Few food operators in South Africa would have encountered a major health event like COVID-19. It has meant adapting with agility and creativity, learning on the go, and making the best of a challenging situation. Here we discuss ways to ensure your most valuable business asset - your customer base – is kept upto- date so they can be confident you have their interests at heart during the various lockdown stages and beyond.
With clear, friendly and frequent communication, your business has the opportunity to come out the other side of this period of upheaval with a loyal customer base intact.
An important part of maintaining solid relationship with your customers is to communicate news and updates using the speed of social media.
HERE’S SOME IMPORTANT INFORMATION TO SHARE WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS.
- Extra measures you’re taking to keep them safe.
- News of change in procedures such as contactless delivery.
- A reminder of your new opening hours.
- Any changes to your menu.
- Ways to get in touch with you to order food.
Use signs in your establishment to assure them you are taking the COVID-19 situation seriously and have put practices in place to keep both customers and staff safe.
THE KIND OF MESSAGES YOU CAN SHARE ARE:
Changes in payment methods to avoid handling cash.
Requests to use hand sanitiser when entering and exiting the store.
Reminders to practise social distancing whilst on your premises.
Polite requests for customers to use your home delivery services if they are feeling unwell.
Post notices in kitchens and bathrooms or send SMSs or WhatsApp’s to remind staff of the essential safety and hygiene practices they must maintain to limit the spread of COVID-19.
THESE COULD INCLUDE:
- A rigorous hand-washing routine.
- Constant wiping down, disinfecting and sanitising of food utensils and preparation surfaces.
- Observing social distancing rules.
- Avoiding any behaviour that is at odds with basic hygiene practices.
- Staying away from work if experiencing any symptoms of a respiratory illness.