Google, the world’s biggest source for information, is likely where your customers are turning to find answers and the latest developments surrounding restaurant safety amid the COVID-19 health crisis. This makes it essential for restaurants to proactively communicate with customers about everything, from changes that may affect them, to any updates on operating models.
Additionally, it’s important for restaurants to make sure that their responses are clear, thorough, and genuine. Because during such an uncertain time, the way in which businesses deliver information is just as important as the content’s quality and authenticity.
To help your restaurant stay informed about customers’ most pressing concerns, here are the top five questions related to food and COVID-19 that people are Googling, along with answers from trusted organizations like the CDC.
“Can coronavirus be spread through food?”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Currently, there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food.”
The CDC also states that, although it’s possible someone can get COVID-19 by touching an object (such as a food packaging container) then touching areas of their face, the risk is very low. But to reduce the risk of transmission even more and for general food safety, it’s recommended that customers wash their hands for 20 seconds before eating.
“If COVID-19 gets in my food, can I get sick with it?
At this time, it seems unlikely that the virus can be transmitted through food. This is based on current information gathered thus far, and further investigation is still needed.
Also, when responding to this question, be sure to include all the initiatives your restaurant is taking to reduce the spread of coronavirus and ensure food safety. Have you increased your hand washing protocols? Is your backroom staff required to wear gloves during food preparation? Your customers will value your transparency and efforts to keep them safe.
“Is it safe to eat at restaurants during the COVID-19 outbreak?
After weeks of dining rooms being closed, restaurants around the country are now going through their reopening processes. But many customers are still wondering whether or not it’s safe to start dining-in at restaurants again.
At this time, many restaurants are being asked to reduce their capacities and limit the number of customers that they serve on-premise. They’re also being asked to adhere to social distancing standards by ensuring that customers or groups of customers remain six feet apart.
If your restaurant is reopening, be sure to check any guidelines that your state or local municipality might have issued.
Let customers know that you’ll follow all recommended mandates and offer them details on what you plan on, or are, doing to keep them safe when they’re dining in.
Keep information surrounding relevant updates on the virus and your restaurant’s efforts to keep both your customers and employees safe prominently showcased on your website, send it out in emails to your customers, and share it across all of your social media feeds.
“Is it safe to order takeout during the pandemic?”
By limiting human contact, takeout still remains one the safest ways for customers to enjoy food from a restaurant. And operators can enhance the health and safety aspect of their takeout services even more by offering curbside pickup to make the experience completely contactless.
OneDine’s order, pay, and pickup solution, for instance, is completely touch-free. Our technology eliminates the need for hand-held menus and conventional forms of payment exchanges, such as cash and printed receipts, by turning your restaurant into a contactless takeout zone
During the current gathering restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 health crisis, we’re offering to set up this solution for free for all restaurants to help them weather any reduced revenues that they may be experiencing at this time. All setup and transaction fees will be waived for Scan & Order and Scan & Pay activity. All tech is free of charge, and restaurants can be onboarded, at no cost and with no contracts or commitments, in as little as 24 hours. Typical credit card processing fees do apply.
Armed with a OneDine solution customized for your restaurant brand, you can ease customers’ concerns by letting them know that they can:
- Place an order directly on their mobile devices
- Pay for their order on a mobile-optimized online payment system or by using a Text-to-Pay option
- Drive up to a parking space with a OneDine sign and scan its QR code to launch a web page where they can order and pay from their devices
- Have their food delivered straight to their vehicles, eliminating any need for physical contact
Plus, your customers can seamlessly place and pay for their orders all on a mobile-friendly web page. There’s no need for them to download a separate guest app on their devices.
When it comes to choosing a restaurant during this health crisis, your customers have safety top-of-mind. These are the types of questions that they are seeking answers to right now.