While people are finally able to obtain a vaccine for COVID-19 and the ability to travel, move around, shop, and dine out is increasing, restaurants have a long hill ahead of them before getting back to a business “normality.”
In fact, entire behavior patterns have changed in people after a year of completely living at home and avoiding regular work presence, school, commuting, and traffic. And that means businesses have to work extra hard in diversifying how they produce income and revenue channels to stay viable.
Many restaurants realized early the only way they were going to stay in business was to boost their ability to handle delivery, ordering out, pick up, and other forms of fresh-cooked food transfer to customers who could no longer dine in.
While people generally tried producing their food regularly at home, overall, Americans are used to picking up and eating out. So, the demand never actually left; it was stifled by COVID restrictions.
However, even now, many communities are still maintaining social restrictions to prevent new COVID infections until vaccinations are fully in place at every age level. That means restaurants and food preparation businesses have to continue leveraging direct mail to be heard, seen, connect and remain on the attention radar of customers.
4 Reasons Direct Mail Works
1. Direct mail is almost always local.
The most likely customers that can and will visit a restaurant from the surrounding area are the primary target for print mails.
2. Direct mail is significantly lower in cost than other marketing channels.
This is a key factor for food businesses that are already strapped and trying to stay in breakeven with the loss of income thanks to COVID.
3. Direct mail has a higher return on investment.
The return on investment of a simple print card mailer can be thousands upon thousands of dollars when a customer responds to an included call to action.
Add in the additional benefit of discounting, and that same customer is likely to buy even more, increasing a business's revenue and cash flow per sale.
4. Direct mailers should be designed to be re-used.
Customers love the ability to use a marketing tool or coupon repeatedly.
And that creates both business retention and a greater amount of income stream for a restaurant or food business, again the primary goal of the effort in the first place.
Now is the Time
Restaurants and food businesses that rely on retail traffic shouldn’t be waiting for social restrictions to lift further.
Marketing takes time to have a positive effect, which is why direct mail efforts need to be sent out on a cyclical basis, pushing and reminding folks of a restaurant’s presence and availability.
As people keep being reminded, especially as they start commuting to work again, the food business will become viable and convenient for a warm meal, even if it is still takeout or delivery. Card stock direct mailers can help tremendously. So don’t wait for the market to reappear. Get out there and chase it now!