How Bars & Restaurants Can Increase Sales During COVID-19

Lindsay Atkinson

Digital Marketing,
Small Business

Our first priority during these stressful times is our health. To stay safe, be well-informed and manage our stress. As restaurant and bar business owners, there's a need to continue to maintain sales in order to survive the crisis in order to thrive down the road. As a small business, we understand the pressure first-hand.

Here are five creative ways to continue to make sales during the shutdown:

  1. Make Gift Card Purchases A No-Brainer
    People want to help so give them an easy way to support your restaurant or bar by getting creative with gift cards. Consider a short-term strategy to help support payroll by giving a portion (or all) of gift card sales to your staff or a local charity in need of goods and services. Make the offers enticing by creating an incentive for customers to visit later (for example, every $100 gift card can be redeemed for $125 following your reopening).
  2. Share Your Story
    Increasing your social media presence doesn't mean "spend more money" but it does mean "spend (a bit) more time - and think differently. Now more than ever we are glued to our devices so let's hear about why you opened your restaurant in the first place. What inspires your seasonal menu changes? Show your followers a peek behind your operations and let's get to know your staff and story. Create a strategy to do so and then stick to it!
  3. Team Up with Friends (or Make New Friends!)
    Think creatively and team up with businesses in your area to create offers and specials that will spark interest. Sell baked goods? Team up with local coffee roaster to create unique specials that highlight your collective best-sellers and expand your customer base.
  4. Build Your Email List
    But email addresses and phone numbers are even better. Why? You own customer information (not true with social platforms) and can create an approach that connects with customers and tells your story. If it's tough thinking beyond the next few days or weeks, we recommend making this a long-term goal. If you already have a solid email list and campaigns running, make it easy for guests to order (and re-order) by creating a limited menu and inform them of menu and hour changes. Surprise and delight them by offering specials for email (or text) subscribers only.
  5. Start or Streamline Online Orders
    Many of our favorite restaurants were built on a solid reputation of service and are fixtures in our community but, they may not have an online presence. ToastTab.com seems to be a popular choice, but we highly recommend investing in an online ordering system!

We hope these suggestions help your business and spark new thinking. Thank you so much for providing us with meals we love and know that takeout has now become the highlight of our week!

Lindsay Account and Business Development Director

Lindsay is the Account and Business Development Director for Brainchild Studios, a boutique digital content marketing and website creation agency. Brainchild Studios primarily serving brands targeting millennial moms and nonprofits supporting women and children. Lindsay has been a champion for brands and businesses for over 14 years with experience in marketing, brand strategy and account management. She is a member of TEMPO Emerging Women Leaders, a group of community-minded, change-makers in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She's also a mom of two and yoga teacher. With her experience in marketing, motherhood and yoga, Lindsay brings a balanced approach to support clients and projects.

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