What Restaurants Can Do to Ensure Business During Lockdown

It’s no secret that the lockdown has been hard on businesses, and restaurants are no exception. With indoor dining still not an option in many places, and outdoor dining limited by cold weather, it’s more important than ever for restaurants to get creative in order to stay afloat. 

U.S. Americans need to be prepared to do “anything and everything” to fight the omicron Covid variant, U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said. This means it’s time for restaurants and grocery stores to be ready for the next wave of consumers who may be more reluctant to leave the house—craving digital solutions.

Early on in the pandemic, lockdowns and physical-distancing requirements gave delivery services an enormous boost, with the food category more than doubling in the U.S. during the COVID-19 crisis, and the food and beverage industry needs to tap into this potential. 

At the same time, menu prices are increasing due to sharply higher food, labor and fuel prices. Here’s how we can keep costs low and ensure your business continues running smoothly:

Compensate for Lower In-store Purchases with E-Commerce

In today’s climate, technology is providing us with solutions to create an easy, seamless experience for customers, whether they are shopping in a brick-and-mortar store or on their mobile devices. 

Customers are used to having everything at the snap of their fingers, which puts increasing pressure on smaller businesses to make their service available in more locations and fulfill orders in just a few small steps. With omnichannel e-commerce solutions like Local Express, customers can process an order on an app with a few simple clicks, and the store will receive an immediate notification to process the order in time.

By syncing your inventory figures and your sales data into one user-friendly platform, you can automate stock management and your customers can be in the know about what dishes or products are available in real-time. You will even be able to review product preferences and manage your product availability so that no sale ever goes unfulfilled. 

Offer the Best Delivery Type for Everyone

Among grocery retailers and the delivery network, geographic competition will be one of the most significant battlegrounds over the coming years. Delivery-first and delivery-only restaurant models are breaking into the market with the propagation of “dark kitchens” (online-only restaurants). Physical retailers and restaurant owners need to secure their customer base by building an online presence, giving them the power to keep ahead of the competition. 

Offering local delivery services and a cloud-based e-commerce platform, you can connect your consumers with your virtual store and provide a fast delivery right to their doorstep. The complete digital shopping and delivery solution means you don’t need to worry about the last-mile delivery problem either, as you will have access to a range of services, using AI-based technology to optimize delivery.

Make Your Business Stand Out from the Crowd

Integrating your existing customer data into your e-commerce platform will enable you to collect specific insights into your audience so you can better cater your offer to them. By sending them personalized messages directly from your application through their preferred channels (email, SMS, social or messaging platforms), you can start building online customers right away. 

Marketing automation tools can help manage your customer base and set up automated email campaigns, social media, and brand management so that the journey from your physical store to your landing page, and all the communications in between, are seamless and recognizable for the customer. 

Once your landing page is created, your inventory, sales, and customer data are uploaded and your marketing plan is in place, you can start adding personalized promotions or benefit from flexible couponing systems to draw in those first-time buyers and reward the repeat purchasers. 

To achieve all of these options you would want to choose an integrated platform like Local Express that provides tools and best practices to attract customers to your new online site. With the built-in reporting systems, you can keep track of their purchase activity and preferences in order to successfully meet their changing demands. 
Are you ready to drive more sales online? Contact Local Express today to receive a customized e-commerce solution for your food business.

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