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How to Bring Guests Back After COVID

  • by: Shannon Harper
  • On: 28, Oct 2020
6 min read

Let's face it. The future of COVID remains unclear. However, many believe life will get back to normal. Predictions include full capacity at some point in 2021. As we close 2020 and head into the new year, these tips can help bring guests back inside.

Some things, of course, just won't change. Guests will most likely still have a heightened cleanliness expectation. Don't expect clean bathrooms, hand sanitizer, and other safety protocols to go away any time soon.

When COVID risks go down, restaurants, bars, cafes, and specialty food stores need to prepare.

These are some of the most effective ways to bring guests back:


1. Start tracking guest visits before things get back to normal. Then, you can automate a campaign when their loyalty declines. 

This marketing tactic is affordable, smart, accessible, and included with Bloom Intelligence. 

Here's how it works. Bloom's hardware can detect when a guest is at risk of churning and sends an automated message with an offer to get them to come back in. 

Many marketers and restaurant owners shudder when they hear the word "offer." However, a well-planned offer can't increase your revenue per ticket while improving guest loyalty. 

Examples of ROI-driven offers include: 

  • Two free fountain drinks with the purchase of two meals.
  • One free fountain drink with your purchase of $15 or more.
  • Buy one taco, get another taco for free.
  • Buy one pizza, get another pizza for half off.
  • Free dessert with a purchase of $50 or more.
  • Free chips with a sandwich.

personalizing guest experiences free guide

Evaluate your offerings and determine what you can offer with the least backend costs. You can then find a way to include them in an offer that will increase your revenue per transaction.

79% of Americans say they are more likely to join a rewards program that doesn't require them to carry a physical card. With Bloom Intelligence, customer loyalty programs are based on their presence instead of requiring a physical card. Specifically, if a guest has a phone that is on, regardless of whether they are using it, Bloom's technology can detect their presence.

Let's face it. Your loyal customers who return deserve a reward. You deserve increased revenue.


2. Start promoting gift card sales before things get back to normal.

Even if you were to offer gift cards at a discount, the revenue influx could keep you afloat before restaurants begin opening to full capacity.  

However, similarly to offers, you'll want to evaluate your gift card promotions to ensure they increase your revenue per transaction in the future.

Here's how to do it. First, determine the average ticket for two people. 

If the average ticket for two people is $20, pushing a $20 gift card for $15 promo is ideal. 

You can earn $15 from your customer, and when they come back, they are likely to spend at least $5 more. Approximately 72% of consumers will spend more than their gift card's total value when making a purchase.

In fact, customers are more likely to order extra drinks and desserts with their previous gift card purchase. 

In the end, the guest that spent $15 for a gift card is more likely to pay more than $5 more when they come back to visit. That is, if they return to use the gift card at all. 

If they do come back, you gain customer loyalty without participating in high revenue loss risks.

how to save at risk customers at bars restaurants and cafes

3. Collect customer data on their terms.

Of course, you could offer the best promotions, but you won't reap many rewards unless your customers know about it. 

You'll want to start collecting email addresses with free WiFi as soon as possible.

Then, once you have an extensive database of guests to market to, you can track your ROI and improve guest satisfaction.


No matter what your plans are for bringing guests in after COVID, it's essential to start now. Let's face it. You can't reach guests to get them back into your locations any other way.

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