Food and Beverage
Small Business
Success Stories

Famed Local Chef Uses Nextdoor to Get Hyperlocal During Pandemic

In early 2020, as the coronavirus spread worldwide and group gatherings came to a halt, restaurants were some of the earliest to feel the effects – especially those in San Francisco, one of the first U.S. states to order that residents shelter-in-place.

Z&Y Restaurant, known for its authentic Chinese food in San Francisco’s Chinatown, felt the impacts acutely. Accustomed to serving tourists, local customers, domestic and foreign dignitaries, and hosting business meetings, the normally crowded restaurant was instead faced with empty tables.

Z&Y Restaurant Chef Han decided they needed to reallocate their marketing budget – specifically the resources devoted to social media – in order to better tap into their local network for customers. So, they turned to Nextdoor.

To get onto Nextdoor, Z&Y Restaurant first claimed their free Nextdoor Business Page. Upon doing so, Han and his team learned that their neighbors had voted them as a Neighborhood Favorite business for two consecutive years and had nearly 50 customer recommendations.

They tapped into their loyal customer base and ran Local Deals to promote takeout and delivery options that were available while their dining room was closed – which included a 15% discount or free appetizers if customers picked up their order. Chef Han saw that dozens of neighbors saved their deals, and had a real impact on the restaurant’s bottom line. Business picked back up as customers in the neighborhood ordered their favorite dishes for takeout.

Z&Y Restaurant

One of Z&Y Restaurant’s Local Deals, offering 15% off to customers who picked up their order.


Z&Y Restaurant then began posting on Nextdoor to engage with the community, thanking them for their continued patronage that was keeping the business afloat. Customers responded to the Business Post:

  • “We should thank you guys for staying open! I've ordered 3 meals so far!” said one. 
  • “Best spicy chicken in the Bay!” said another.
  • “Love them too!” said a third customer. 

Z&Y post

Z&Y Restaurant posted this photo on Nextdoor, thanking customers for their business.


According to Chef Han, “Getting the information to the people who can most benefit from our restaurant being open – our local customers – has been so important throughout this crisis. Thanks to our communication via Nextdoor, the local community has supported us and kept us in business.”

Other local businesses can also engage with their own community following Chef Han’s advice: 

  1. Get hyperlocal: Start connecting with the customers closest to you in proximity; many are looking to support local businesses in their very own neighborhoods.
  2. Inspire conversation: Think of what the community needs from you. Ask questions. Answer questions. Thank them for their support.
  3. Don’t just advertise or promote your business: Make suggestions for things your customers might like. Create special menus or packages of items. It shows that you’re putting the customer first and always thinking of them.

Though the pandemic continues to cause uncertainty for their restaurant, Chef Han knows that he’s found a supportive customer base via Nextdoor:

“People are looking to Nextdoor now more than ever, and it’s an engaged audience for us. Nextdoor allows us to have a voice within our hyperlocal community.”