Our team has seen restaurants through countless disasters, including one Hepatitis outbreak (which is when we chose “Livin’ on a Prayer” as our hand-washing song), the economic recession in 2008, and of course, the after-effects of 9/11. And now we’re tackling the immeasurable impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
From our new home offices and kitchen tables, we’re helping Xperience Restaurant Group’s signature brands, including Pink Taco and Sol, adapt to a world in which the restaurant “experience” is delivered in sealed paper bags, or picked up across a six-foot table piled with tequila bottles, t-shirts and other remnants of the before times. Despite those limitations, we’re helping keep the restaurants open, their brands intact, and their new sales on an upward path.
Digital marketing has been key. If you asked us 2 months ago how often to post on Instagram or send emails to your list, we would have given you some nice conservative numbers that had proven effective. Today, we’ve doubled those numbers. Customers stuck at home are opening emails and scrolling through Instagram more than ever, and we’re giving them the content they want – not much talk of hand-washing, but lots of margaritas, food porn, and just plain good humor. (See more examples over here.) The social metrics, like the sales, keep climbing. Impressions, engagement, and those all-important profile actions are growing in tandem across the brands, showing that staying connected is as essential as ever.
Now we’re starting to look at what the future could bring for the restaurants we love. Sharing resources with restaurateurs from around the globe, especially those in Asian cities now recovering from their Covid-19 outbreaks. Exploring affordable, accessible menu designs that can be printed in the back office and replaced for every diner. And digging deep on a new model of take-out packaging, because reliance on take-out and delivery is one thing we’re confident is here to stay.
Restaurants are a challenge in the best of times, but we love them, both personally and professionally. So we’ll be here, fighting alongside them from afar, until we’re on the other side of this.