Managing a restaurant can be challenging, even in the best of times and amid the most stable of markets. Changing consumer habits and shifting market trends will always add a level of uncertainty to the restaurant industry. However, the right approach to restaurant marketing can increase restaurant sales. To help achieve that goal, we’ve curated these ten tips from Tacit partners to help streamline the process. For example, utilizing mobile ordering and embracing customer service innovations can lead to deeper customer interactions and can help boost sales for restaurants of all sizes. Let’s take a look at 10 specific tips to enhance your restaurant marketing strategy.
1. Enable Guest Awareness
Restaurant owners should leverage innovative technology and apps to improve data accuracy within restaurant marketing and customer outreach campaigns. As outlined by technology and hospitality expert Oracle, guest-facing vendor apps help to streamline critical processes with every customer interaction. From scanning QR codes for promotions to accepting payments, guests who have a greater sense of awareness are more open to the idea of embracing technology and innovation during their dining experiences. This makes online ordering more accessible than ever for customers and restaurant managers to work together for a mutually beneficial experience.
2. Leverage Your Social Media Network
Social media is a powerful marketing tool in this digital age that far too many restaurant managers fail to tap into fully. Nearly every demographic of customers has some presence online. According to the foodservice POS experts at Squirrel Systems, reaching out to customers and engaging with them in social media is a great way to promote food or hospitality services to them. These guests are more likely to purchase food or choose your business when placing an order if they have interacted with your brand online recently. Social media interactions and communications, however minor or passive it might seem, can help keep your brand top of mind with customers. Following and resharing posts from social media influencers and applying technology can help improve the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and maximize restaurant sales.
3. Consider Charitable Posts Too
Lightspeed offered valuable insight into how community involvement can improve restaurant sales by boosting marketing reach and customer interactions. Looking for opportunities to collaborate with local businesses and nonprofits can open doors of opportunity for local foodservice providers to connect with more local community members. Charitable posts that promote other groups and offer collaborations and networking opportunities can help attract new demographics to your brand that otherwise might not have heard of you or be interested in the first place. When people in the community see your post associated with another business, group, or cause that they care about, it works as an added promotion for your restaurant. This can help improve outreach and customer appeal better than any other marketing campaign.
4. Delivery of Omnichannel Functionality That Adds to the Guest Experience
The way that restaurants and foodservice managers run their businesses and how they engage with guests continues to evolve quickly. Industry leaders, such as the restaurant service and cloud-based service giant Infor, have risen to the occasion to meet sudden changes that emerged over the last year within the foodservice industry. Embracing emerging technology and working to align restaurant goals and services with ever-changing guest expectations help these restaurant technology leaders find success amid market uncertainty and disruption. Utilizing powerful restaurant marketing tools, cloud-based point of sale, innovative apps and technology, and streamlining team member training helps improve customer experiences and contributes to the restaurant’s bottom line.
5. Choose a Software and Hardware System That Adapts
Another benefit that comes with operating in the hospitality business in 2021 is the wide range of opportunities to leverage emerging software and hardware to drive customer satisfaction and business growth. Thousands of options for hardware and software exist for restaurant managers, and each can help improve day-to-day operations. As foodservice technology and POS services expert Volante highlighted recently, adaptability is a crucial aspect of restaurant marketing success. Depending on individual service models, space availability, internet/network reliability, team member base, average customer traffic flow, and other factors, making the right choice for adaptable technology will help improve restaurant sales overall. The ability to scale, adapt, and refocus in response to customer needs and market demands can make the difference between success and failure when dealing with online ordering systems.
6. Share Your Approach to Social Distancing With a New Floorplan and Mobile Capabilities
Restaurant technology experts and POS innovators Silverware POS have long promoted innovative tools and technology to make restaurant marketing more straightforward and easier to manage. Mobile ordering devices, remote ordering, and contact-free delivery options can significantly reduce indoor traffic. Adding options for quick pay, self-serve platforms, scannable QR codes and online menus further improves indoor traffic flow and organization. Social distancing becomes much easier by reducing the number of customers coming into the restaurant for pick-up and to-go orders — at least in terms of crowding at the front counter. For those who want dine-in services, features such as tableside ordering, online menus, and self-pay features can help reduce close contact interactions. These changes and innovations can keep customers and team members alike safe while allowing business to continue as close to normal as possible.
7. Measure Customer Engagement for Your Brick-and-Mortar Business
Business operators, particularly in the restaurant industry, look to build deeper engagement with their customers to help spur repeat purchases and increase word-of-mouth activity that aids in bringing in new customers. Tacit loyalty partner, DataCandy echos this sentiment in their blog post on ways to measure customer engagement at your brick-and-mortar locations, “Every retailer, small business owner, and restauranteur lives or dies by customer retention and loyalty.” The company discusses the ways to measure customer loyalty offering tips that include measuring purchase frequency, average order value, and repeat purchase rate. Knowing your metrics is critical for any business and to help spur restaurant sales, the more you know your data, by applying technology, the more you can improve your ability to keep and acquire customers.
8. Take Advantage of Texting and Push Notifications for Marketing Too
Most restaurant managers are missing out on one key marketing trend that could help boost their overall restaurant sales — the use of text messages and push notifications. The digital marketing and industry experts at NCR have focused on the power and versatility that mobile communications offer professionals in the restaurant industry. Focusing on customer notifications, push alerts, and regular communications can help improve restaurant marketing success overall. Boosting restaurant sales often comes down to engaging with customers and encouraging them to come back to take advantage of your sales, specials, and new menu items. Thoughtful, appropriate texts and notifications can offer this exact result to restaurant managers today.
9. Leverage the Power of SEO and Google
The foodservice and hospitality industry’s unprecedented situation today has led to managers and support teams adapting to different customer behavior and needs. According to the industry experts at Givex, because of a stronger focus on digital convenience and processes, restaurants must maintain a strong positive presence online. Understanding how search engine results are categorized and how to rank high for the right SEO marketing terms remains a vital part of restaurant marketing today. Most people who try a new restaurant do so after hearing about it online and researching before ever calling, placing an order, or driving to the restaurant. Good online ordering systems and online search results rankings remain critical in today’s market.
10. Continuously Innovate Your Brand Personality
The final tips for maximizing restaurant sales and making the most of the marketing opportunities available today come from Nextep Systems. Established brands can reinvigorate the guest experience by blending the familiar with new information or options available through remote and device-enabled ordering. Strong brand recognition within the industry is critical for fast recall and nurturing customer loyalty. Beyond the basics of logos, jingles, and traditional branding, the customer experience in your brand must be just as positive and memorable. Utilize tableside kiosks and mobile devices for self-ordering to give customers better control over their experience. Customized orders, insider information, secret deals and perks, and other features can help keep customers coming back for more while helping to generate more profits.
Put These Steps Into Action And Unify Your Restaurant Tech Stack With Tacit
Market volatility puts pressure on local economies, and changing customer demands keeps management teams on high alert. Market swings, shifting consumer needs, and other disruptions are constant obstacles for foodservice managers. Restaurant managers should start evolving their strategy toward the next frontier by applying the above tips and strategies whenever and wherever possible and continue to embrace technological advancements and innovations within the industry. Improving restaurant marketing processes and utilizing state-of-the-art technology stacks and innovations can help improve customer reach and boost restaurant sales across the industry. Contact Tacit today to learn more and to get started.