Is the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Affecting your Restaurant or Hotel?

The Coronavirus is severely affecting the hospitality and tourism industry, with restaurants and hotels being hit hard as they struggle with the effects of reduced travel and government calls to avoid large gatherings, including restrictions on in-restaurant dining. We’re here to support you and offer our thoughts and action plans that can help ensure the health and safety of everyone, while also supporting the entire community. 

How can restaurants and hotels respond? We recommend taking the following actions:

Email Marketing

Keep your guests informed through email marketing

We know you have established great, engaged relationships with your guests. Now is even more critical that they hear from you. Let them know their health, safety, and well-being are your top priority and that you are there for them. Share information on a proactive basis and be as supportive as possible.

Are you staying open? Are you closing? Are you offering extended delivery hours or expanding your delivery zone? Are there any menu changes for delivery and take-out orders?  Are you sanitizing or professionally deep cleaning your rooms before turning them over to new guests? Are you continuously cleaning all restaurant surfaces? Be sure to communicate these and any other changes. Let guests know!  Ensure your guests you are here to serve them during this challenging time.  

Given these uncertain times, take a moment to check-in and send a personalized message to your guests. People need to feel a sense of community and a connection to others during these difficult times.

Social Media 

For social media, this is not the time to go radio silent! 

Share detailed and timely updates about your business through social media posts. Keep guests updated on your business. Be sure to include the ways you are responding to local rules and directives such as social distancing. 

For social media messaging, the Coronavirus should not be talked about lightly or turned into a joking matter. When addressing the subject, be sure to take it seriously. 

Although the Coronavirus should not be discussed lightly or minimized, any communication should stress that we will get through this. Let your guests know you’re committed to providing the level of service that they are accustomed to while maintaining a safe and comfortable environment. 

Consider new offerings with a twist, possibly with a sense of humor and a nod to the reality that we’re all hunkering down.  For example, a restaurant creating a work from home (WFH) special lunch, or a hotel offering a staycation package for those who have canceled plans abroad. New offerings created for this time should be socialized. 

Show them relevant, inviting photos of your venue and reinforce your offer to be there for them with new, productive ways to serve them and your community.

Advertising 

Be prepared for the future and the time when you can welcome guests back!

Although now is not the time to heavily advertise for a product that requires travel, take the time to reallocate budgets, and prepare for significant activity when people start to travel and the need for social distancing ends. No doubt, people will experience cabin fever and be excited to travel again to celebrate their restored freedom. You want to be prepared for when that time comes!  

Local Search Optimization 

Double-check that all of your business information is up to date! 

Are your phone number, email, and business hours completely up-to-date? People may want to contact you directly to ask questions. Make sure all of your contact information is correct and that you are responsive.

Tips to Implement at Restaurants 

  • Offer Extended Delivery Hours
  • Extend Delivery Zones 
  • More Options for Takeout and Delivery
  • Offer Non-Contact Delivery 
  • Offer Semi-Homemade Meal Options 
  • Sell Gift Cards 
  • Create Work From Home Lunch Specials

Tips to Implement at Hotels

  • Implement Deep Clean Every Room Between Guests Policy 
  • Offer Discounts on Rooms 
  • Offer Staycation Packages 
  • Buy Now and Book your Stay Later
    • Purchase is 100% refundable in case you change your plans or can’t find a date that works.

You are not alone! Coronavirus is affecting the tourism and hospitality industry across the globe. We recommend taking these steps to help your business while continuing to support your guests. 

As always, we are here to support your business, especially during these challenging times. Feel free to reach out to the Gourmet Marketing team to discuss how to implement these tools.

We hope all of you stay safe and healthy!