Mobile Marketing for Restaurants: A Fork In The Road
Take the left, and you will find yourself in the desolate, analog restaurant of yesteryear. Take the right, and you will find your business on the cutting edge of mobile marketing.You will understand how today’s consumer likes to receive information, and you will find that serving it to them is as easy as pie.
The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.
Everyone needs to feel loved & appreciated, especially your patrons. Loyal customers are invaluable to your business. Diners who like your restaurant will come to love it if they know that you value them. One of the easiest ways to promote your restaurant to loyal and potentially loyal customers, is to simply text weekly specials and free offers. If Joe Hungry, is tempted to try a new burger joint down the street, but suddenly gets a delightful text from you, offering him a free appetizer when he buys an entree, he’s forgotten about the new place and has his butt in your booth faster than you can say “the usual.”
It’s not for everyone.
Texting regulars with secret codes they’ll use to order items “not on the menu” is another great way to make them feel like VIP. It will make your most loyal customers feel honored, like they belong to an secret club. A secret supper club, I guess.
You can also share your restaurant’s best loved recipes…but only to a select few, or anyone who opts in. Just think about what menu item, or even a cooking technique that you’re known for. Do you serve substantial quantity of a special salad dressing? Adapt the recipe for at-home chefs, and share it.
If you are a restaurant, you should be using QR codes EVERYWHERE for everything. Seriously.
Here is a sample platter of ideas:
1. Print advertising – link a QR code with your special events page, specials, etc.
2. From the windows, to the walls – On the outside: Let passersby scan a code to get your hours of operation, menu, and daily specials. Inside: Don’t let people in line, or those waiting on a table get bored and restless. Their wait time will fly by if they can read through your menu in advance, just by scanning a QR code in your lobby. They will stay engaged and be far less likely to leave for a less-packed establishment. Your turnover will also be much faster if your customers have already had a chance to make their food and drink choices before they’ve even been seated.
3. Now We’re Cookin’ – You know what’s better than reading about your delicious caramel, chocolate fudge, toasted coconut, dreamy marshmallow, cherry pie sundae? Watching someone make it. Link a QR code on your menu to a particularly mouthwatering video of an item being prepared in your kitchen.
The most active facebook and twitter users, access their accounts on mobile devices. There are like, a million ways, to use this little piece of intel to your advantage. National restaurant chains reward fans, followers, and “likers” all kinds of daily specials, giveaways, polls, and sweepstakes on their social networking pages. You can do the same.