6 Creative Ways Restaurants Are Making Money During COVID-19

6 Creative Ways Restaurants Are Making Money During COVID-19

At Hazlnut we are passionate about helping small businesses in our community, specifically restaurants. With most stores closing their dining rooms mid-March, COVID-19 has forced managers and staff to evolve their businesses, to stay afloat, and to prevent layoffs. Through the use of technology and flexible business operations, many restaurants are finding ways to continue to serve their customers, despite the pandemic. Check out our top 6 ways restaurants can make some extra cash while social distancing and staying safe.

Online Ordering

Through the use of an online ordering provider restaurants are able to quickly and efficiently get customer’s orders ready and have them waiting for them at the door.

Online ordering providers that offer direct Point of Sale (POS) integration are the easiest way to start. On the Clover POS, for example, Hazlnut provides a high quality, user friendly ordering page where every order is processed directly on the Clover POS, so there aren’t any processing or transaction fees.

Hazlnut’s ordering platform integrates seamlessly with the Clover Point of Sale (POS)

Curbside Pickup

By allowing customers to stay in their cars and have their order walked out to them, restaurants are able to make money while keeping their customers as safe as possible. We recommend offering to place the bags in the trunk of a customer’s car so that they never have to get within 6-feet.

Using Hazlnut’s system, for example, each customer selecting “Curb side” is prompted to type in the make, model, and color of their car. This information prints out on every receipt, making it very easy to figure out which car each order belongs to.

Free Delivery

In an effort to serve the community and boost sales, restaurants are beginning to offer free delivery. Whether a restaurant does their own delivery or uses a third-party service like GrubHub or UberEats, waiving delivery fees can be a great way to help customers stay-at-home. Free delivery helps to promote well-being of the community and can increase customer loyalty increasing business profit in the long run.

Offering free delivery is great way to generate business during this pandemic

Discounted Gift Cards

By offering gift cards at a discounted rates, restaurants can receive a much needed influx of cash. In a sense, it’s a loan from your customers. They give you funds to help during this difficult time, you give them a little extra money to use down the road when things are better. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy. Simply offering 5-10% off of gift card purchases will entice plenty of regular customers to buy now.

Wholesale

Why not make money off of food that would otherwise be wasted? Moe’s Southwest Grill is doing this by selling excess rice, beans, and other ingredients by the pound at a discounted rate, much like a grocery store. This serves to help out people in the community, as well as help reduce their loss on excess food.

Selling excess ingredients in bulk is a great way to reduce waste

Ramp Up Marketing Efforts with Purpose

People aren’t going to buy from you if they don’t know you’re open! Designate a specific person to focus on social media marketing to spread the word. One way to go viral is by pledging to give back a portion of your sales to the community or offer a sale to essential workers. For example, Maple Street Biscuit Company uses their campaign #ThankYouThursday to offer $1 biscuits to teachers, healthcare workers, and restaurant industry workers.  Some business is better than no business, and the more people you can get the attention of, the better impact you can create.

Are You Being Left Behind?

Are You Being Left Behind?

Top 5 Reasons Restaurants Need a Mobile Ordering App

As technology keeps improving and becomes increasingly more ubiquitous, restaurants are turning more frequently to mobile applications (iOS and Android) to enhance the customer experience. Restaurants are creating mobile apps that track loyalty and make menus available.

According to a recent statistic from the Pew Research Center, 40% of U.S. adults have ordered food online. This trend is projected to go even higher in the near future. By 2020, 70% of all foot traffic will be outside of the restaurant. That’s a staggering number.

As technology becomes more powerful, the cost for small businesses to adopt such technologies is becoming increasingly less expensive. Restaurant owners can (now more than ever) take advantage of mobile trends to increase revenues and improve the customer experience.

If that isn’t enough to decide if mobile ordering makes sense, here are a few more reasons to consider:

1. Improved customer experience

With a mobile ordering app, customers have the flexibility to order when they want and where they want. This leads to shorter lines and improves efficiency with the customer buying cycle. Employees will spend less time on the phone taking orders and more time with guests dining in the restaurant.

2. Larger average check size

When customers place orders through their phones, check sizes increase 23% on average compared to their in-store counterparts. Why is this? Seeing a menu in digital form is a lot easier to digest. Not only this the ordering process is much smoother and flows in a much more natural progression. One of the main reasons check sizes are larger, on average, is because ordering apps never forget to upsell the customer. Maybe they wanted that guacamole after all!

3. Increased take-out revenue

Not only are check sizes increasing, but take-out revenue grows on average by 30%. Some restaurants have even seen their take-out revenues double.

4. Customers are connected now more than ever

A recent study by the Pew Research Center found that 8 out of 10 Americans shop online on the web or through their smartphone. In addition, 51% shop exclusively on their phones. This number is only projected to increase as customers become more connected.

5. Improves the ordering process and reduces mistakes

Also, the ability to see and build orders in a mobile app also helps reduce human errors. This in turn increases order accuracy and improves the customers overall satisfaction.