Tammy Broccas March 27, 2020
tables in cafe shop

If you wish to give your restaurant’s marketing efforts a boost, then looking into marketing automation is your best bet. With the power of automation on your side, you can create a loyal customer base with an impressive presence online. If used correctly, your efforts with restaurant marketing automation will pay off in kind. You will be able to reach out and communicate with your customer base with timely and well-curated marketing messages.

How will that work, you say?

Well, you’ll experience an increase in the footfall, gain new customers and have repeat ones coming back for more. You will be able to improve your restaurant’s bottom line and keep adding to your revenue pool.

In this piece, we will discuss how your restaurant can leverage marketing automation to increase the number of visitors!

Let’s take a look!

1. Added Value to Customer Experience

Customer loyalty is an important factor in the restaurant business. So, you might have a great menu with exceptional ambience and interiors but you need more. When you add to more value to the guest experience your customers receive, it is bound to make them more loyal.

The good news is that with marketing automation, this can be taken care of easily. You can use their emails from Wifi logins and lead generation campaigns to inform and remind your patrons about upcoming special events. You are basically encouraging them to make reservations to celebrate their special day. Additionally, you could wish your patrons on their birthdays and anniversaries and further nurture your relationship with them.

Once they’ve visited your restaurant, you can mail a special returning offer or discount or you could send across the recipe of one of the delicacies they tried. This additional value makes the experience quite bespoke and personal which makes customers feel appreciated and special. This is what makes customers more loyal to you.

2. Add to Your Power of Social Proofing with Requests for Automatic Review

Online reviews are extremely important for any restaurant. It’s through these reviews that an authentic social proof is created that will hook in more customers. If the food and the experience you provide is good, customers will share their positive feedbacks happily. But, it can be time-consuming to encourage every customer to do that. So, you can automate it instead.

Asking for reviews and feedbacks is easier when your customers have left the restaurant and this can be done using marketing automation. You can tailor a personalized email or use push SMS asking them about their experience. Ensure that you shed light on how valuable their input is to you.

3. Up Your Game of Brand Engagement by Asking for Automatic User Generated Content

A great way to increase engagement with your brand is to make the most of user-generated content. A great number of restaurants use third-party food delivery apps to increase their reach with customers. When marketing automation is used in combination of these popular delivery apps, it will help add to your customer footfall. Moreover, it will do wonders for your social media engagement as well.

Asking your customer base to share their food delivery experiences with photos of their order will pave way for innovative user-generated content. It’s what incites social engagement while also adding to your following.

Apps like Hootsuite and Buffer can help you automate these requests on platforms like Twitter and Instagram. They also give you access to tools that will help you understand what’s working along with new things you can try.

Given how things work digitally, customers want to engage with your brand online. So, ensure that you make arrangements to facilitate easy online communication.

4. Reward Your Guests Using Quality Data

Quality customer data with valuable insights is integral to fruitful restaurant marketing automation. So ensure that you put special efforts in collecting and assembling this data, and analyse it carefully to recognize opportunities. By keen observation, you will be able to curate individual and bespoke offers that successfully award customer loyalty.

Classifying customers based on the patterns of their behaviour and the history of their data will help you tailor rewards and offers that are specific to each individual. For instance, offer a free cup of coffee to regular coffee drinkers, a free or customised pizza upgrade to customers who love pizza.

You can also curate offers aimed at increasing customer spend or upsells on the basis of the history of their spend with your restaurant. You can also use promotional items like printed beer mats for upselling.

When you automate all these aspects of your restaurant, it makes segmenting of customers simple which makes tailoring of rewards program easy. When you learn the ropes of restaurant automation, you will see how successfully you treat customers based on their personal preferences.

5. Real-time Targeting with Marketing Automation

Does your restaurant have a daily special that needs to be promoted? Perhaps the business is a bit slow during lunchtime and you need to speed things up a bit? In both these cases, you can lean on marketing automation to target customers in real-time. If visitors have used Wifi in your restaurant before, you’ll be able to send across push messages automatically on their phones if they are nearby using the proximity tracking feature.

During down-times, this is an excellent way to get more customers at key service times. With the help of restaurant marketing automation, you can design marketing campaigns and promotions that are tailored specifically to make instant visiting by patrons possible.

With marketing automation, you will have the means to put your message across to customers in a manner that aligns with their personal preferences, behaviours and locations. This adds to the relevancy of your marketing messages that help make the most of customer engagement.

The Bottom Line

Marketing automation is a game-changer as you can completely alter the way your restaurant works. However, your strategies here can’t be unplanned and random. Take the time to automate marketing processes in a strategic manner so that you can reap the full benefits.

In the service industry, having a personal touch goes a long way to tip the scales in your favour. With the automation tool, marketing communication has never been easier. Timely upselling, value-added customer experience and increased social proofing are great results of marketing automation done right.

What’s more important is that marketing automation helps execute all these plans easily and smoothly. This gives you the time to concentrate on creating culinary experiences that make your customers walk in through the door in the first place.

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