Whats Happenening Locally

How to help local restaurants after a night out on the town

Nov 10, 2023

The restaurant business was dealt a significant blow during the COVID-19 pandemic, when forced closures of nonessential businesses reduced many eateries to takeout-only establishments. Even when those restrictions were relaxed, social distancing guidelines meant many establishments could not seat guests at full capacity, further cutting into restaurants' profits.

Now that life has largely returned to pre-pandemic normalcy, the restaurants that made it through the restrictions are back, and many are as busy as ever. But there's still a lot diners can do to help bars and restaurants after a night out on the town. The benefits of a thriving local business sector include more tax revenue, more jobs, a stronger sense of community, and, in communities with ample nightlife opportunities, a town that residents view as a fun place to live. A local business sector benefits when customers do their part, and the following are some ways residents can help their local bars and restaurants continue their recovery from pandemic-related restrictions.

* Write an online review - A recent report from Review Tracker found that 81 percent of consumers are inclined to visit Google Reviews before patronizing a business. A positive review on Google Reviews or other popular review aggregators like Yelp is sure to benefit a local restaurant. Share details about the food and drinks, but don't forget to mention exceptional service as well.

* Spread the word to neighbors and friends - Online reviews are a great way to spread the word far and wide, but word-of-mouth also can be effective. The marketing solution experts at Hibü contend that word-of-mouth marketing is the most popular way to recommend a business. Share details of a fun night out at a local bar or restaurant when speaking with friends and neighbors around town.

* Do it all over again in the future - Repeat customers are the backbone of many small businesses, and bars and restaurants are no exception. A report in Harvard Business Review noted that onboarding a new customer can be as much as 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing customer. The next time a night of socializing is in order, go back to the bar or restaurant where such a fun night was had on the first go-round. Doing so ensures another night's worth of fun memories and helps bars and restaurants thrive.

After enduring hardships related to the pandemic, many bars and restaurants are back to offering great service in a fun atmosphere. But there's still a lot their loyal customers can do to ensure such establishments continue to thrive in the future.