Now, more than ever, restaurants have turned towards online ordering to keep serving their customers. But diving into the online ordering market doesn’t come without its challenges. However, the efforts will be worthwhile.
Here are 5 effective digital marketing strategies when promoting your restaurant online:
Divert traffic to your online ordering app
This isn’t new: delivery apps come at a cost. Between delivery, commission and tips, fees can quickly add up. To stay profitable, one of the most common approaches is to offer a discount. Below are some common discounts that you can offer:
- Seasonal discount: event-based discount is generally set around a specific date or season (Saint Valentine’s Day, Canada Day, Christmas, etc.)
- Meal Bundles: Set special offers by combining products or combos (Burgers, fries, and soda)
Another promotion could be a “Buy One Get One”. You can do it in two different ways:
- Buy one get one
- Buy one get 2nd item % off
Running promotions is arguably one of the most effective ways to drive sales. If done well, they boost your sales, attract new customers and lead to repeat sales.
Use your social media
Social media (such as Instagram and Facebook) have become great tools for promoting your restaurant and sharing your daily news. And for many, social media has become an integral part of their digital communication strategy. Here are some helpful tips and a great marketing example from one of our clients:
Optimize your ordering app
High quality pictures allow you to highlight your brand and create a better customer experience.
Update additional information
Make sure to update the item description to inform your customers with food allergies, special diet, etc.
Create a simple online menu
Optimize your menu to be easily digestible. Break your categories by food groups (starters, sandwiches, desserts and drinks)
Your Google listing
With Google My Business account, you get more than a profile. It not only allows you to easily connect with your local customers via Google Maps but to also advertise your restaurant. Here are some of the things you can do:
- Link your website and online ordering to your profile to stimulate your customer engagement
- Post photos, hours of operation and menu options to show your customers what makes you unique
- Create Google posts to inform your customers of promotional offers, events, or the launch of a new product. Your posts will be visible for seven days by default, and up to 14 days maximum.
Your website is the core of your online presence. A study found that 80% of consumers research local businesses online before deciding to make a purchase. When your website is optimized, you make it easier for potential customers to place orders online. In return, you will increase traffic to your website and sales of your products. Here are some tips for updating your site:
Add a call to action button (i.e.: Order) at the top of your home page to encourage customers to order from your application.
Update your contact info, hours of operation, menu, gallery so customers know what to expect.
Responsive layout: These days, most of your traffic comes from mobile devices. Consumers search for food on the go right before they eat. If your website isn’t user-friendly, you’re missing out!
Use keywords to attract local customers: SEO is essential, no matter the size of your restaurant or the field of activity, if your restaurant is present on the web. The choice of keywords is essential so that your customers can find you. Example of keywords for an ice cream shop: Vegan dairy, vegan ice cream, premium ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet, and homemade non-dairy ice cream.
Get online reviews
A recent survey indicated that more than 80% of consumers look at online reviews before choosing a restaurant or cafe. Top review sites like Yelp, Google Maps, or TripAdvisor are good ways to collect reviews and promote your business. Here are 4 ways to encourage more online reviews:
- Start a conversation and gauge their level of satisfaction, before asking for a review
- Link your online ordering page to your profile on review sites such as Yelp, Google, TripAdvisor, etc.
- Optimize your website, social media, and email template for your customers to easily write reviews (Set website badges to your social media profiles)
- Give your customers a reason to leave a review by offering incentives (i.e: free coffee, discounts)
- Respond to every review – even the bad ones: When you respond to a bad review, it gives you the opportunity to value their opinion and to deliver excellent customer service.
In today’s connected world, restaurants face stiff competition to retain customers beyond location. To succeed, you need to offer a unique value proposition that other competitors will not replicate.
And by developing a digital strategy and carefully monitoring it, you will be able to increase their sales volume and attract new customers.
Would you like to hear more about our online ordering app? Contact our sales department at email@example.com or by phone at 844-695-6664.