Giovanni’s of Menifee’s “Disaster To-Go Menu” was an instant hit after COVID-19 closed the restaurants’ dining room. According to owner Tom Powers, there are two keys to that success – taking a hard look at your menu to see what translates best to take-out, and then marketing, marketing, marketing.
Powers worked with his Shamrock Foods Sale Representative to cut back on items that may not carryout or deliver well. He wants people to be able to enjoy a good hot meal that’s as close as possible to what they’d be served in restaurant. For example, a hot cooked-to-order steak isn’t going to travel well, but pizzas, wings, pastas and sandwiches served in microwavable takeout containers bring a little taste of Giovanni’s to his guests’ homes.
To get the word out, Powers and his team took a layered approach to marketing efforts beginning with aggressive feet-on-the-street activities, including neighborhood doorhangers and leave-behinds of Giovanni’s “Disaster To-Go Menu” wherever possible, citing his own doctor’s office as one example.
He also tapped into his existing rewards program to text members about the to-go menu offerings and sent out multiple emails to his customer database. Powers also communicates a daily deal through these channels as well as on social media.
Even by just putting a sign out in front of his establishment, he’s getting new customers thankful for more options and interested in supporting local restaurants. More importantly, Giovanni’s large, loyal senior-citizen audience – many still visiting the establishment daily – have expressed sincere gratitude to the restaurant for finding a way to operate during this time.
Powers has seen such an uptick in delivery order revenue through DoorDash and Grubhub that once things are back to business as usual, he’s considering looking into the restaurant having its own delivery driver.
Thanks to Powers strong business approach, Giovanni’s is doing more than surviving this crisis – it’s making plans for the foreseeable future, one that involves increased revenue from both a packed dining room and demand for high-quality delivery orders.
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