So what’s the next most important thing to do for restaurant at this moment in time? We’re not talking about the usual stuff like hard-to-find staff, Covid Passports and the need to verify if your customers are coming soon, or even how to handle customers torn between coming back to restaurants for dine in or continuing to order for takeout or delivery.
To figure out the most critical step for restaurant owners’ current and future profitability, let’s start by asking you a series of questions. Sorry the answers might hurt a little.
What Happened to Your Best Customers After the First Lockdown?
- Were you able to email or text (SMS) your regular customers to let them know about your takeout and delivery options?
- Did you pivot quickly to offering take-out by phone in orders, online orders, or mobile orders?
- Did you try delivery with your own driver?
- Or, like many restaurants, did you get caught without your customer data or any way to communicate to your previous customers?
You’re not alone.
Pre-covid you could get into an argument about the need for collecting your customer data with restaurant owners.
“Not necessary” they’d say, “our regulars know and love us and always come back”, or “Our customers would HATE it if we emailed them or texted them after collecting their data.”
Now here’s the worst part. Are you ready?
- Did your customers seem to have a hard time signing up to Skip, Uber and Doordash and giving THEM their customer data to find you?
You then paid apps like these 20% to 30% of each order, over and over to collect your customers data, and NOT SHARE IT WITH YOU. Ok, so let us ask the question again.
What’s the Next Critical Task Restaurant Owners Need to Do NOW?
1. While Dine-In is Allowed, COLLECT Your Customer Data
Whether or not you believe Covid is almost over and things are close to back to normal, you need to accept we could be back from one lockdown after another for the next year as the Delta variant wreaks havoc on our medical system, or that the Mu variant could put us back to square one.
Later in this article, we’ll explain why both are true and provide you with some easy ways to collect your customer data. Keep reading and we’ll show you how.
Click this link to learn a bit more about the risk of the Mu variant.
2. Set up your own online ordering
If you’ve set up your own online ordering, you could at least capture the easy pickup customers directly without paying a fee. It is far less expensive to do than most restaurant owners think.
$99.99 a month puts about 15 different ready-made systems in your reach. Some, like DeliveryBizConnect.com, do not charge ANYTHING for pickup orders. You get ALL your customer data and the tools to use it to drive your future sales.
You save that monthly fee in as few as 30 pickup or 10 delivery orders when compared to other platforms. We haven’t even talked about labour savings of not needing to take phone orders.
3. Enable mobile ordering vs. just doing phone orders
You’d be surprised to know you can save almost an entire staff member salary in a small restaurant doing 100 orders a week by enabling online and mobile ordering vs. only doing phone orders.
It has also been proven by numerous studies done during Covid just how much customers in general dislike phoning in an order vs. taking their time to decide with a good online ordering menu. No convenient online and mobile ordering means DEFINITE loss of sales. If you want more info on the Mu variant and why it may start the ugly cycle of lockdowns all over, check out this article by CTV news.
Why You Need to COLLECT Customer Data ASAP
The world has changed. Restaurant eating patterns has changed. The way we do restaurant business has changed!
Here’s why collecting customer data is critical nowadays:
1. Collecting customer data gives you the best of both worlds moving forward
Used properly and respectfully, it can help keep your restaurant FULL of dine-in customers. Data can also help you build a massive takeout business with those still worried about Covid who prefer to takeout even while your restaurant is FULL of dine-in customers. EXTREMELY profitable indeed!
2. The pandemic will continue to impact the restaurant industry for a long time
For those who never thought to collect their customer data in the old way of running a restaurant, it got bleak after the lockdown.
Third party delivery apps were happy to sign you up for “FREE” (and take 20 to 30% of each order) then bring you YOUR CUSTOMERS who already loved you for pickup and delivery services.
Does it worry you that many of the 3rd party apps NEVER GIVE YOU YOUR CUSTOMER data?
They have a powerful motivation to keep it from you. They really don’t WANT you to be able to contact the customer and offer them a direct service as it would cause them a lot of lost revenue. How many times did you see a regular customer pop-in to pickup an order they placed on one of the third-party apps? OUCH. 20% to 30% to get YOUR customer that already loved you to order from you.
How to Protect Yourself and PROSPER This Time in the Case of Another Lockdown?
You’re sitting on a golden opportunity right now while you have dine-in customers back. Get your customer data while it’s easy (they’re IN YOUR RESTAURANT) and “future-proof” yourself.
You can EASILY start collecting your customers’ data JUST IN CASE the Mu variant shows up and stops our plan of back to normal. It can be as simple as a QR code asking them to get on your mailing list for specials announcements, or discount offers and so on.
You can remind your customers about your lower cost pickup option for online ordering direct, or, should you jump on board with DeliveryBizConnect, your new delivery service for just 3.33% delivery cost vs. 30% from major third-party apps. With DeliveryBizConnect, you’d also be automatically collecting your data with our 3-step system. Don’t have, nor want DBC? No worries, any CRM and online ordering platform can work to protect you and ensure you remain profitable in the next shut down.
We’re Here to Help
With the Mu variant it may start all over again in about wave 6. A new variant which seems to not care if you are double vaccinated or already had Covid itself. Reach out to our team and we’ll show you how to do this efficiently. We’d be glad to help “bullet-proof” your restaurant moving forward.