We are in unprecedented times. Everyone is racing to adapt to the new normal. Local businesses across the United States are implementing new channels to retain their storefront business. We compiled a few ideas that you may find helpful.
1. A Safety First Experience
Inform customers and the public about the steps taken to limit health risks of staff and guests from COVID-19, the disease associated with the Corona virus. Here are a few points that business owners are implementing:
- Routine disinfecting of common spaces, exercise areas, salon chairs, spa tables, dining and kitchen areas throughout the day.
- Condiments and other communal products like cream, sugar, milk are provided upon request.
- Providing single use cups for water.
- Slower and careful preparation of dine-in meals.
- Requiring that customers ask for assistance when purchasing products/merchandise on display.
- Removing games and other commonly used items in guest spaces.
- Requiring that people from the same party sit together.
- Reducing maximum capacity by creating 6 feet distance between tables.
- Creating a natural flow of guests in and out your venue by requiring a purchase when using a guest amenity like WiFi.
- Postponement of scheduled community events
If we missed anything critical, please let us know and we’ll update this list! Email: Concierge@GoGoGuest.com with your ideas.
2. Pop Up Drive Thru
Canlis a top Seattle fine dining restaurant changed their entire business model as a response to the pandemic. They decided that in the face of a pandemic they’d meet customers were they are: at home. Read the full story on Fast Company.
3. Everything To-Go!
A number of local businesses have temporarily closed their storefront operations and are focused 100% on To Go Orders. Here are a few things you may want to consider:
- Offer advance ordering options from your website or a mobile app. If you don’t have any of these you could also be super creative by using Google Forms. It is a FREE application.
- Allow customers to place orders via phone and your social media channels.
- To create more distance and comfort, offer window or curb-side pick up.
- Most delivery apps (GrubHub, Uber Eats, ChowNow etc.) now have a “no-contact” delivery option
Business owners would need to consider how to best execute these design flow changes to deliver the best user experience for their community. Getting the workflow right will help ensure repeat orders. Transparency on prep time and accuracy of pick-up up times would be key.
The operational support considerations for out-of-store deliveries is key to avoid crowding at the window pick-up, line or curb-side pick-up. It would be key for business owners to help create an environment that promotes social distancing (at least 6 feet apart per person or party).
If you’re a business owner who has figured out how to do this well, please share by reaching out to Concierge@GoGoGuest.com
4. Intimate Dining, Smaller Menu
If your state or city has not mandated the closure of storefronts, areas of gathering or dining areas now is a good time to start preparing. Reducing your dining capacity is a great opportunity to create a unique and intimate dining experience.
- Offer a smaller menu
- Communicate health-first protocols like hand-washing / sanitizing when entering your place of business, show up 100% healthy and only dine with your party.
- Transparent reservations or cancellation policy as you see fit.
5. Subscription Meal Plans
Sell weekly cooked meal plans / subscriptions focused specifically on young adults and singles. Take some inspiration from the popular meal kit companies.
- Publish a simple breakfast, lunch and dinner menu on your website or a temporary landing page that folks can select and pre-order at night for a few days in advance or a full week of meals.
- Limit your service to a handful of zip codes to start.
- Offer curb-side pick up or front-door delivery.
6. eCommerce As An Option
When an unprecedented crisis hits, it is always good to have other revenue channels to lean on. Independent or franchise owned coffee shops, restaurants and craft breweries sell products and merchandise for in-store purchase, without fully integrating their online experience.
There is a HUGE opportunity for local brands to leverage their physical storefront to grow an online business. And vice versa. In the beginning of 2020, I wrote how businesses should invest in connecting their storefront to an eCommerce channel.
For full-transparency, GoGoGuest in the next few weeks is rolling out features and services to provide an easy and simple approach to growing their business online. Curious? Feel free to schedule a demo.
7. Reach Out To Customers
A call, a thoughtful post on your social media channels or a re-assuring well-thought out email message would be a welcome respite from all the COVID-19 content filling social media streams and the media. If you don’t have a customer email list, your cloud POS systems should be a good place to look.
To help local businesses in need during this health-crisis, we are offering the following:
- To help you get started, GoGoGuest is offering new customers our Starter Subscription, first month is FREE. Our Starter Plan comes with powerful email marketing features to help attract and retain your customers.
- Your first month comes with complimentary design and distribution services, so you can focus on running your business during this difficult time. This means, the GoGoGuest team will fully onboard and set-up your email templates and campaigns.
- Use Promo Code* SMALLBUSINESSSTRONG
*Promo Code must be used by April 17. Limit one per business. Max total # of subscribers included is 2K. Terms and conditions apply.
8. Stay Informed
Our new normal is changing daily. For accurate reporting on Corona Virus, we read the New York Times. All you need is an account to access the FREE Corona virus content. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is also a reliable source for guidelines. The GoGoGuest team is 100% remote, remains healthy and we are following social distancing guidelines. We’re here to support you.