5 Ways to Promote Your Restaurant App to Customers

By ChowNowJan 22nd, 2021

restaurant app powered by ChowNow
Now that you’ve invested in your own restaurant app for online ordering, your next question is likely, “How do I encourage my customers to use it?”

Incentivizing app downloads is important because it gives you a boost in visibility and customer loyalty. In fact, diners who download restaurant apps order twice as often as diners who don’t, according to ChowNow internal data. It also helps deliver a better customer experience for your diners by giving them an easy and streamlined way to order your food. 

In this blog, we cover five simple tips for promoting your custom restaurant app.

1. Run an app only promotion.

One of the most powerful tactics for getting your diners to download your app is to provide an incentive. Try offering your customers a one-time discount for ordering via your restaurant app. 

This will help spur app downloads and increase brand awareness about your food ordering app to your current customers. In 2020, more than half of Americans downloaded at least one new app to purchase food and essentials and 45 percent more than one, according to Bluedot

Your restaurant app can stand out from the pack by offering an enticing promotion. You could try offering a free item with your customers’ first app order. Additionally, the ChowNow Restaurant Success Team generally recommends giving $5 off a user’s first app order of $25 or more. 

Learn More: Is a Branded Ordering App the Right Choice for Your Restaurant?

2. Market your restaurant app via email.

Your customers can’t download your new app if they don’t know about it. If your online ordering system gives you control over your customer data, you should have a healthy list of email addresses. Send out an email to announce either your app-only promotion or the launch of your new app. Link to your Google Play Store and Apple App Store listings, so customers can download your app directly from your email. 

Even when your initial promotion is over, make sure you link to your restaurant app in the footer of your emails in order to keep it on customers’ minds. You can use a service like Mailchimp to send out promotional emails. ChowNow restaurant partners also have access to an email marketing service that takes care of everything from designing to sending your message.

Get Started: Restaurant Email Marketing in 3 Easy Steps

3. Highlight your restaurant app on social media.

Use your social networks to help get the word out about your restaurant app and any promotions you may be running. Like email, social media is a great place to connect with your current customers. Unlike email, social media can help you extend your reach beyond your current audience via organic posts as well as social media advertising. 

Post about your food ordering app on social media alongside photos of your mouth-watering dishes, and make sure to link to your Android and iPhone app listings. Repost any online mentions of your restaurant and your restaurant app, and clearly describe the best ways people can order from your restaurant.

Lately, people have become more in tune with the high commission costs of third-party restaurant apps. Social media is a great place to let diners know that orders made from your mobile app are more profitable for your business. 

Download: The Ultimate Guide to Social Media for Restaurants

4. Use promotional cards, stickers, and signs.

Promote your restaurant app when your customers are interacting with your restaurant offline, too. Try putting cards announcing your app-only discount in your to-go packaging. This will encourage your current customers to order again. This is also an effective strategy from converting orders from third party marketplaces to direct orders.

Display signs at your register or in your window to ensure that both eat-in and take-out customers are aware of your new ordering channel. Additionally, train your staff to tell your customers about your restaurant app. Your employees are your restaurant’s best representatives, so ensure that they’re informed and ready to talk about the app with customers. 

Ditching the Marketplace: Getting Diners to Use Your Restaurant Ordering System

5. Take advantage of push notifications.

The success of your restaurant app requires that your diners regularly use it. Due to their high opt-in and click rates, push notifications are extremely powerful tools for getting your customers’ attention. 

These alerts serve a very practical purpose in that they can automatically notify customers when their orders are ready. They are also great tools for promoting your restaurant. While you should be judicious when utilizing push notifications for marketing purposes, it’s worthwhile to selectively send out strategically timed push notifications to drive new orders. They’re a great way to announce a new dish on your menu or offer a discount.

A mobile food ordering app can elevate your online ordering strategy to the next level. With ChowNow, you can invest in your very own custom-built iPhone and Android restaurant app. ChowNow mobile apps showcase your logo and food, creating the ultimate brand experience from mobile, to web, to in-store. 

Eager to grow orders and strengthen customer relationships with mobile restaurant apps? Take the next step by talking to ChowNow’s online ordering specialists.

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