6 Tips on How to Talk to Your Drive Thru Customers During Covid-19

The coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has, without question, disrupted the restaurant industry as a whole. With social distancing and the on-and-off self-isolation practices keeping diners home, customers just can’t dine out as much as they used to prior to the pandemic. With rolling mandatory closures of dining areas across the states, mixed with sliding guest operations when places re-open, it’s also likely that will all these changes, your customers struggle to stay up-to-date on your restaurant’s open service. However, thanks to the modern technology landscape for restaurants, all is far from lost.

Many restaurants across the world have pivoted to a delivery and pick-up only model that resembles a ghost kitchen. While traditional fast casual restaurants have more experience with delivery and utilizing platforms such as UberEats or GrubHub, fine dining and full-service restaurants are activating ordering apps to diversify their revenue.

With this systemic change in how the restaurant industry is servicing its customers, it is more important than ever to learn how to market your restaurant and talk to your customers.

Show Honesty and Gratitude

Being empathetic with your customers, being transparent around the COVID-19 situation, and showing your gratitude is crucial. Use social media, like Facebook Live or YouTube to stream direct messages from you to your customers. Restaurant owners can easily talk to their customers during COVID-19 and explain in detail their new operational procedures and how to order delivery with them directly. Tip: Just be yourself and be as upfront as possible and Thank your awesome customers for their support.

Talk About Sanitization

Being upfront about your restaurant’s coronavirus safety measures—from sanitization to social distancing—is important to encourage diners to order from you.

People are now taking extra precautions when grocery shopping and ordering food for delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic, and there are also heightened anxieties around whether food delivery is safe. From the line cooks to delivery drivers, many people are interacting with food before it’s delivered, and the customers need to feel safe ordering from you.

Whatever precautions you are taking to protect your staff and your customers, share it on social media to calm any nerves your diners have.

Mention Employee Safety

Talk about how you update and communicate with your employees on self monitoring, hygiene, and social distancing during this difficult time. You can also talk about frequent sync-ups with your kitchen and delivery staff to make sure they don’t have symptoms or didn’t visit anyone before work.

If customers see that the management is tapping into effective communication tools and methods to constantly keep employees updated and safe they will feel safer while ordering from your restaurant.

Co-Market Your New Services

Anyone who owns or operates a restaurant knows that it’s really a team sport. In addition to your immediate team, most restaurateurs are surrounded by a strong community of adjacent businesses they rely on to continue operating, from suppliers to vendors.

When it comes to extending the reach of your marketing efforts, consider looking to your friends and network to see how you can work together to comarketing your products and services. If both you and your network can promote your offerings you will be able to reach more consumers without having to spend more to reach them.

This can be as simple as providing customers of your network’s business with a small incentive when they patronize their business; think a free appetizer or dessert at your restaurant when they spend a certain amount at your partners’ businesses. Or, can be as elaborate as offering your own food for sale by your partners.

Promote Delivery and Pick-up

If you have your own delivery team and are accepting pick-up, tell your customers exactly what the process will look like. Explain how your delivery drivers are practicing social distancing during the delivery at the customer’s home and talk specifically about where to park and how to make a payment (we would recommend avoiding all cash and taking credit card payments over the phone). This will give your customers a sense of security when ordering from you.

Stay Active on Social Media

Without extra money for marketing budgets to promote via traditional paid channels, restaurants are relying on their loyal customer bases on social media to get the message out there that they are still open for delivery.

About OrderMatic Corporation

At OrderMatic, we develop solutions that enhance the customer transactional experience in new and innovative ways. For over 60 years, we have provided turnkey contract manufacturing services nationwide. From exploring digital menu boards to using presell menus effectively, there are many ways to improve your restaurant’s efficiency even beyond best sales practices. Contact OrderMatic to discuss how you can enhance both your drive-thru and dine-in experience!