Maintaining a strong and positive business image each year is challenging, but the COVID-19 pandemic made life especially difficult for many small restaurant owners. Fortunately this year Mikhail Goryachev of Nyam Nyam Café, Mike Discon of 4 brothers NY Bagels and Nelia Shehaj of Luliet Creamery & Bake Shop I found help tackling the challenges and using social media to offset the drop in dine-in income. (In March, the Texas governor ordered dine-in services to close, forcing restaurants to only offer take-away and delivery.)
Keep these restaurant owners Chris Romani of Romani branding & management to help them develop new strategies to ensure that their businesses not only survive but also thrive. He tailored the plans for each to meet their individual goals, needs and abilities.
Kebab dinner at Nyam Nyam Café. Courtesy photo.
Early security measures
Nyam Nyam Café, 15201 Mason Road, Cypress: Roma and Goryachev from Nyam Nyam Café have been working together since 2017, although Romani and his family were already regular customers. When the COVID-19 quarantine began, Romani and Mikhail developed one “First to Market” strategy This gave Nyam Nyam Café a head start in terms of visibility and accessibility for customers. “I remember when Southwest Airlines’ email came out about COVID-19 in late February, so I called Mikhail and told him we had to send messages about security,” Romani explained. “We were able to get that message across to customers and prospects well before most restaurants, and it had massive social effects: Multiple posts organically reached 25 to 50 times its usual footprint. ”
In addition, Nyam Nyam Café was one of the first local businesses to offer online ordering and family packages. Together, these efforts kept the cafe’s financials within the normal 10% month-to-month variance. “Customers responded to online orders pretty quickly and many became repeat customers,” said Goryachev. “We still use all of these early suggestions like the family packs for take-away, online and Facebook orders.”
A particularly effective and creative strategy has been to create a magnet with a QR code that customers can scan to access the menu and order online. This creative alternative to paper menus offers customers a convenient and efficient way to order again from Nyam Nyam coffee shop.
4 brothers NY Bagels. Courtesy photo.
Build a stronger presence on social media
4 brothers NY Bagels, Cypress: Although Discon had good initial results after opening its store in October 2019 by selling at the farmers’ market, things got tough when the markets had to close during quarantine. Discon implemented under Romani’s guidance targeted digital marketing Techniques for increasing visibility and promoting new customer relationships. The couple used a combined approach of Increasing the quality of the contributions, Ensure consistency and encouraging “calls to action” that his “super fans” were ready to get involved.
Romani and discon are also used paid advertising target specific demographics. “We were able to double the visibility of 4 Brothers NY Bagels led to an increase in orders of 200 to 300 percent within a month, ”says Romani. When the farmers’ markets reopened, we continued to use targeted paid advertising to increase sales, and we also developed online ordering. “According to Discon, this mix of methods has helped him identify new opportunities.
“What I like about Chris is that he has a wealth of ideas that will make you think outside the box, and that definitely helps,” said Discon. “The social media presence he posted for us has been a great, great help. Everything went in line with the reopening of the farmers’ market. Even on the weekends when no markets were open, we still saw a pretty good trend of people coming in and ordering, which was not originally the custom. It was definitely good social media engagement. It gives me a lot of security to know that I have someone with this kind of knowledge. “Discon plans to use similar strategies and guidance from Romani when opening its upcoming stationary location.
Shelf with goodies in the Luliet Creamery & Bake Shop. Courtesy photo.
Implementation of neighborhood delivery
Luliet Creamery & Bake Shop3625 FM 2920, Spring: The COVID-19 pandemic provided Shehaj with a unique incentive to expand her accessibility to customers through delivery. As new business in the first year, the bakery was dependent on sales in the store. The quarantine restrictions dictated a change, and Romani suggested deliveries from the neighborhood.
They tested the process with Romani’s own neighborhood, and then Nelia developed similar programs for other communities, drawing on the experience and teachings of those first deliveries. With Shehaj already having a strong marketing presence, the supplies were a way to capitalize on and expand on that effort. “It never crossed my mind that we could do neighborhood deliveries, but it was a brilliant idea given the COVID situation,” Shehaj said.
“During the quarantine everything was very unsafe and the situation was difficult. We didn’t even know if we would stay open, but because of his suggestion we were able to stay open and keep all the staff [12 total including full- and part-time staff]. We were able to reach new customers. It was wonderful. That was really, really nice. ”
After Romani helped initiate the delivery program, he continued to provide support. “Every time a new neighborhood was added it was a challenge to manage orders, ensure proper delivery, etc.,” Shehaj said. “Chris really was a good sounding board for all of this and helped us get things done faster and in a more organized manner. Working with Chris is more of a friendship than a consultant. He really cares and is involved in many parts of the business in a personal way. “
All three customers emphasized that working with Romani felt more like a friendship than a business transaction. “He was always available during the quarantine,” says Mikhail. “He’s not only a partner in crime, he’s also a good friend.” Not only is it available, it is really there.
“The nice thing about Chris is that he is always ready to go the extra mile,” said Discon. “He is more than ready to intervene. He even helped me cut bagels and batter, and not too many people advertising are going to do that. It speaks volumes about his character. “Shehaj added,” He has always been a friend of the bakery since it opened. It’s wonderful to have people to take care of you. “
Restaurant owners who could also use an outside perspective and new strategies to face the challenges that 2021 will bring Reach Chris at (281) 638-3534, email him or visit the Romani Branding & Management website and fill out the contact form.
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