The coronavirus pandemic brought an array of challenges restaurants had never seen before. However, according to Technomic’s June 2021 report, Roadblock to Recovery, 65% of the adult population has received at least one vaccine dose and 56% are fully vaccinated. In addition, dining room restrictions and mask mandates have been lifted across the country, leading to a surge in business for eateries of all kinds. For operators, the opportunity is huge, not only to reconnect with loyal customers from before but also to attract new business—diners who can be enticed to come back again and again.
Gaining a competitive advantage is crucial during this period of recovery. In order for restaurants to draw in customers and maintain future success, they’ll need to offer something that other spots don’t. Here are some strategies for a confident, strong reopening—as well as a sustained bouncing back.
Menu and drinks
Of course, food and drink will be the biggest draws for many consumers. Revisiting their old favorite dishes without having to greet a delivery worker is something many are looking forward to—but offering new menu items will also be important for those who may be tired of eating the same old, same old and want to try something new. Operators should pay close attention to ingredient and overall food and drink trends, contemplate the opportunity for offering specials, happy hour deals or LTOs and determine whether there are items that could—or should—be removed from the menu and replaced with more profitable or more exciting items. Consider adding exciting sauces, global ingredients and more opportunities for diners to customize their meals, too.
Top-notch customer service
With the current labor challenges, it’s understandable that some operators may be less focused on providing an unmatched customer experience. However, operators do need to prioritize a great customer experience. Now is the time to staff up and strengthen training programs so that the staff on the floor can best serve diners. Consider the restaurant’s reputation, as well—right now, scrutiny on restaurants is high and diners are likely to be hyperaware of the experiences they are having when they dine out. By providing a top-notch dining experience now, operators can ensure their restaurants remain in consumers’ good graces.
Premium TV and sports
Finally, as diners can finally reenter bars and restaurants to gather with friends and family, one thing that many will be most looking forward to is watching the game—the big game, the playoffs or even just the local minor league. For operators, being prepared to offer that type of broadcasting will be paramount for solidifying differentiation. DIRECTV is excited to offer restaurants the flexibility and versatility they need to succeed. With the NFL Sunday Ticket package, restaurants can offer customers an array of team games every week, and the program also enables operators to broadcast as many as eight live games on the same screen—perfect for busy sports bars with a diverse fan base.
DIRECTV offers more than football, too—operators can choose a sports package that includes a variety of sports, but they can also choose specialized packages such as MLB Extra Innings for baseball, NBA League Pass for basketball, NHL® Center Ice® for hockey and MLS Direct Kick for soccer. No matter what customers are interested in most, operators can find a DIRECTV package that will work for their restaurant.
Want to learn more? DIRECTV experts are ready to help—click here to read more about sports packages for restaurants and to learn more about all of the programming options DIRECTV has to offer.
This post is sponsored by DIRECTV for BUSINESS℠