Extreme inflation like we are experiencing now, has impacted everyone—not just your restaurant!

As prices climbed 8.6% in May 2022, a reacceleration of inflation has made it increasingly difficult for some Americans to afford everyday purchases.

According to the Texas Restaurant Association, here’s what you need to know:

• Airfares and other travel costs jumped.
• As oil supply remains tight, energy leads inflation higher.
• Food inflation accelerated, driven by soaring prices for eggs, dairy, and meat.
• Markets recoil as investors react to higher-than-expected inflation.
• To ease inflation, the Federal Reserve recently raised interest rates, leaving Wall Street economists and small business owners worried that a recession is on its way.

What’s the result of all of this uncertainty? Everyone’s taking a closer look at their finances. And, the first decision is to stop all marketing efforts to “save money.”

However, this is the time, now more than ever, to keep your brand in front of consumers and to NOT stop your marketing efforts.

Here are a few ways to do so that have proven impact:

1. A well-timed marketing message that capitalizes on big pay days coming the end of 2022 (September 2, September 30, December 2 and December 30. These are key dates when paychecks and benefit payments happen simultaneously, which means more Americans are getting paid on the same dates.

2. Create family-meal carry out options. By providing a meal with multiple portions in lieu of individual entrees – a whole pan of lasagna with a large salad, for example – you save on packaging, avoid delivery and/or third-party fees, and generate revenue for multiple meals rather than one or two.

3. Promote gift-cards! The revenue from gift cards is going to help keep you afloat with cash now without having to provide something in return until things become more stable. Plus, gift card redemption is about 80% on average anyway, so the rest of those sales are pure profit.

4. Continuing customer communication. Keeping your restaurant top-of-mind for guests is crucial to winning back their business when it’s time. If you’re not communicating with them and telling them what’s going on, they will think you shut down. Keep content light and entertaining to get guests excited about coming back and bringing a friend with them!

5. Update your hiring and training methods. Now is the time to update your on-boarding process and training procedures so you are prepared to hire the strongest and most qualified staff. Customer’s experience leads to 5-star reviews, which translates into free marketing and brand promotion. Customer service is everything, especially when the consumer is having to pay higher prices for their meal. Higher prices assume better service in the mindset of your customer.

As Donald Burns, well-known restaurant coach stated, “like a lot of things, this economic recession is hitting hard and heavy, but it also will end and there is something at the end of this. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. So have faith—but also have a solid plan. I’ve heard people say this to me, ‘I just can’t wait for things to get back to normal.’ Well, it’s not going to be normal. Everything changed, so we have to be willing to change our mindset and accept that there’s going to be a new normal. And whatever that normal is, if you have a plan and you’re flexible and adaptable, you’ll survive and you’ll also thrive.”

For any questions or marketing support, please contact EnvisionWorksMarketing@gmail.com. We are all about DFW Restaurant Success!