Using smart marketing strategies is a crucial component of a successful restaurant’s business plan. And when the industry faces challenges, it’s even more important to invest in the right marketing tools and tactics. The customers are still out there—you just have to capture their attention.
Offering loyalty promotions rewards your regular customers. When choosing where to eat—whether dining in or taking out—customers are more selective now that they are limiting how often they dine out.
The National Restaurant Association’s 2021 Mid-Year State of the Restaurant Industry Update reported that there’s a lot of pent-up demand from customers who want to dine out and your job is to compete for those dollars.
One way to do that is by offering loyalty promotions or points to your regular customers. Often, the offer of loyalty promotions or points is enough to sway a customer in your direction as they make the decision on where to dine.
Just remember to take advantage of the programs that are earning you proven profit, not just revenue. Otherwise you could give away all your margin in promotions.
Emailing your customers is a great way to stay in touch with them. They’re online more than ever, with some studies showing that their digital adoption dramatically increased since the early part of the pandemic.
Your previous customers are your most loyal fanbase. Why not send them a reminder of how great your food is and get them to choose to dine with you tonight?
There are different opinions about how often you should post on social media and send emails. If you use Instagram, post on your main feed two to three times a week, and try to post at least one story every day. If you’re on Facebook, once or twice a day is enough. For email, one to two each week is sufficient to stay at the top of your customers’ minds.
Try to vary what you write about to keep customer interest high; don’t just post the menu over and over. Some restaurants have seen success taking customers behind the scenes to meet the chef with a brief profile or share a picture of the inside of your restaurant. Sharing details and personal stories will spread a sense of community and belonging among your followers and fans.
One of the best marketing tools to capture your customers’ interest is the limited time offer.: Nothing gets your customers to make the decision to visit you now like a restaurant item that’s only on the menu for a limited time. Similarly, they may decide to dine if you promote a free dessert or BOGO offer for a limited time only.
What you want is to be at the top of your customer’s mind when they decide where to eat tonight or tomorrow, not next week or sometime in the near future. When you have an offer that expires within a few days, suddenly, their interest in you moves to the top over other restaurants.
New customer acquisition and customer retention are top of mind for many restaurant owners.
GetUpside is an app that customers use to guide them toward their next restaurant experience. Each user receives offers within the free GetUpside app, which drives them to your restaurant. Each offer is guaranteed to earn you profit, or you don’t pay.
In fact, you pay only for purchases that are deemed incremental, no matter whether they’re new, infrequent, or loyal customers. But in addition to helping you get new customers, you also get marketing data about those customers.
Because you only pay per customer, you don’t have to waste your valuable money on blindly throwing out a blanket approach, which may or may not bring more customers through your doors. Instead, you get new customers, who in turn become regular customers. It doesn’t take many to increase your bottom line in a big way—just 5-6 new customers a month translates to an extra $3,000 per year.
Interested in learning more about how GetUpside can help your business? Download our free report here.