With the circulation of vaccines, the flickering light of hope to survive the pandemic soon vanished when India was attacked with the double mutant virus causing mass scale deaths, demanding the imposition of partial lockdown hence ravaging the restaurant and food business in India. While these businesses are still grappling with the losses of the previous year’s slow-out of home consumption, the newly imposed lockdowns and reduced business hours are creating a bleak future and pushing the industry back to square one. Besides the imposition, what is more, worrisome for the food and restaurant industry is the apprehension running in people’s minds about the hygiene and safety of food during preparation or delivery because here the human contact is established. Since these businesses stare at permanent closures, the food businesses need to rebrand themselves through effective communication and adoption of new business models. This will help to combat the fear factor and instill consumer confidence about the key safety practices such as no-contact delivery, delivery partner hygiene protocols, and right food handling practices.
The fear growing in people about the hygiene of food ordered from restaurants and outlets can be detrimental to the food businesses.
Proven Strategies to Rebrand your food businesses
In order to rebrand, food businesses should leverage the popularity of social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp such that the communication and initiatives adopted by the businesses reach effectively to the masses.
Reinventing the Food Business – Covid Meals Tiffin Service
While an individual is infected with coronavirus, it requires assistance with the meals for atleast 10-12 days as an individual’s body is rendered weak due to the infection. Therefore, here the local food businesses, mess, eatery outlets and canteens can explore the business opportunity of delivering nutritious meal tiffins to various hospitals and covid infected households.
This new initiative of delivering covid meals can be amplified using geo-targeted ads. The eatery outlets can promote their tiffin services by tagging the geo-location stamp of their outlets on social media accounts.
Targeted ads based on location will be beneficial since people are searching for tiffin services that are in the vicinity of the households. Connecting with acquaintances or friends on WhatsApp who have a large social circle can help in amplifying your brand’s newest initiative. Persuade them to spread knowledge about your tiffin services by giving them referral discounts and offers.
Celebrity Chefs can Help you ‘Unbox’ the Trust
Consumers will find the confidence to order food from hotels and food outlets when businesses collaborate with renowned chefs like Ranveer Brar, Saransh Goila, Kunal Kapur, etc. The belief of ‘ordering food is safe’ can be reinstated with such collaborations.
Food businesses, in collaboration with celebrity chefs, should shoot unboxing videos of their food packaging on Instagram and Facebook to let people know about the highest safety measures being followed. Leveraging the high fan base of these chefs will help in the rebranding of your food business.
Announcement of Food Trucks on Social Media
Since dining in restaurants and hotels is prohibited, food businesses can open food trucks outside the residential complexes for a limited amount of time. But before setting a food truck, food businesses should ensure that it is announced on social media where it asks people about their favourite street foods they miss eating on weekends.
This will increase engagement on social media as people would love to comment about the food they miss eating. Through comments received, food trucks can design menus catering to the demands of the consumer.
Campaigns and Instagram filters
In its video ad campaign –‘# At your service’, Swiggy persuades people using social media channels to order from local restaurants and help small food outlets revive their business.
To create a recall of its brand, Swiggy launched its Instagram filter ‘Foodoshop on Instagram’ which comprised Instagram filters with food dishes. Users started sharing their ‘lockdown miseries’ about missing their favourite dish or restaurants using various filters. Such rekindling of memories helps brands to have a high recall value.
Similarly, food businesses can come up with contests and campaigns to add a fun element to people’s lives in such stressful times. Food outlets can come up with an initiative where they will offer welcome pastries and cakes for free to the family members or individuals who have just recovered from Covid and encourage them to post pictures on social media.
They can also partner with corporates who will be willing to offer sweets to the employees who have survived covid as a part of their employee welfare initiative and post the same on social media specifically on LinkedIn, while tagging the business name.
What is in it for the food businesses?
In times of such adversity, where lockdowns have troubled the restaurant and food businesses, rebranding the business to gain the consumer’s confidence is necessary to revive the business. The food businesses must establish the communication that ordering from food outlets is safe, convenient without compromising on hygiene protocols.