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.

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.

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.

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.

7 Practices to Adopt That’ll Attract Millennials to Your Restaurant!

It’s quite evident that of late a major chunk of customers at restaurants are millennials; people in their late teens to early 30’s. The youth tend to dine out more as compared to their parents, and therefore every restaurant needs to evolve and market directly to them. Here are a few tips that’ll ensure millennials become loyalists to your restaurant:

1. Social Media Presence

Millennials spend most of their time on various social media platforms, and if you’re not catching eyeballs here, you’re losing out on a massive opportunity. The most popular ways in which restaurants engage with their customers are by creating unique hashtags, hosting contests and promoting user generated content. A strong presence on social media is definitely a prerequisite to attracting millennials to your restaurant. Find out more about how to have a successful social media presence.

2. Dining Experience

If you win over customers with an exceptional experience, they’re bound to come back! For instance, if your ambience is too overwhelming and food super insta-worthy, (we’ll come to that in the next point), they won’t think twice before planning a second visit. Ordering in is emerging as a common trend amongst the young generation, so it’s essential to stand out and give them a reason to dine out.

3. Insta-Worthy Plating & Presentation

A common practice adopted by millennials lately is taking pictures of their food and simultaneously posting them on Instagram. If your plating and presentation is top-notch, and their Instagram picture gets a bunch of likes, it’s a win-win – you’ll retain that diner and make a great impression on their followers!

4. Organize An Event

From live band performances to stand-up comedy nights and karaoke nights, events are a big hit amongst diners. Specially curated nights tend to increase footfall, help you tap into the millennial audience and retain them. You must also promote your event on social media extensively to catch hold of your target audience.

5. Experiment With New Trends

Millennials are quite enthusiastic about new trends and the fear of missing out (colloquially referred to as FOMO) urges them to be up and about, trying new things. Recently fusion food emerged as a popular trend and a lot of restaurants are capitalizing on it. Menus inspired by simple trends like Pokemon Go or Game Of Thrones also work wonders!

6. Loyalty Programs & Rewarding Consistent Diners

Diners often become loyalists when you give them a reason to come back. It’s best to run loyalty programmes by giving them a discount on the 3rd or 4th visit. Another great way of retaining diners is by rewarding the consistent ones with merchandise or free meals. The key is to keep them happy and make them feel special.

7. Promote Healthy Food

Health conscious consumers are on the rise and the best way to capture them is by making your menu transparent. Gym goers and calorie counters are always on the lookout for healthy menus. Offer healthy options, organic food and low-fat desserts to tempt millennials.

The first impression of your restaurant matters a lot, so make a good one on the youngsters and their word of mouth marketing will get you loads of business! Do you have any best-practices to share that millennials responded to well? Tell us in the comments below.

9 Things to Keep in Mind For Social Media Marketing For Restaurants!

Over the years, social media has emerged as an indispensable form of marketing and everybody needs to bring their A-game to get noticed. We’ve all been trying to make our mark in our own ways, but have you really gone the whole nine yards? Here are a few tactics you need to incorporate in social media marketing for restaurants to create a buzz:

Engagement Over Promotion

Rather than flooding your feed with discount-based or extremely promotional posts, there should be an ideal balance between the two. There need to be certain posts that are solely targeted at engagement, and even the promotional ones should be done in a witty and diplomatic manner that are visually appealing.

Be Spontaneous

One should focus on live videos, boomerangs and other forms of spontaneous social media activities since they gain more traction as compared to simple food shots. Whether it’s your chef whipping up a signature dish in fast motion or your mixologist pouring a cocktail in reverse, live videos often grab a lot of attention and help in bringing your brand to life.

Capitalize on Trending Topics

If there’s something trending across the city or even the country, you can integrate the topic with your brand in a witty manner, and easily be the talk of the town in no time! Whether it’s national news like the liquor ban or just a movie making a buzz, anything that’s making headlines or drawing people’s attention can be capitalized on.

Keeping Up With The Latest Social Trends & Techniques

Whether instagram stories are the latest trend or Facebook live is in, you should always stay on top of what’s in and what’s out. Venturing beyond conventional picture posts to 360 degree photos and beyond monotonous videos to live ones could also play a huge role in sprucing up your social platforms.

Consistency is The Key

A couple of brands tend to post a lot initially, but as time passes, the frequency reduces and so does their following. There shouldn’t be too many posts clogging your feed, but at the same time your platforms shouldn’t seem abandoned.

Go Viral

You could go viral by either connecting with your audience on an emotional level, offering an extremely crazy and offbeat deal or just a drool-worthy food post that makes their jaws drop. If your content is top-notch, timing is right and there’s a little boost from influencers, you could do wonders!

Spread The Word Via Influencers

A great way of creating a buzz about your restaurant is through an influencer outreach program. Influencers have a wide and loyal audience following them religiously, so these guys putting in a good word could help you acquire their fan following!

User Generated Content

Although using content by influencers is a big hit, we shouldn’t rule out our customers’ content either. Responding to reviews, engaging with customers and reposting their content also helps establish good relations with them and making loyalists.

Measure Your Success

Once your social media strategy is on track, you must analyze what’s working and what’s falling flat. Some people are able to capitalize on facebook while others create a great bond with customers through instagram giveaways and contests, so measuring your success is a must.

Summing up, one must learn from competition, try new techniques, study what’s working for them and use their USP to their advantage.