID levels.
- Sales stabilized from late March until around April 7, 2020.
- Since April 7, 2020, we have seen sales start to recover. Every day (except two of them) has seen higher sales than the previous week. The large spike was caused by Easter Sunday.
- ‘Overall, restaurant sales are up 10% from the time sales bottomed out in March and are now at approximately 50% of pre-COVID levels.
Throughout this crisis, brands are searching for a way to maintain their strong customer relationships. A number have lessons to teach us all as they work to foster a deep emotional connection with their community. Here, twice a week, we’ll spotlight specific brands that are spreading positivity.
Thursday, March 26, 2020 Spotlight: The Pasta Bowl
The Pasta Bowl, a chain of neighborhood pasta shops, has maintained its fun and friendly tone throughout its customer communications. Still, it is serious about addressing the current environment. Take this snippet from a recent communication:
“Lots to be frustrated about these days. Lots to disagree and argue about too, it seems. We can all agree on one thing, though: we ALL wish none of this was going on.” […]
For your marketing campaigns to influence loyalty program members to visit and spend more, you should keep in mind three things: format, relevance, and timeliness. How you communicate with customers impacts how customers engage with your brand. Creating a strong marketing strategy with effective messaging is vital to getting noticed. When you send your guests the right message at the right time, it cuts through the clutter and truly resonates.
Using the proper approach to convey the information you want will maximize a message’s impact. Here are some examples of the most effective marketing messages to send to your program members.
What if most stores – and even Amazon – are getting frictionless shopping wrong? What would it mean for brands that are trying to do things differently?
Kim Otocki, a member of the Paytronix marketing team, recently had the opportunity to sit down with Gus Olympidis, the president and CEO of Family Express. His c-store brand has firmly established itself as a leader in the frictionless experience, and Olympidis had a lot of wisdom to offer other c-store owners who are trying to follow suit.