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Three Key Messages Restaurants Are Sharing

The COVID-19 global crisis is forcing restaurants to work differently to stay vibrant and fuel their communities. In keeping with CDC guidelines and local municipal ordinances, nearly every restaurant nationwide shut down dine-in service and those that are still open focus instead on order and delivery services. 

Communicating these changes outward remains a key issue, but the question is, how do brands handle this communication in a way that hits all the right notes.  

The Paytronix restaurant community shared its guest communications with us, and we’ve collected some of the best practices to share with you. Here are three key messages that restaurant operators are putting out to their customers:  

Add delivery to your suite of services or encourage customer to use your existing delivery option to keep orders flowing. According to a message from Grubhub CEO Matt Maloney, dine-in is down as much as 75%. If your brand does not currently offer delivery, you can get up and running with order and delivery within two weeks. If you currently offer delivery, be sure to send promotions surrounding this service. Make it easy for guests to find a local restaurant and to order online by including direct links to your service. You can also wave delivery fees to make this option more attractive.  

  • Gubhub is deferring commission fees for impacted independent restaurants;
  • Lazy Dog Restaurant is offering free delivery through its website, every day, on orders of $25 or more;
  • Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh makes it easy for guests to locate a restaurant and order online by including links within its customer emails. 

Provide delivery and pickup options that limit human interactionsAs people adopt “social distancing,” they are more wary of any human interaction, even if it is a face-to-face interaction during a delivery or pickup transaction. Accommodate your customers by limiting interactions when possible.  

  • Online payments eliminate the need for an in-person POS transaction. 
  • A “contact-free” delivery option lets drivers communicate that they’ve arrived and are about to drop off an order at the customer’s door. 
  • Curbside pickup also eliminates going inside a store for food pickup. Instead, the order is brought directly to a customer’s car where it can be placed in a trunk or back seat. Guests simply select this option, then enter their vehicle’s make and model information for easy identification.  

Maintain open lines of communication between your brand and your customers and encourage contributions to relief funds. With new COVID-19 updates and regulations changing by the minute, it is important that brands continue to communicate with their customers what precautions they are taking to keep staff and customers safe. HuHot Mongolian Grill has shared what they are doing in their restaurants “to help create a safe environment for you to enjoy your favorite HuHot stir fry,” says CEO Andy Vap.

It is also encouraged during this time to spread awareness about restaurant relief programs, like Rally for Restaurants headed by Toast, which encourages customers to purchase a gift card from their favorite restaurants to keep sales going.  

As operators in the restaurant industry, we are in this together. We are sharing our guest communications best practices in order to help you set a comforting tone for your customers messages. We all need to work hard and take the proper actions to stay open and serve our communities in the current environment. For more guidance or questions, please refer to our COVID-19 updates and advisories page. 


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