According to the latest data, there’s been a $200 billion shortfall in restaurant sales since the COVID-19 pandemic started in March. At least 100,000 restaurants have had to shutter during that time, and 2 out of 3 restaurant workers have lost their jobs. Although there have been some upticks in restaurant sales recently, restaurants still need our help. Here are a few actionable steps you can take as a business owner to help your local restaurants get back on their feet.
Ask How You Can Support Them
Who knows better how to support restaurants than restaurant owners and workers? Why not ask them how you can help to support them? It’s likely that they’re already taking measures to stay afloat, such as asking for donations and offering special deals to garner more business. You can further support them by passing this info on to your staff and customers, sharing their posts on social media, and even partnering with them to offer bundle deals (for example, if you’re a spa, you might offer a special “relax and dine in” massage and takeout special).
Other ways you might get involved is asking if the restaurant has a GoFundMe or Venmo page, or some other crowdsourcing or fundraising program. Share the details with your staff and on your social feeds. Some restaurateurs are selling off inventory, like wine and spirits, to manage their cashflow. Can you help them out by buying a few bottles or recommending the deal to your customers? There are so many ways to get involved and help; even if you think they are too small to make a difference, every bit helps. And listening to your local restaurant owners is the first step in making sure your efforts are spent in the most effective ways.
Advertise on Your Digital Displays
Your Raydiant screens are prime ad space proven to catch people’s attention 400% more than static signs. Put them to good use and advertise your local restaurants, including promotions for special contactless services, deals and discounts, and menus. Not only do people pay more attention to digital ads, but their recall rate is significantly higher (82%) than other types of ads, revealing that most people remember a digital sign’s message. Has your neighborhood restaurant changed its hours? Are they now offering outdoor dining? Do they have a sanitary schedule they want customers to know about? Put it all on your digital displays.
Plus, Raydiant’s easy dashboard makes it easy to make digital signs for both you and your local restaurant in minutes with drag-and-drop design tools and more than 150,000 digital poster and video templates to choose from—all in bold, beautiful HD and 4K. And since it’s a cloud-based interface, you can create, schedule, and update your in-location signage from work, home, or anywhere.
Leave Them Positive Online Reviews
Nearly 60% of people choose a restaurant based on its online reviews. The places they look first? Yelp, Google, Facebook, Trip Advisor, and Open Table. Positive reviews are powerful, so why not jump on one of those platforms and post a positive review for your favorite local restaurants? You may not think you’re doing much, but studies show that 91% of young consumers trust online reviews over word-of-mouth recommendations from their social circles. And restaurants are considered the number one business affected by online reviews, writing a positive review for your favorite eatery is a big deal.
Unfortunately, the flip side is also true: one negative online review can cost a restaurant an average of 30 customers—an outcome that most restaurants can’t afford right now. Unfortunately, many negative online reviews have nothing to do with the restaurant itself, but are the result of poor service from third-party delivery apps like DoorDash, Postmates and Uber Eats. Along with writing positive reviews, you can help restaurants fight unfair negative reviews like these by joining Raydiant’s “Karen’s Killer Reviews” initiative and signing our petition. This initiative helps local restaurants by raising awareness of this issue across the nation, donating gift cards to restaurants affected by these harsh reviews, and working with Yelp to develop a solution to the problem.
Buy Your Staples from Them
Need some coffee for your break room, or a couple bottles of your favorite wine? Instead of going to the grocery store, think about buying staples like coffee grounds, wine, and spirits from your favorite restaurant. And if you’re a wine connoisseur, you’re in luck: many restaurants are selling off their priciest bottles at a steal. Others are selling wild game meat boxes, produce boxes, and other fresh ingredients to recoup cash and maintain payroll. If we’ve learned nothing else about restaurants during this pandemic, we’ve seen just how creative they are when it comes to adapting their business model. Is the restaurant next door to your business offering some such special deals on their inventory? If so, why not stop over for some items, and share your finds on your company’s social media. People are looking for ways to help their communities, so point them in the right direction with a tweet, Insta post, or branded hashtag.
Make a Donation
Restaurants and restaurant workers are struggling, and it can feel overwhelming when you don’t know how to help. Whether you can donate a few or a few hundred dollars to one of these organizations, it can help those in the restaurant industry maintain payroll, keep on more workers, or simply keep their doors open. Here are some organizations you may consider supporting with your time, money, and social media shares:
- Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation
- Restaurant Employee Relief Fund
- The Independent Restaurant Coalition
- Giving Kitchen
- One Fair Wage
- Big Table
- Golden Rule Charity
- The United States Bartender’s Guild
- James Beard Foundation
- CORE: Children of Restaurant Employees
- Rally for Restaurants
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