It’s not going to be business as usual
Some states have reopened, while others have released their reopening dining schedule for restaurants. But it doesn’t mean you will be rolling back into your usual business operation. States may require you to operate at 25- to 50-percent of your dine-in and patio capacity and institute strict social distancing and cleaning measures.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, preventing the spread of the virus will be part of your operation for the foreseeable future. It will be vital to follow your state and municipality guidelines to give your customers a sense of security that dining at your pizzeria will be safe. The National Restaurant Association has issued some guidance for restaurants readying to reopen.
You’ve worked hard to shift and adapt your restaurant to the changing requirements and restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. And, as pizzerias shift to partial opening dine-in, that same resiliency you’ve demonstrated will be required. Remember, you need to communicate your efforts with your customers. Here are a few tips on keeping your customers informed and engaged:
- First and foremost, train your team on executing the front-of-house procedures effectively and politely. Teach them how to answer questions/comments on the new procedures.
- Share the steps you are taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Be specific. Some of your diners will not return until they know of your efforts.
- Tell them what they should expect dining in at your restaurant.
- Better yet, show them how your dining area has changed and what they need know when they come in. This could alleviate conflicts with your team.
- Clearly state what is expected of dine-in guests for social distancing and if, items like masks are required to enter or of party size limits.
- Write a phone script that detail your efforts. Some customers may call to find out if your dining is open and what your efforts are.
- Some customers may choose to stay home. Let them know if you are continuing contact-free curbside and delivery. Some may assume you are discontinuing those since restrictions have lifted.
- Go across all of your platforms with your message: social, website, Google listing, exterior signage and in-store signage.
It’s a constantly changing reality for restaurants. Keeping your customers informed should be a top priority. Your community wants to hear from you.
We want to see your messaging as you reopen dine-in operations. Tag @PizzaToday on those posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.