These days all the owners of bars and restaurants are trying to decide whether to open with the takeaway service or wait for June 1st. The choice is not easy, especially not knowing how the market will respond; it seems that one of the most targeted categories is ours. One thing is certain, we must prepare for reopening both from a regulatory and a relations point of view, we must begin to re-establish relationships and prepare for a new start with a bang.

Believe it or not, most customers don't come to you, only, for your exquisite dishes and cocktails; According to a Doxa survey carried out on behalf of Groupon for 9 out of 10 Italians, the main push towards restaurants and bars is given by two specific factors: the desire to feel good and sociability. When they imposed the lockdown on us, it is this network of habits and relationships that we have lost, more than a good cappuccino. Even in phase 2, unfortunately, this aspect of sociability will be severely compromised.

Couldn't we try to digitize this relationship aspect? Social networks now offer us many tools to aggregate people who share interests. Think for example of Facebook groups. What prevents us from creating a group for all customers in our restaurant? The investment is zero, if not in terms of time, but this is the only thing that is going on at the moment.

More than 1 billion people every month use Facebook groups for various reasons: connecting, reaching common goals, discovering and sharing interests, we all feel part of a community. Creating a facebook group now allows us to prepare the ground for the "real" reopening. Let's try to see some advantages:

  1. Opening digitally allows us to rebuild the network of relationships between us, our employees and our customers; we can share emotions, find out about their health, give vent to gourmandism. It could be the only group where the "Buongiornissimo kaffèèèèè" are not disturbing!
  2. We can update customers on what we are doing to reopen safely, then give serious and practical information
  3. We can use it as a channel for requests for information
  4. We can organize contests and initiatives such as breakfast or lunch paid for a friend on reopening (if we can get paid first this also supports our cash flow)
  5. Your regulars that you manage to involve will also involve other friends who may not have come to your place. And if they have breathed a good climate in your facebook group, where do you think they will go as soon as they can?
  6. You can launch debates and surveys, you can get to know your customers better and adapt your offer to their real tastes and needs.
  7. You can become consultants to those who are at home doing your job! Many chefs ventured into groups where participants asked for advice on cooking, recipes, preparations.

You will see that by using the group you will come up with a thousand ideas on how to manage it better. Obviously the group works better if connected to a local page. The page is used to promote the brand of the place and is one-way, the group serves for an equal dialogue, everyone can publish posts (you decide what role you want to have on the group, so if you want to moderate or not) and the exchange and between all participants

It is not the same, we have never done it, it does not generate (immediate) turnover, it is not our world ... ok, we all agree. But now it is, the level of digitization after this quarantine has risen significantly and there will be no going back! Nothing will be like before, it is time for us to start thinking with a new head, guided by the thought "what can I digitize from my daily activity?". We have proposed a way to transform the main reason for attraction towards the locals, socialization, from real to digital. It is up to you to decide whether to continue to remain inert or take all the possible routes before giving it to you.

If you want we at CGM, we also try to support you in this activity, in any case let us know about messanger what you think, if you have decided to try and how it is going.