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Rapid Recovery Series: Session #7 – Winning Your Customer Back

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As we’ve seen, consumer confidence and a successful reopening go hand-in-hand. To garner and boost confidence in the ‘new normal’, marketing will take centre stage.

Session #7: Winning Your Customer Back presented by Silverware POS explored COVID-19 consumer trends, marketing strategies, and best practices for foodservice operators. 

The panel featured amazing insights from key industry players like Jo-Ann McArthur, President of Nourish Food Marketing, Steve Buors, Co-Founder & CEO of Reshift Media, Kathy Snow, Director of Marketing & Communications at DRMG, and Charlie Angelakos, Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs at Labatt Breweries of Canada who spoke specifically to the P.O.S.T. Promise program (People Outside Safely Together). 

We’ll focus specifically here on an overview of the consumer trends that will be top of mind, as well as the challenges and opportunities leading the way into reopening and recovery. 

We recommend viewing the full panel here to layer on those specific marketing tactics as this will provide you with a good base to work off of when thinking about how you will move forward. As reminder, you can view all session recordings and download the presentation decks here.

Setting the stage, operators should note that uncertainty reigns at the moment. Consumers worry about the state of the economy, as well as a possible second wave of COVID-19.

I think we can all attest to how many loaves of sourdough bread we saw on our Instagram feeds during the COVID-19 quarantine. This increase in home cooking and baking was one of the biggest consumer trends during COVID-19.

Other trends include:

  • Cooking as a family activity 
  • From snacking to three square meals a day
  • Consumers are more mindful about what they’re buying
  • Food waste is top of mind issue
  • Comfort foods and the “quarantini”
  • COVID fatigue, looking for mental relief

Operators are facing a number of challenges on the road to recovery including:

  • Building trust with consumers
  • Bringing joy back into the dining experience 
  • Remaining agile as conditions change 

What are the opportunities that come along with these challenges?

  • Pent-up demand for connection and experience
  • Domestic travel increasing (becoming a tourist in your own neighbourhood)
  • Boredom at home and your own cooking
  • Support for local; leading with your passion and story 
  • Transparency when it comes to cleaning, safety measures and pricing 

Finally, taking a look at the trends from our pre-COVID life, which are we seeing carry over to our ‘new normal’?

  • Single-use items became the norm during COVID, but in our ‘new normal’, the guilt of using single-use will facilitate a renewed passion and interest  in climate change
  • A more in-depth look at our protein sources will also occur in the ‘new normal’
    • This includes a continued increase in plant-based
    • As well as consumers taking an interest in and exploring meat processing 

Rapid Recovery Series Articles

Session #1: COVID-19 Impact and Industry Outlook

Session #2: Opening Your Doors to a Safer Future

Session #3: What’s Your Post-COVID Profit Model?

Session #4: Navigating Landlord and Tenant Agreements

Session #5: Driving Online Revenue

Session #6: Rebuilding Your Wardrobe

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