Why Your Loyalty Program is Not Creating Loyal Customers?

As consumers, haven’t we all gone crazy over black Friday sales and discount coupons on our favorite brands? That’s exactly what your customers are seeking when they visit your restaurant for their favorite food! Hit their right spot, and they become loyal to your brand forever. And choosing the right loyalty program is your way to go!

In 2016, the restaurant market was worth more than 3.09 lakh crores, and the food-service industry is expected to grow to a whopping 5 lakh crores in 2021, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10%.

In a booming market, losing customers is a cold pie nobody wants to eat. Given that, retaining customers can  actually boost profits by 25%, which makes it doubly crucial to retain existing customers. This is where the loyalty programs sweep in.

Steps to create an engaging loyalty program:

Loyalty programs have proved to be a good way to make customers visit your restaurant over and over again. They have to appeal to the customers on a personal level.
The tech-savvy generation might not be quite thrilled with the coupon loyalty programs as much. So how does one build an upgraded loyalty program that appeals to the customers and drives sales?
As per the statistics of Aron Allen and Associates, coffee giant Starbuck’s ‘My Starbucks Rewards Loyalty Program’ was launched in 2010. It later added a digital component and went on to garner $1.2 billion in customer funds as of the first quarter of 2016. In 2017 the second quarter rewards accounted for 36 % of US Starbucks sales.

Identify the Right Program

Loyalty programs impact profits and need to be structured in a way that suits your business model. Be it visit based, spend based, or a combination of the two.

The QSR Magazine reports say that Panera introduced a tech-driven ‘integrated guest experience’ at an outlay of $42 million in 2012. The tech boosted sales, reduced the food receiving time to less than five 5 minutes from 6-9 minutes, and saved 1 – 4 minutes per order.

Make the Best Use of Data

There is nothing like the effective use of customer data to make a good loyalty program work great for your business.
Guest and Reserve apps, available in the market, enable you to deep-dive into the customers’ past visits and orders, their preferences in terms of dish preparation, seating arrangements, and so on.
You can also tag your customers in your system so that the arrival of a priority customer does not catch you on the wrong foot. Customers who visit your restaurant also receive promotional offers and feedback communications.
These apps have the analytics feature to generate insights on average waiting time, optimal table layouts, and more to help your brand get a competitive edge.

As per the statistics provided by the National Restaurant Association, tech is the rage for millennials with 32% factoring it in their choice of QSRs and 28% factoring in for their choice of full-service restaurants.

Keep It Easy with Feedback Apps

Feedback Apps cut out paper hassles and let you focus on the feedback that is valuable for your business. With these apps, you can get better insights on customer preferences. A bad experience can easily be neutralized on the spot with a great feedback app.
A contemporary, seamless feedback app integrated with your loyalty program will be simple, highly customizable, and give you insights on customer behavior for smarter marketing. Further, it will enable you to enhance the customer experience in different ways to win positive online and social media reviews.

36% of diners factor in information from review sites like Trip Advisor and Yelp, while 34% use social media information in their decisions.

Keep Your Staff in the loop

Well executed loyalty programs have one thing in common – a well-informed staff. Even if your loyalty program uses all the bells and whistles that go with the app, you just cannot afford to miss out on the human element.

So, before you roll out your loyalty program, take your staff into confidence, and seek their inputs. Your staff may be able to give you amazing insights into various aspects of customer behavior, preferences, etc., and their suggestions might prove to be extremely valuable for the success of your loyalty program.

Reward Programs are profitable for every business

Reward programs offered by restaurants drive traffic, track customer spending habits, help delight existing customers, and convert them to long-term customers. Be it a massive multi-outlet business or a small stand-alone one, every restaurant should offer a loyalty program to accelerate their business through repeat customers.

A well-planned loyalty program will let your customers relax, knowing that they’ll always earn more rewards – without taking a hit to their wallet. And for you, you can rest assured that your existing customers will be your everlasting ones.

 

SMS Marketing For Restaurants

How To Use SMS Marketing To Get Better Return Of Investment (ROI)

With an approximate 98% open rate and 90% is read within 3 minutes, SMS is one of the most effective marketing channels to communicate with your customers and keep them coming back. Far from being dead and buried, even after the emergence of alternative messaging channels and marketing platforms, SMS marketing is alive and thriving.

Why SMS Marketing Should Be A Part Of Restaurant Marketing?

Even after having an amazing menu, ideal location and perfect staff, no restaurant can survive without consistent demand. While some marketers still grapple about the value impact of SMS marketing, there is no other marketing channel that can guarantee to be seen by the customer at such affordable rates. Here’s why it’s worth the effort

1) It’s Effective

Unlike email which has an open rate of approx 25%, SMS’s open rate can go up to 90% – which is perfect to hold customer’s attention. SMS message arrives quickly and is read in seconds – thereby performing 4-5 times better than any other forms of advertising.

2) It’s Omnipresent

Your coupon might get lost, menu gets buried on road or junk drawers, emails might land up in spam but text messages are available anytime you customer wants to refer to them. And since SMS is a more intimate form of communication, there are higher chances that your diners will go through it.

3) It’s Super Affordable

If used correctly, SMS can give you maximum ROI than any other marketing channel. The cost of 1 SMS in India is close to 16 paise. An enticing text sent at the right time can attract more diners. This means more profits.

6 Ways To Use SMS Marketing To Get Better ROI

The small difference between SMS Marketing and a Profitable SMS Marketing is the way you utilize this platform. Here’s how you can use SMS Marketing that will help you increase your business revenue.

Promote Your Limiter Period Offers

Limited Time Offers & SMS compliment each other. Send time-sensitive offers to your customers to drive immediate traffic.

“3 COURSE MEAL FOR Rs.740. Choose from a wide range of starters, mains, & deserts. FREE drink with all KIDS MEALS. Limited Seats. Hurry! Call us at 01234567890”

Send Exclusive Birthday/Anniversary Discounts

Personalized message is a warmer approach to connect with your customers. Extract the details of customers with upcoming birthdays and anniversaries and send them a short and sweet message with an exclusive offer, discount or a freebie, which is enough to win over a lifetime customer.

birthday wish sms

Build Long Lasting Relationship By Showing Gratitude

As soon as your customer make a reservation or walk-in, send them a “Thank You” message and provide them with necessary details.  You can also include the special of the day or any event that you are organizing.

Decrease No-Shows With Reminder SMS

One of the major reasons for a no-show is because your customer forgot about his/her reservations. Ensure that you remind them about their upcoming reservations by sending a reminder SMS with necessary details. Also, add a Call to Action to change or cancel the reservation so that you can use the table in case of any cancellation.

Advertise Your Loyalty Programs

According to a study, retaining customers can increase your profits by 25% or even more. Of course, it makes sense to put in more efforts to nurture existing customers. Not to forget loyalty programs are one of the best ways to make your customers come back to your restaurant. Invite, Update & Remind your customers about your restaurant’s loyalty programs.

Ask Them For A Feedback

Didn’t take feedback? Worry not, send SMS to your customer and take feedback online.  Instead of filling out a feedback form, send them a text an hour after they have finished, ask a couple of questions about the food, service, and environment.

Conclusion

With a data-powered marketing automation platform, you can easily automate these SMS marketing campaigns. This way your SMSes will send whenever a customer satisfied the criteria set by you. This way you can save time & money.

Valentine Day Promotion

4 Last Minute Sales-Boosting Tricks For This Valentine’s Day

More than 55% of Indian consumers plan to go out for a meal on Valentine’s Day. Don’t miss the chance to ensure that your restaurant is the top choice for diners. This means that the next week is a great opportunity for your business so make the most of it.

So, here’s presenting 4 amazing ways to increase your restaurant’s Valentine Day’s Profits.

Add A Little Romance To Your Restaurant
Valentine’s Day is a special time where your diners would love to have a quiet and subtle environment where they can talk while dining. Ensure that your seating and decoration is as per the relaxing environment. For that special Valentine touch, scented candle votives, sprinkled rose petals and a vase of red and pink flowers would do the job. You can also add a white or blackboard with romantic messages.

Get Creative With Your Menu
Valentine’s Day calls for food for love! Create a prix fixe menu for couples with oysters, heart-shaped dishes, chocolate, desserts, etc. Even with your fancy restaurant, stick with an approachable and familiar taste. You can go creative with love-evoking dish names. You can extend your creativity to the bar as well with fun love inspired drinks and wine for this special occasion.

Give Your Customers An Experience
Approx 78% would choose to spend money on experience over buying something desirable. Other than food and ambiance, make your guest feel special with a small gift like complimentary valentine special dessert, welcome cocktails, etc. Don’t forget to promote them on your social media channels and offline to make your restaurant the go-to place for customers.

Make Your Loyal Customers Feel Special
Increasing customer retention rates by 5% increase profits by 25% to 95%, according to research done by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company. Run valentine special discounts for your loyal customers and convey the same via email or SMS. With a restaurant CRM tool, you can run targeted campaigns to customers who haven’t dined in the past 3 months or have visited more than 2 times. Don’t forget to use language that drives emotions like “What’s Your Plan This Valentine’s?

With careful planning, you can make Valentine’s one of the most profitable day for your restaurant. Give your restaurant the reason to choose your restaurant over others.

Data Source – TOI | Eventbrite | Bain

Is Your Social Media Strategy Helping Your Restaurant?

The thing about social media is that everyone is there, either on one or all. From our family to friends to millennials, everyone is there and so is your Target Audience. Research shows that nearly 72% customers use Facebook to make restaurant decisions, based on comments and images shared on their page.

You might be thinking that your restaurant’s social media is already in place. You post 2 times a day which is enough. Why I need to relook at my social media strategy. The answer is simple – to make sure that it does not get boring. Effective social media marketing for your restaurant not only help in engaging your guests (both new and loyal) but it also holds the power to increase your business revenue. But what does it include? And how to make sure that your social media strategy is not boring? Let’s find out!

Before You Start, Question Yourself
Before you build an effective social media strategy, find answers to these questions:

  • Who is your target audience?
  • How will you manage your social media pages with limited time?
  • What your competition/industry is doing and can you mimic those strategies?

Once you find answers to these questions, it will become extremely easy to create social media strategy and actually execute it to its full potential.

Tip To Make Your Social Media Page Stand Out!

While everyone is on social media posting beautiful pictures, spending a lot of money. But how you can make sure that you stand out? Read on to find out!

1. Know Your Target Audience
The game of social media is won by that brand who understands their customers and what they want from your restaurant. Ensure that you have meaningful and locally relevant social posts and campaigns. Take time to listen to what your guests are saying, know the food trends that are loved by your customers, etc. The idea is to turn your guests into loyal customers and not just any other follower.

2. Figure Out The Best Suited Social Channel
Restauranteurs can find their diners in 4 major social channels – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & Snapchat. You must understand which social media is ideal for what target audience. Like Instagram is the best platform if you wish to target the 18-30 age group, especially women. While Facebook is more suited if you are targeting families or large groups. Based on your target audience, identify the most effective channel for your restaurant and create an appropriate strategy for social media promotions

3. Your Social Media Page is Not About You
You might be wondering if your social media is not about you, then how will it help your business? Well, the idea is to make your social media pages purely customer-forward. Brands like Starbucks don’t focus on selling themselves on social media. Rather they focus on telling the guests’ story and how Starbucks became a part of it.

4. Adapt To Changes
Social Media is one channel that evolves every day and so does your guests. Don’t shy away from exploring new strategies and tactics while keeping your brand language consistent. Don’t limit your social media with images. Experiment with the type of posts, run unique contests, organize events and promote the same on social media.

5. Respond To Your Customers…Quick!
As mentioned earlier, 72% customers will visit your Facebook page before they visit your restaurant. That means you can get queries on your social media pages. Keep a tab on such messages/comments, address their concerns and acknowledge what your customers are telling you.

6. Make Your Restaurant Social Media Friendly
At the end, your restaurant business is about food. Use beautiful (read: filter-free) pictures and videos. Since your customer can’t smell or taste your food, a sensory description can do the trick.

At the end of the day, social media is a free (or low cost) medium to engage customers, get new customers, stay relevant and increase guest loyalty. The good news is that if you have a blended strategy of all social media channels, focussing on your menu, business, staff, and guests, you might stand out among the crowd. What’s bad is that no many of us don’t have a well-informed understanding of social media channels. Without this, you can’t create a “viral” strategy and your marketing budget will suffer.

Therefore, build a strategy that works for you, test it, measure it and repeat! Also, don’t forget to experiment.

4 Small Yet Effective Changes Your Loyal Customers Want In Your Restaurant

Being in the restaurant industry, you must be well aware of the fact that how even a  small change in a way your restaurant functions can impact your business in a big way. But what are these changes and how can a restaurant execute them with minimum efforts. Read on to find out:

1) Personalized Recommendations

Each of your customers has their own taste, which might be different from other customer’s needs or even your restaurant’s special dish. For example, if your customer is a fan of spicy food, then recommending a less spicy dish does not make sense, even if it’s a popular dish at your restaurant. Your customer would love if you recommend dishes based on their taste.

Solution – Keep Your Customer’s Timeline Handy

Keep a track of your diner’s timeline which includes details like last visit date, number of covers, frequently ordered dishes, billing history and much more. Before serving your customer, you can quickly have a look at his/her timeline and recommend dishes accordingly. Today, a restaurant management platform can not only help you collect this information but also help to analyze it so that you can offer a better dining experience.

2) Surprise Your Guest

Who doesn’t love surprises? Make your customer feel like a ‘celebrity’ by giving them something complimentary, especially on special occasions like birthday and/or anniversary. We are sure that your guest will love this gesture and your restaurant’s customer experience will surely stand out.

Solution – Offer Occasion Based Discounts

Keep customer information like birthday and anniversary handy with the help of a restaurant management app. Offer special discounts and communicate the same to your customers. Keep a small cake or dessert handy for such guests to give exceptional service.

3) Frequent Emails & SMS – A Big No-No

Stay in touch with your customers without spamming them. Not all your customers need to know everything that’s happening in your restaurant.

Solution – Go for Targeted Marketing Campaigns

Instead of sending every communication to each customer, divide your customers into various segments. Run targeted and personalized campaigns, informing them about exclusive offers and events in which they would be actually interested in.

4) Take Feedback Seriously

While bad customer experience is surely a deal breaker for your customer, not taking any action on that feedback is worse. Like mentioned above, your customer love to feel special. Another way of doing this is by taking your customer’s feedback (both positive & negative) very seriously.

Solution – Act Immediately On Negative Feedback

If your customer has appreciated your service, thank them, In case of negative feedback, apologize and act upon it as soon as possible. How to do that? With the help of a feedback management software, you can not only collect feedback but also analyze against each department (Food vs Ambience vs Service). Also, negative feedbacks are escalated to restaurant managers and other concerned authorities in real time so that you can do damage control before unhappy guest walks out of your restaurant.  

Want to know more? Ask your customers directly!

The best way to understand what your customer wants is by asking them directly. Successful restaurants understand the importance of customer feedback. They depend upon well-designed cloud-based feedback system that collects data in one place, crunch it and make easy to understand reports to help restaurants address their concerns.

Why Your Loyalty Program is Not Creating Loyal Customers?

There is no doubt that customer retention is not just important but a necessity to sustain your restaurant business. According to a study, retaining customers can actually increase your profits by 25% or even more. Ofcourse, it makes sense to put in more efforts to nurture existing customers. Not to forget loyalty programs are one of the best ways to make your customers come back to your restaurant.

However, there have been cases where the loyalty program failed miserably. To ensure that your customers love your loyalty program, check out the do’s and don’ts of creating and executing a loyalty program for your restaurant:

Identify The Right Program

Firstly, you need to understand that loyalty program means that you will give freebies that means cash burn. Before you roll out your loyalty program, understand your business’s financial profile and then decide the basics of your loyalty program. For example, decide that offering discounts on the customer’s visit would be more beneficial or whether you can offer discounts based on spends.

Make The Best Use of Data

What differentiates a good loyalty program with the best one is the effective use of customer data. After you create the program model, understand your customer. For example, if you are creating a loyalty program based on spends, you need to check the average bill of your customers. Accordingly, decide the limit of the spends on which you will give discounts or cashback or any other freebies. You can also create multiple loyalty programs for your customers. For this, we would suggest you to go for a loyalty program platform that lets you create and manage multiple programs easily.

Keep It Easy

Nobody likes a complicated loyalty program. While strategizing for the loyalty program, ensure that it is not only easy to join but your customer is able to understand it easily. A complicated loyalty program can do worse than good for your brand. One such example was of Starbucks. In 2016, they made a small change in their super successful loyalty program, where the shopper had to spend more to get rewarded. In their older program, the customer had to spend approx $48 to get a free coffee but after the change, the customer had to spend $63.50 to receive the same reward. Due to this, their buzz score dipped by 50% within 8 days. (Source)

Inform Your Staff

Even the most appealing and cost-effective loyalty program might not work if not well executed. Before you roll out your loyalty program, inform your staff about the same. Ask questions and answer them immediately. Don’t forget to ask your customers about your loyalty program through the feedback form to understand its impact instantly.

Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.

There are high chances that your customer might have enrolled in other restaurant’s loyalty program along with yours. To ensure that they don’t forget your restaurant, send them reminder messages about the loyalty program. Try to create an urgency to attract more customers.  However, don’t bombard them with the same otherwise they will lose interest.

Don’t Make It Boring

Try to introduce new and different benefits that attract your customers at a reasonable cost. What we would suggest is to start small if you are trying something new. This way, you can understand its result as well as its impact on your business while not taking bigger risks. Don’t forget to analyze data that supports your business.

Final Thoughts
The tried and tested a way to drive customer engagement is by gaining your customer’s loyalty. With this, you can seize opportunities to build a long lasting relationship with your customer, build your brand and drive market growth.

Statistics source – Invesp | Bain.com |

 

Offline marketing for restaurants

7 Offline Marketing Strategies Every Restaurant Must Adopt!

As digital marketing techniques have taken over the world, we often forget the offline efforts that need to be made to sustain the online ones. If you’ve gone all out with social promotions, support it with these on-ground marketing tactics:

Food Festivals

Whether it’s standing out of the crowd, approaching new clientele, interacting personally with customers or trying out new menus, food festivals are great avenues for getting word out about your restaurant. So, reach out to a wider and more diverse audience, and flaunt your USP to get more and more eyeballs.

Never Ignore PR

Looking at paid press or inviting some food critics to put in a good word for you in the papers? You must never ignore bloggers and social media influencers, along with hosting events. Everybody makes an effort to get highlighted by the press, but sometimes you get picked up organically. If it’s for positive reviews, you must showcase it in every way possible, and if you get beat up over something, you’ve got to respond to it immediately. One good practice to follow here would be to get notifications, through Google alerts, whenever your restaurant is in news.

Make Alliances

Getting into a partnership with another brand is a great way of tapping into a new audience and interacting with potential diners. For instance, Book My Show has started offering complimentary restaurant vouchers at cafes near movie halls. Dineout offers visibility on a new platform, promotions through events and other avenues besides much more. So, making an alliance that’s mutually beneficial, with an irresistible deal, would definitely get you a new set of diners.

Guerrilla Marketing

Advertising in an unconventional manner in a public space to attract eyeballs is what Guerrilla Marketing is all about. You can target billboards, vending machines, bus stands, park benches, etc. The main agenda here would be to have something so creative that it makes people stop, stare and remember. Run a campaign and club it with an exciting offer to attract a new audience.

Host An Event

If you invite a popular musician or DJ, you’re indirectly inviting their fan base to your restaurant. Events create a buzz on social media and, thanks to loyal fans, it also leads to massive word-of-mouth marketing. Apart from popular artists, you can also host Karaoke or Sufi nights to get music fanatics to your restaurant. Events can always be curated as per the clientele you’d like to lure in. For instance, Trend Bar & Kitchen recently hosted a Wine & Sangria Festival to attract wine lovers.

Discounts & Loyalty Programs

Promoting discounts online is usually to get new diners, but if you’re able to impress the existing crowd in your restaurant with a great offer or loyalty programs, you can make them regulars. A great example here would be TGIF. Their Rs 99 cocktail menu, Rs 199 2-course lunch and everyday Happy Hours. These offers could be anything ranging from 1+1 on food or dirt cheap alcohol; they’re the real crowd pullers.

Apart from regular offers for everyone, personalized offers for people on their birthdays and anniversaries can also win you some loyal diners. A personal message or invite voucher to your diner can really go a long way sometimes.

Branded Glassware

Rather than branding, a lot of restaurants opt for unique cutlery which gets eyeballs. But whatever said and done, it’s essential to get branded tableware as when people post pictures on social media, others can easily identify your brand. A great example here would be The White Owl Brewery’s beer glasses.

So, whether it’s bringing your A game forward at food fests, handling the press promptly, employing branded cutlery all around or focussing on eye-popping guerrilla marketing; you’ve got to master offline marketing to support all the digital effort.

Fast Food & Cafe Convention

Why We’re Excited About The Fast Food & Cafe Convention!

The QSR industry in India is an aggressively growing industry but the obstacles that it faces today are also equally challenging.

As per NRAI’S India Food Services Report 2016, the size of the QSR market was estimated at 9,125 crores in 2016. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 22% to reach 24,665 crores. The QSR segment is expected to pick up the pace as foreign brands are constantly entering the market, but will this growth be a good one, and will it be sustained?

Although the Indian market is a growing one, there are a lot of factors contributing to the QSR industry’s stagnancy.

  • Firstly, since more sophisticated restaurants are propping shop, consumer preferences are getting refined.
  • Secondly, consumers might not prefer fast food options, opting for healthier ones.
  • Lastly, the trend of eating out, in general, has also declined in recent years.

Expansions on the rise?

These days, it seems big brands shutting are down their outlets all over the place. It seems that expansion has also taken a hit, and brands haven’t been able to meet their targets. If we look at brands like Jubilant Food Works Ltd, Domino’s and Dunkin’ Donuts, they are growing at a very slow pace. Domino’s will only open 40-50 outlets this year as opposed to the target of 150, and Dunkin’ Donuts is only looking at about 3-5 new ones.

Reports suggest that other brands like Johnny Rockets and Carl’s Jr are also far from achieving their targets. Some of the reasons attributed to this trend are demonetisation, high rent, corruption, high supply as compared to demand, to name a few.

Which brings us to the need of the hour – The Fast Food & Cafe Convention.

The Fast Food & Cafe Convention on 29th November in New Delhi is being organised to bring together the best minds in the QSR business today to share their knowledge and insights.

How are they facing these challenges on a daily basis? How does India react to newer forms of fast food? What is the right expansion strategy in the current business environment? We are excited to hear from Alok Pandey from Domino’s, Kabir Jeet Singh from Burger Singh and Raghav Verma from Chaayos and many other established players.

Technology – The only route to GROWTH 2.0

The QSR industry is heavily dependant on technology. With orders being a huge pie of their revenues and with ordering in being majorly accepted by Indian metro audiences, it is imperative to put in place today a mechanism that helps streamline a brand’s daily orders.

An interesting session to look out for will be by Sahil Jain, Co-Founder & Product Head at Dineout who will throw light at everything new & latest in technology solutions for QSR brands in India and the world.

Conquering the Ordering Game

Playing a major role in the QSR industry, online ordering can get very tricky at times. Now that there has been a rise in mobile ordering, third-party deliveries and various online ordering platforms, managing high volumes can be a real challenge. Can technology intervene and smoothen things out? All this and much more to be discussed at this much-awaited event.

The most definitive event in the world of QSR, this one is a must attend.

inResto is the official Food Tech Partner for Fast Food & Cafe Convention 2017.

Follow inResto for updates about the event.

Customers

8 Hacks to Stay in Touch with your Customers Without Spamming Them

We all get myriad notifications and emails from every corner. Each message is vying for our attention while trying to avoid getting automatically thrown into the spam folder.

With the evolution of technology, there are countless ways by which you can get in touch with your customers, but we mustn’t get overzealous. Today, we’ll share 8 hacks that can help your messages get through and capture your audience’s attention without spamming them.

  • Send the right message at the right time

While it may seem that sending bulk SMS and daily emails gives your customer regular reminders.The only thing you’re probably not doing to repel your customers even more is making 100 calls to them in a day. By doing this, you’ll only get added to their block list. With the right messaging at the right time, you can get into their heads instead of their junk folder. For example, know when your customers are expected to go out on weekends and vacations, and shoot them a dine-in offer at your restaurant. You may also provide special month-end offers when a major section diners’ wallets are close to empty.

  • Find out your customers heard about you

Figuring out the platforms that led your customers to your door is essential. Was it facebook? A newspaper? Your website? A restaurant discovery app like Dineout? One way to get the answers to questions like this is through the inResto Feedback app, which has a section on the feedback form asking your diners where they found out about your restaurant. When you find the answer, invest in that platform.

  • Get smart on social media

If your diners heard about you on social media, then it’s best to get more active on the most popular platform. Of course, posting too frequently can spam your followers’ feeds and give them a reason to unfollow you. Instead, focus on creating relevant and interesting conversations. Quality over quantity, always! Ideally, put up one post daily on the relevant network(s). Make sure the strategy used for each platform is different. For instance, keep Instagram photo-centric instead of posting a lot of text  –  which works better on Facebook. Twitter is a great place to get feedback and have conversations. Investing in promotional ads on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can also yield great results. Find out more about nailing the social media for your restaurant here.

  • Get on the web

A dedicated website is essential nowadays if you want to have a distinct presence outside restaurant discovery platforms. Whenever a prospective customer hears about you and searches for your business online, having your own site will certainly be an advantage. Plus, you will be able to send them browser notifications without making them download an app. If it’s done right, with solid SEO and SEM, you could get a great response.

  • Consider making an app for your restaurant

Speaking of apps, they could be a great tool to stay in touch with and engage your regular customers. People usually think twice before downloading apps to take up their precious memory. However, if you have made a good impression in the restaurant, you can encourage them to download an app and then communicate offers, celebrations and events through push notifications. As always, inResto WLA can help you create your own apps and websites.

  • Reach out to those at home

If your customer isn’t coming to your door, go to theirs. Popular restaurants like Chili’s and Barbecue Nation prefer to push home delivery offers instead of dine-in discounts. They have upscaled their business by reaching out to a larger segment of customers who prefer home delivery over dining at the restaurant. We think it’s a great strategy and a worthy investment.

  • Create relevant and engaging communication

It’s good to think out of the box but irrelevant content can backfire. Your messages should let the personality of your brand shine through and be in context of the event or promotion you’re talking about. Make them relevant and fun to read. One well thought out message is worth more than 10 random insignificant messages that just talk about discounts.

  • Encourage Crosswalking

Encourage your diners to try your brand’s other outlets by giving them outlet-specific offers. This will help you create buzz about your other branches  –  which may well be closer to some of your regular customers  –  resulting in increased awareness. We are sure this is something you will definitely be happy about.

 

It is essential to make your diners feel invited and special by starting a conversation with them. However, there is a thin line between conversing and spamming, so make use of the tools you have to understand your customer better. Insights from inResto Feedback can help gauge what works and what doesn’t. Use that in figuring out what you say and where you say it.

Do your customers love the music you play? Talk more about your events and live performances. Did they find you on twitter? Increase your presence and invest in promotions there. Use inResto Campaigns to re-engage with diners who haven’t come over in a while and reward regular customers with a loyalty programme that doesn’t just offer discounts, but also privileges and freebies.

These are all tools you can use. But the tools are only as effective as you make them. Be sharp, be empathetic, think out of the box and, more than anything else, make the customer feel special to get those high conversion rates you desire.

Marketing ideas for restaurants - Instagram

8 Instagram Hacks Every Restaurant Must Know For Insta-Success!

These days nearly every restaurant is on Instagram, but are they making the most of it? Usually, they play it safe, but that way they could be losing out on a lot of engagement opportunities. You need to mix it up and take a different path to get noticed. We’ve got some tricks to pave the path to your Insta-success!

Let Influencers Take Over

We know you’ve been reaching out to influencers for reviews and shoutouts, but that’s not all they’ve got to offer. You can ask them to takeover your instagram account and create a buzz in their own manner. You could amass a bunch of their followers in the process. This might give your handle a boost, but it’s still important for influencers to give you a push from their own accounts.

Use Insta-Stories to Give Diners a Sneak Peak

If you want to flaunt your chef’s or bartender’s skills, insta-stories are the way to go! You can show the chef preparing his signature dish, weaving a small story through various short videos, photos and boomerangs! You can also ask other brands to take over your Insta stories or maybe give a special offer that lasts till the story expires.

Create A Unique Hashtag Relevant to Your Restaurant

You might already have a basic hashtag as your restaurant’s name that you promote, but what might work better is a short catchy phrase that’s relevant to your restaurant or cuisine. For instance, Tamasha has created the hashtag #DekhTamasha, which they use to promote user generated content. You must use this hashtag in all posts and can ask people to use it to get featured on your page.

Find The Right Hashtags For Your Restaurant

You may already be familiar with commonly used hashtags like #foodporn, #foodlovers and #foodgasm but you can’t just rely on these to get you more traffic. Hashtags that are niche like those location based ones might help you tap into the right audience. You can search such hashtags and see what people are using them. For instance; the hashtag #delhifoodie has been used in 109,652 posts. You must use apps like Iconosquare to find the right hashtag.

Encouraging User Generated Content

It goes without saying that sharing food shots of enthusiastic diners works really well. But how can you get more out of them? The best way to go about this is hosting a contest, giving out a freebie. This way your food reaches their audience and you get free word of mouth marketing. Reposting this doesn’t just give you good Instagram content but also shows your diner that you value them.

Regular Contests Are A Must

Make sure you host contests regularly and reply to each and every comment – that way you don’t leave diners coming to your page high and dry. You must also give people a shout out by reposting or featuring their content and giving out free meals or some offer exclusively for them.

Avoid Dim Lighting & Take Photos in Sunlight

It’s best to click colourful pictures and get them in natural light to avoid shadows and bad quality images. You can then add various filters to beautify your masterpiece. If you’re preparing food only for Instagram purposes, make sure the food is undercooked so that your meat is still juicy and colours of the ingredient vibrant.

Timing Could Be A Gamechanger

If you’ve been trying to find the right time to post by hit and trial method, it may take you ages to hit the right chord. You can use apps like Preview to track when your posts get maximum engagement. Also, to make sure you don’t miss the right time, you must use apps like Schedugram or Hootesuite to plan, analyse and schedule your posts.

You may have tried some of these, but you’ll only see results when you’re doing everything right. Keep these pointers in mind while you chalk out your Instagram strategy next time.