COVID-19 Business Resource Series: Impact on the Food Service Industry
This blog is part of Tandem Interactive’s COVID-19 Business Resource Series, where we will update the community regularly and offer industry-specific tips as well as our best solutions to minimize the economic risk many businesses may endure during this critical time. Tandem appreciates your trust in us and will continue to be your valued digital marketing partner during this pandemic.
The food service industry is being hit especially hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our food industry digital marketing experts are here to help your restaurant not only stay afloat but thrive using proven marketing campaign practices during this chaotic time.
COVID-19 Impact on the Food Service Industry
Broward and Palm Beach county restaurants were ordered to close their dining rooms to patrons on March 16, 2020, and to continue the closure until March 31.1 The same was enacted for Miami-Dade County the following day.2 It is important to note that there is currently no evidence that food or food packaging is a likely source or route of transmission for COVID-19.3 Required changes and protocols for restaurants vary by state, so it is important to stay informed. The National Restaurant Association has compiled a handy guide to coronavirus 2019 information and resources, and we recommend continually checking it for updates.4
Strategies for Food Service Industry Businesses to Mitigate the Effects of COVID-19
Proper Pick-Up Process
Many businesses in the food service industry are offering discounts on pick-up orders to continue bringing in revenue. Creating a sanitary pick-up system and strategy keeps both workers and customers at minimal risk, especially with efficient systems like that of beloved local South Florida breakfast heroes El Bagel, located in Miami, Florida. El Bagel, formerly only offering their fare out of food trucks, opened a brick-and-mortar store that at the time of this article has been open for less than one month. 5 They are selling out of their stock daily even amidst the crisis of COVID-19. This food service business is not allowing any tickets at the door. Customers must order online and pick-up outside the store at a table where they interact with one single employee, white-gloved and saddled with sanitizer. The production-line-esque system, one even Ford would admire, is a great strategy for food service industry businesses to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on both the hard-working employees still showing up and the customers who are continuing efforts to support local business. We love to see sanitation.
A good way to stimulate business while also minimizing social contact is to offer discounts on deliveries as well. Many restaurants are offering this in the wake of COVID-19 to appease hungry customers who want to stay in the sanctity of their own homes. Notable in the realm of delivery, Uber Eats waived their delivery fee for all orders from independent restaurants starting March 16, 2020, in order to support local businesses affected by the coronavirus 2019 scare.6 The tech company has taken other measures to support local deliveries, such as allowing restaurants to make daily payments (as opposed to weekly billing), educating users about how to request doorstep deliveries, and supporting Uber delivery people both financially and by giving them proper sanitation materials.
It is of incredible importance for any business to maintain a social media presence. Your social media is an excellent business resource for brand building and customer communication, and in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, you must continue to stay engaged. If you need help keeping up with the digital mayhem, our social media marketing team is here to help. Use your social media platforms strategically to update customers on your efforts to keep clean, how you are supporting your staff, fluctuating business hours, and any deals you may be offering to stimulate business.
Fort Lauderdale Restaurants Offering Delivery and Pick-Up
As a premier digital marketing agency in South Florida, we have made a short list of some of our favorite neighboring restaurants on Las Olas Boulevard offering delivery and keeping COVID-19’s impact on the food service industry at bay. Support your local businesses in this harrowing time through your patronage – the customer is the ultimate business resource. As of March 20, 2020, these local Fort Lauderdale restaurants are open for delivery and curbside pick-up: 7, 8
- American Social
- Asia Bay Sushi & Thai
- Bo’s Pub
- Casa Sensei
- Del Frisco’s Grille
- El Camino
- Gran Forno Pronto
- Java and Jam
- Red Door Asian Bistro
- Royal Pig Pub
- Sky Thai Sushi
- The Chimney House
- Wild Sea Oyster Bar & Grille
Other blogs in this series:
1Sun Sentinel – Florida Coronavirus Updates
2Miami New Times – Countywide Coronavirus Order Closes Restaurant Dining Rooms and Bars
3Oklahoma State University – Impacts of COVID-19 on the Food Industry
4National Restaurant Association – Coronavirus Information and Resources
5El Bagel – El Bagel Miami
7WQAM Radio – Open for Delivery