Yes, these are unprecedented times with restaurants, pubs, cafes and other F&B businesses restricted to takeaway and delivery only. Yes, it’s troublesome that restaurateurs cannot provide customers the warming personal interactions we’re familiar with in the hospitality industry

The good news is, the time we’re living in has left us with technology tools that allow us to continue interacting with customers. And while you miss your customers, rest assured, they miss you too and are still looking for ways to support businesses like yours.  

If you communicate effectively, customers will be happy to respond and share your information on social media platforms. By staying connected with your customers now, you’ll be more likely to see them return to your doors when you’re able to return to normal operations. Let’s go through some steps that can be taken now to better communicate with your customers while in isolation.  

How customers have been affected

Before getting into how you should get your message across, it’s important to understand that customers have also been affected by COVID-19. With their behaviours and spending patterns changing during this pandemic, understanding this will help you build the appropriate strategy to communicate with them.  

Retail Doctor Group recently compiled some interesting data to record changes in Australian spending patterns. Here are some key points they found: 

  • 53% of Australian consumers say their income has not been affected during this period 
  • Younger consumers (ages 18-35) and females were most affected 
  • Metropolitan areas are more affected than regional. 
  • Consumers are considering spending up to 21% of their income on takeaway/food delivery services. Liquor falls at 16%. 

As far as how they conduct their spending habits, research has also shown that customers are changing the way they interact with brands/retailers. This shift in consumer behaviour is prompting businesses to rethink their strategies, not only to recover, but to continue growing post-pandemic. 

Social Media Behaviour

With customers now prompted to become more digital savvy, social media usage and online shopping have increased significantly. Individuals have turned to social media to connect with their communities and stay up to date, while businesses have hopped onto social media for marketing purposes and have shifted their sales online when possible. 

Facebook saw an increase of 140,000 Australian users from February to March in 2020, while Instagram jumped from roughly 9.5 million to 9.7 million. That flock online will eventually lead to discovering their favourite businesses online, which is where your strategy comes in. 

Social Media Strategy  

When you get a sense of your target audience, you have to ask yourself many questions, such as: what do customers like about you? Who is your target audience? What time of day works best for your content? What are your assets? From there, you can build out your content strategy and plan out your calendar.  

Facebook and Instagram tend to work best for F&B venues, but there are certainly others you can consider, such as LinkedIn if your target is B2B. 

Content is only half the battle though, as it’s important to track what’s working for your page and what isn’t. Once you get to posting, you’ll have to evaluate what type of content is performing best and try to replicate what works. 

It’s important to establish your goals for social media, which should include: increasing product sales, creating engagement with users and growing your website.  

Building your communication strategy effectively will depend on many factors. First of all, you should establish who on your team will be directly responsible for customer comms. You’ll have to make it clear to customers that you’re easily accessible and responsive on multiple social media channels.

Stay in sight 

Now is NOT the time to go quiet on social media, as inactivity may send the message that you’re shut down for good. Whether you’re only open for takeaway/delivery or are only temporarily closed, keep the line of communication going with your customers. 

For further tips on social media tools, you can check out clips from H&L’s recent webinar on customer communications here.

How H&L can help you 

There’s a reason the H&L team is full of hospitality professionals. This industry experience leaves the team better prepared to act quickly in situations like these. Recently, H&L launched a new feature called OrderNow, which allows restaurants to: 

  • Offer takeaway and/or delivery via their website 
  • Watch orders flow directly into Sysnet, their kitchen printer and order display monitor 
  • Use it for food services or takeaway liquor. 

In addition to this new feature, we’re also offering subscriptions to our point of sales system now, with quick set up and training, with no need to pay until your venue is trading again.  

H&L clients can receive a free upgrade to Sysnet V9, which can be done remotely. Just email  

Wrapping Up 

We want to make sure our clients are prepared to navigate through these unprecedented times, so just remember the H&L team is always here to support you in any way you need.  


H&L POS – working with you to help you grow your business
H&L POS has been delivering POS solutions with extensive back of house and staff management systems to the hospitality industry for more than 30 years. As hospitality people at heart, H&L understand the critical requirements for each food and beverage operation. We have staff in every state of Australia providing direction and advice as you grow and as technology changes.
Call us at 1800 778 340, email or fill in the form below to discuss your venue’s needs.