April marked a full month of sheltering in place and shuttered dining rooms for most of the U.S., leaving many of us with ample time to stay up to date on industry news and plan for the “new normal.” Here, we count down the five most read restaurant stories for the month.
5. Chipotle’s Loyalty Program Explodes: COVID-19 Success Story
The fast-casual brand has quickly pivoted during the COVID-19 pandemic, flexing the power of its digital platform. Chipotle continues to make investments to reduce friction while increasing access (i.e. free delivery). The brand has shifted its marketing dollars to social, as more eyeballs are on social than ever before. These efforts are paying off: enrollments in its loyalty program have increased from 8M to 12M in a few months.
This article also details Chipotle’s food safety and employee wellness protocols, many of which have been in place since the 2015-2018 food safety incidents that sent sales plunging.
4. 22nd Annual Restaurant Technology Study: Delivering on Expectations
RTN’s workgroups are known for bringing together the industry, suppliers and operators alike, for solving common and complex problems such as Opens APIs, Security and Compliance and Third-Party Delivery. RTN’s first COVID-19 workgroup call on March 18 had the participation of nearly 300 restaurants and vendor companies.
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3. The New Marketing Communications Playbook During COVID-19
No one wants that “I’m being sold to” feeling these days. For now, put those traditional marketing offers on hiatus and read this timely article about how to adapt your marcom messages across channels (Hello, social!) to optimize customer engagement and nurture those customer relationships.
2. Restaurant Technology in the Post-COVID-19 World
It goes without saying that we are in uncharted territory. Restaurants that recognize we are emerging into a different operational and technology landscape will rebound and thrive in the new world of personal safety and social behavior. Payment tech, employee safety, checklists, cleaning, paper menus and more. There was so much to unpack in this article by Toby Malbec, Managing Director of ConStrata Technology Consulting and a member of HT’s MURTEC advisory board, we divided it into two parts.
1. Restaurant Business Model Changes in a Post COVID-19 World
The most-read story on HT is the second part of Toby Malbec’s article that takes a look at the alarm bells raised by the COVID-19 pandemic. Consumers are concerned not just about restaurant employee personal hygiene and cleanliness standards, but those of our merchants, and their merchants, and their merchants.