The global COVID-19 pandemic changed life as we know it. As shelter-in-place protocols were issued nationwide, thousands of restaurants were forced to shutter. Today, over a year and a half later, the world is opening back up as more and more people choose to get vaccinated against the deadly virus. According to Our World in Data, almost 40% of the world population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 40.5 million vaccines are being administered every day.
As restaurants start inviting patrons back to their establishments, the where and when of delivering vaccine requirement information is equally important. Many businesses, including Disney and Google, require proof of vaccination before a person can enter their facility. Restaurants are following suit, establishing vaccine mandates for their diners.
But how can restaurants let customers know about their vaccination policies before they book a reservation?
In early August, the business review app, Yelp, launched a new feature that enables consumers to filter for local companies requiring vaccination proof. The app also allows businesses to let customers know if their staff is fully vaccinated. OpenTable, an online reservation app, deployed a similar strategy with its Dine-On campaign, allowing restaurants to display their vaccination requirements on their OpenTable listing and even reply to patron inquiries via in-app direct messaging.
As more consumers opt to dine in at restaurants, they want to know about a company’s vaccination policies to keep themselves and their families safe. However, the ever-changing regional rules and scientific data make it challenging for customers to navigate this critical information.
Restaurants must do their part to educate diners. Omnichannel messaging can help.
What is omnichannel messaging?
Omnichannel messaging is a communications strategy that allows businesses to connect with consumers across multiple platforms. Customers can contact brands through popular messaging channels, such as Facebook, Instagram, and SMS. It also offers a seamless, high-quality customer experience no matter which channel the consumer chooses to use.
The importance of omnichannel messaging for restaurants
Omnichannel messaging is asynchronous, moving at the consumer’s pace and traveling with them on their smartphone. Instead of waiting on hold when calling a restaurant by phone, customers can conveniently access crucial information on their own time.
Diners can learn about restaurant vaccination protocols right before they head out or get reminders to mask up after booking their table. Restaurants can use Mitto SMS right through their CRM or Mitto’s Campaign Manager tool to keep their patrons updated on vaccine policies.
Not only does omnichannel messaging allow restaurants to educate diners on vaccination regulations, but it also builds trust, fostering positive relationships between businesses and customers.
How restaurants can use omnichannel messaging
Regarding the coronavirus vaccine, restaurants must position themselves as trustworthy sources on when and where diners can enjoy a meal at their establishment. Businesses need to establish consistent communications for this essential information and make it easy for customers to access it anywhere.
Some ways restaurants can create consistent messaging to build trust include:
- Using an approachable yet knowledgeable tone across all messaging platforms
- Providing accurate, up-to-date information on their vaccine protocols
- Communicating promptly with customers
- Directly addressing a diner’s needs and concerns
If an unvaccinated customer cannot dine in at a restaurant, they can easily order delivery right from their smartphone. For patrons uncomfortable dining in, omnichannel communication can help them find out if an establishment offers curbside pickup or how to get their meals to go safely.
Omnichannel messaging can make the transition to in-house dining easier for patrons and create an effortless, frictionless experience.
Providing value and certainty
In this post-pandemic world, businesses must establish trust with their customers and quickly address their concerns. Omnichannel messaging enables restaurants to effectively communicate their vaccination rules with patrons and offer other dining alternatives, such as delivery or curbside pickup.
Omnichannel messaging also keeps diners up to date on restaurant policies, makes them feel more secure, and provides unwavering certainty in uncertain times.
To learn more about how Mitto can help your restaurant, text us at (424) 653-3380. Our team is ready to help you.