Eating and Shopping Local: How Local Businesses are Adapting and Navigating Through Pandemic Times with Community Support

Local businesses are the heart of every community. By supporting local restaurants and shops, citizens are contributing to the economic growth and flourish of their communities. Many aspects of our communities have changed since COVID-19 began. Restaurants are facing difficult challenges of having to close early, limit food and alcohol sales and reject customers due to capacity restrictions. With that being said, there have been a lot of crafty ways to support local businesses.

Restaurant Weeks

One way to generate eating and shopping local has been winter restaurant weeks. With fixed menus and great drink deals, citizens are encouraged to take out or dine in at restaurants. In Bethlehem, PA, Winter Restaurant Week began the first week of February on the North Side, and last week on the South Side. Restaurants on the North Side include Apollo Grill, Hotel Bethlehem, Billy’s Downtown Diner, Edge Restaurant, McCarthy’s Red Stag Pub and Whiskey Bar, The Brick, Tavern at the Sun-Inn, The Flying Egg, Melting Pot, Lafayette Room, Twisted Olive, Tapas on Main, Urbano and Bethlehem Brew Works. You can view all of the individual menus for lunch and dinner here. Both lunch and dinner menus are available, but only until the end of the week.

Along with great restaurants in the historic downtown Bethlehem, there are many great shops. One could have a great night by having a wonderful dinner and enjoying some of the shops before or after. There are many hidden gems, and you never know when you will find your new favorite restaurant or shop.

Restaurant weeks are a great way for people to discover new restaurants while ensuring that the profits are going to the restaurant itself. By eliminating delivery from the restaurant week menus, restaurants are able to cut out third-party delivery costs. Restaurant weeks taking place in the winter season also provides customers with the opportunity to get out of their house for a bit and have somewhere to go.

While many precautions are still in place for restaurants that participate in Restaurant Week, the fun and safe experience is benefiting many community members. By eating and shopping local, communities are able to not only stay alive, but take on a new life within the pandemic times.

Downtown Bethlehem, PA restaurant, Apollo Grill

Social Media

We live in an era based on technology, but amidst the global pandemic, social media is even more important today than it was before. Businesses are adapting and focusing more on their online presence to stay relevant and continue to generate revenue. Local shops and restaurants are working on building a following not just location-based, but nation-wide. Through platforms like Instagrams, Facebook and Tik-Tok, businesses are able to have a much larger outreach.

Prior to the pandemic, social media was still important, because multiple generations have grown up with it. Now, with restrictions across many local businesses, the best way to keep customers and potential clients in the loop is through their social media exposure.

Social media is also another way that customers can support their local businesses. It costs $0 to like and follow local restaurants and shops, and it helps them build their brand. By tagging businesses, you are helping that business gain additional exposure, and potentially new customers. Every person has the opportunity to help build up one another, and while it may seem insignificant, one post, like or follow could help grow local businesses within your community.

Recent Tapas Instagram post promoting food off their menu

How Can Technology Improve Local Businesses?

As previously discussed, social media is playing a large role in local businesses. Technology is always contributing to the growth of local businesses. Of course delivery services are huge for restaurants, but they take significant amounts of revenue from the restaurant. While larger numbers of orders come in, the restaurant is having less money in their pockets. By focusing on the promotion of curbside pick-up and dining in, restaurants are able to generate significantly more money.

UBMe strives to provide restaurants with technology that will grow their number of orders, customer base, and provide more revenue overall. UBMe provides restaurant owners with a custom landing page for their menu as well, making it unique to their restaurant aesthetic.  Through UBMe’s ‘Online Ordering and Curbside Communication Platform,’ customers are able to order online and upon pick-up, communicate with a staff member about their order status.

This technology is very important because it provides customers with the tools for eating out and supporting local businesses. The technology also is contact-free, providing customers and restaurant staff members with the means to virtually communicate safely, yet efficiently. Our goal is to continue to allow customers to eat local and support their favorite restaurants while making sure that proper safety protocols can still be maintained.

Customers can order online easily from any device, and restaurants can track the orders and statistics

Can UBMe Benefit Your Restaurant?

The end goal for any business is to make money. By investing a small amount of money per month in UBMe’s restaurant technology, restaurants are seeing a large amount of growth. Within a short time frame of using our technology, restaurants are noticing increases in take-out sales, and overall more revenue. One of our current clients, C & H Hawaiian Grill, just opened a second location in Texas, and are utilizing UBMe’s technology at both locations.

If you are a restaurant and looking to provide a more efficient ordering platform to customers as well as increase your revenue, UBMe’s Restaurant Platform is worth looking into. If you have any questions or would like to discuss what UBMe can do for you, please do not hesitate to reach out. You can contact UBMe here, and we will get back to you as soon as possible. We look forward to speaking with you and seeing how our technology can benefit your customers and restaurant overall!