Welcome Back! How to Attract Customers to Your Business After the Pandemic

The global Covid-19 pandemic is far from over, but clear signs of adjustment and recovery can be seen in different regions worldwide. After a year of dealing with the virus and its implications, we’re a lot smarter, and vaccination operations are in full force.

Businesses in the F&B and Hospitality sectors are either starting to welcome customers back or getting ready to do so soon. While this is a positive change from what we’ve seen in the past year, returning to normal might not be as easy as some expect. Less than 30% of customers are excited to go out again, and many are apprehensive. It is becoming increasingly clear that a solid strategy is needed for this transition to go smoothly and yield the right results. 

So, how can bars, restaurants, cafés, and hotels encourage customers to come back? We can think of a few ideas, plus specific tips for businesses already using Ripples.

Safety first

Customers are happy to go out again, but many are still worried about the virus and the variants that might put the vaccine’s protection at risk. Reassure people that their safe return tops your list of priorities. This means that the hygiene protocols we’ve embraced are here to stay, at least for the time being. Don’t be reckless just because you’re excited to be back. Damaging the fragile trust between you and your audience can cause a PR crisis and stain your brand’s reputation, which is the last thing you want right now. Or ever.

Ripples rockstars: Use the Ripple Maker and print visuals to remind visitors to play it safe. Send an important message while keeping things light and fun.

The hybrid hype

So much has been said about the digital transformations caused by the pandemic. Now that everyone can see how imperative technology is for business growth, it’s time to move forward and focus on the hybrid model. Instead of choosing between the online and offline worlds, bring them both together to form a winning combination.

Include online experiences in your bar or restaurant, encouraging diners to share their visit on social media. On the other hand, keep investing in eCommerce and improve your online delivery channels, because this lucrative dimension is a shame to miss out on. Remain available on all platforms and maintain a cohesive language and persona across the board.

Ripples rockstars: Get inspired by this excellent example for a hybrid experience from Guinness Korea. Local bars used the Ripple Maker to form creative on-premise experiences using innovative online tools.

Let it be known

If you’re preparing to open your doors for the first time in a long while, you must be incredibly excited and moved. So much so that you might forget to offer relevant, updated information to customers. Keep in mind that many people are confused about which businesses are open, whether they still offer deliveries, vaccine approval requirements, and more. Conduct an online audit to see if there’s disinformation anywhere on the web you need to correct, and create a social storm that will make customers informed and thrilled to come back. Remind them why going out is so much fun and add another layer to your meaningful relationship.

Ripples rockstars: Send a resonating message by printing “We’re back!” and “We missed you!” on beverages. Saying it with coffee and beer works every time, and visitors will share the news with others.

What’s new?

Everyone knows why businesses were partially closed, but you can offer an optimistic outlook on this past year by showing customers that you used the opportunity to get creative and learn a few new tricks. Add new dishes to the menu (this could also help deal with current budget restrictions in an elegant way), add a fresh coat of paint, introduce innovative appliances, and more. Keep your signature vibe and menu because customers have missed it, but add a little twist here and there to get them excited.

Ripples rockstars: Fresh content is such an easy way to achieve this goal. Check out our ever-expanding content library or create a few unique designs.

Decide what you’ll keep

The pandemic proved that necessity is indeed the mother of invention. Now that you’re about to welcome customers back to your business, don’t leave behind all the lessons learned and opportunities created during the crisis. Restaurants that offered picnic baskets can still do that. Hotels and restaurants can continue to host private events. Flexibility is critical to success, so stay open-minded even after things go back to normal.

Ripples rockstars: Keep using Ripples in your social outreach. Print messages and designs to engage with your customers and make sure they all (especially the distant ones) still feel right at home.