How to Crush Your Restaurant Marketing Goals in 2018
At ChowNow, we work with people in the restaurant industry every day to help them achieve their business goals. We understand how long your to-do list is and getting the marketing tools you need shouldn’t be another item on that list. As you may have heard, we’ve recently launched the ChowNow Marketing Store — a one-stop-shop for all of the branded, easy-to-use items that you need to market your restaurant and drive more orders. In addition to providing you with top-notch marketing, we also want to make sure we’re recommending the materials that have proven to work best for accomplishing the goals that are important to restaurants like yours. As we kick off 2018, we’ve curated the most popular marketing goals from our restaurant partners and outlined how to best achieve those goals using our best marketing products..
How to Accomplish Your Marketing Goals in 2018
Your goal: Convert phone orders to online orders
Taking orders over the phone used to be the most efficient way to expedite takeout counter — but times have changed. Today, phone orders are the enemy of employee efficiency. Whether it’s spending minutes on the phone confirming order details or taking extra time to process payment, your employees’ time could be better utilized elsewhere. Not to mention, phone orders are often inaccurate and offer no data trail to prove an order was placed a certain way. We’d like to help you move from time-consuming phone calls to quick and easy online orders.
Recommended Material: Promotional Cards and Business Cards
Promotional cards have a clear and concise call-to-action and customers are much more likely to order online next time if you give them a reason to. Not to mention, promotional cards are easy to store in the front-of-house hostess stand or takeout counter. Still looking for something smaller? Business cards are a great alternative if you’d still like to achieve the same goal. Customers can easily keep business cards in their wallet or purse as a reminder of you next time they’re hungry.
Get your staff involved by getting them to add promotional materials to each and every takeout bag, especially if the order was placed over the phone. We recommend stapling each bag shut with a card on top. This way, you’re forcing the customer to see the great special you’re offering for their first online order and giving them an incentive to go digital with their next order. In addition to materials, a personal touch is key. Coach your team members to discuss the promotion with the customer as they’re handing them their food — adding not just a visual reminder, but a verbal cue to make it stick.
Your goal: Get dine-in customers to order online
We know how closely you’re connected to your dine-in customers — they’re the bread and butter of your business! With that being said, it’s important to adjust to the times. It’s time to show those loyal customers that they not only can enjoy a meal at your restaurant, but in the comfort of their own home with the convenience of online ordering. There’s a growing consumer demand for online ordering nowadays and it’s vital that you let them know you can meet that demand and convenience that they crave. In addition, online orders can help increase revenue and help you save on operational costs that come from dine-in customers.
Signage and banners offer a much more prominent call-to-action for customers to see when they visit your restaurant. Customers are creatures of habit, so it’s quite possible that your most loyal walk-in customers have no idea you offer online ordering. They’re not looking actively for another way to order, so it’s important to give them a visual reminder of what you’re offering. Furthermore, if your signage or banner offers a promotion, it then incentivizes your customers to start planning the next time they will order and redeem the promotion.
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes: would you pay more attention to a sign on a door that shuts behind you as you enter, or a banner that’s displayed above the cash register as you walk in? Placing signage in a high-traffic and easily visible area is vital. Is your restaurant located on a busy street that has a lot of foot traffic? Try utilizing an A-Frame sign on the sidewalk or a banner in the window. Make sure the signage gives them a reason to stop and check it out. The better the promotion, the better the results!
Your goal: Keep customers coming back
Let’s say you’re already accomplishing the goal of attracting new customers. Congratulations! What’s next? Retention, retention, retention! Now that customers have enjoyed the ease of your branded online ordering, it’s important for you to stay top-of-mind and keep them coming back. Whether it’s a promotion or a new seasonal menu item, your customers should be updated. Giving your followers important updates and keeping promotions fresh will help to build brand loyalty.
Still thinking about acquiring new customers? Join ChowNow Discover, which fits perfectly into this retention model. Every repeat customer that orders from you is free of charge.
Recommended Material: Email Blasts and Magnets
If your goal is retention, it’s important to choose marketing that will serve as a reminder to the customer once they’re long gone from your restaurant. Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to do just that. The more that a customer sees your restaurant name show up in their inbox, the more likely they are to remember to order from you next time their office needs to order lunch. Don’t have an email list? ChowNow stores all of your customer data for you so there is a built-in email list for you to use whenever you’d like. Other items, such as magnets, can also act as a friendly, visual reminder to order online if your customers don’t feel like eating or cooking the items in their refrigerator. I can hear the “Let’s just order pizza”’s already!
Keep your customers engaged! In regards to magnets, we recommend using these similar to how you would postcards. Add one to the inside of every check presenter, takeout bag, and anywhere else that customers would be sure to see them. As far as email marketing goes, we’ve found that the sweet spot for sending out email blasts is about once a month. Any more than that, you’ll run the risk of your customers ignoring the emails. Any less than that, you’re not staying top-of mind. Don’t have the time to create and send out emails? Consider a monthly email subscription, like the Monthly Taste, and let us do the work for you. ChowNow makes it easy. Contact your Restaurant Success Manager to go over your options.
Ready to start shopping? Great! With the ChowNow Marketing Store’s simple checkout process, you don’t have to worry about registering an account or entering your payment information. All we need is your ChowNow account information and you’re good to go. Start exploring, and you’ll be on your way to driving more orders and building your brand with best-in-class marketing.
Want advice on your current marketing strategy? Schedule a call — we’re happy to help.