Spend 5 minutes on Google looking for restaurant marketing advice and you’ll notice that there’s one major problem.
None of the advice is bad. In fact, some of it’s pretty good.
But the majority of the advice suffers from one fatal flaw.
It’s all so passive.
I mean, we’re talking things like:
- Get yourself on a billboard
- Set up a website
- Sponsor a local sports team
I understand these methods help get your brand in front of people, but you’re just throwing your name out into the ether and hoping for results.
It makes measuring the effectiveness of each campaign impossible.
Was it that billboard on the highway that convinced the family to come in for dinner?
Perhaps it was the 5 second spot on local radio?
Maybe even the sponsorship deal for your local little league?
If you can’t pin down what’s working to bring you new diners, then how are you going to replicate and scale it?
You’re left spending on multiple campaigns not really knowing which is bringing you new customers.
And if you’re doing that, I guarantee that more than 50% of your campaigns are providing zero ROI.
If you want to find a repeatable and scalable method of attracting more orders, then there’s one element you have to explore.
I’m going to detail a couple of actions you can implement with your restaurant to grab diners through your digital channels.
Why Digital Marketing is the Way Forward for Restaurant Marketing
There’s a couple of reasons digital is the future for the food and beverage industry.
The first is the growing usage of digital channels.
The popularity of ordering through an online channel has seen year on year growth and shows no sign of slowing down.
Brands from Starbucks to Domino’s have capitalised on this trend. Developing their own apps allowing users to order and pay directly through their phones.
And Starbucks is seeing that option as a massive growth opportunity.
Mobile orders accounted for 30% of their total sales at the end of 2017.
The second reason digital is the way to go, even for an industry that’s reliant on person-to-person interaction, is because it’s what your diners want.
People want a more streamlined process of ordering and paying.
They want to be able to use the device they carry with them at all times to order and pay for their food.
It’s perfect for brands that are doing takeout or delivery.
Digital order options allow your diners to order from anywhere from their phone, and it removes the need for you to have someone constantly manning the phones.
It’s simpler and more streamlined for all involved.
But here’s the thing, not everyone can afford to have a custom app built specifically for their own restaurant, right?
I mean, getting a clone of the Starbucks, Domino’s, or Applebee’s app would cost $10s of thousands.
However, there is a low cost way to implement the same functionality with no up front cost.
jumper allows you to take orders from anyone with an internet connection. All you need to get it up and running is a Facebook Messenger account for the business and about 15 minutes to get it running.
When someone interacts with the order bot, they can order and pay directly on Messenger giving you more time to focus on growing other areas of your business.
But, and this is the real question, how can you drive interest in your Messenger bot and get people to make orders through it?
Here’s 5 ways to attract new customers to your restaurant with jumper. Methods that are active and lead to a direct result you can track and improve upon.
Leverage Highly Visual Social Media
If you spend any time on Instagram you’ll notice there are two kinds of posts that always do well.
The first are those fitness type posts which, if we’re being honest, most folk use as an excuse to look at attractive people.
The second is, fortunately for us, based around food.
I mean, we’ve all gotta eat, right? And we all wish we could be eating something nicer than the emergency pizza we’ve got stashed in the freezer.
So it’s no surprise that when you head to Insta or Pinterest you’ll find a huge number of food related posts.
Here’s a quick look at Instagram’s food category.
Over 300,000,000 posts. And out of the six that dominate the above the fold section, the four that are 100% focused on food have:
- 1500 likes (bottom middle)
- 2100 likes (bottom right)
- 10,200 likes (top left)
- 18,700 likes (top middle)
Of course these examples are highly visual, have the saturated colours you expect, and are of course well placed, however, they also have something else in common.
These high performers above are all recipes.
They’re not just highlighting the food, but also teaching people how to make it.
And sure, it might seem counter-productive to give away your “secret sauce”, but it’s really not.
They’re doing it because you cook it better than they do and it’s less effort.
So give people a behind the scenes look at how you’re creating your delicious treats. Get them salivating over what you can do.
And then capitalise on it by adding a direct “order now” button on the post with jumper – here’s a quick guide on how to set that up.
Leverage Local Influencers
The term influencer marketing has kind of grown beyond itself.
Most people seem to think that it means getting someone like Kylie Jenner to promote their brand.
And sure, this falls under the umbrella of influencer marketing, but it’s one extreme.
An extreme only the largest, most affluent brands can afford.
So what are the options for local restaurant or takeout joints?
Influencer marketing isn’t explicitly for the top influencers on common social media platforms.
In fact, all you really need to do is find someone who has the ear and trust of the audience you’d like to target.
That could be any one of the following;
A small local celeb
- Local news outlets who have engaged followings
- Social media groups focused on local business
- Take the below as an example.
This is from my hometown of Coventry. Every week, the account @CovHour spend one hour promoting local brands.
There’s no barrier to entry and no cost. Just turn up and engage to reach a potential audience of 12,700 followers who are within the City of Coventry.
If you can draw up a shortlist of accounts and influencers who focus on your local region you should be able to quickly see some traction because:
- They have the audience you’re trying to target
- As local influencers, they’ll be far more likely to listen to your pitch
However, you want to quickly identify which influencers and accounts are offering the greatest return so you can focus more time on them in the future.
To do this with jumper, we recommend setting up a specific hashtag for that outlet.
This should help you track sales and orders through each influencer.
We’ve actually put a guide together on how to do this for ecommerce, however, the concept is the same for restaurants.
You set up a dedicated hashtag like the below and you’ll be able to track each campaigns effectiveness in your dashboard.
Local and Mobile Marketing
I might see a great ad or Instagram post that gets me salivating, but if the restaurant is halfway round the world then it’s of no use, right?
When 81% of consumers have searched on their mobile device for a restaurant, local marketing is the quickest way to find diners.
Problem is, most restaurant websites are either woefully outdated, not ranking for local searches, or look awful on mobile devices.
These are all huge issues. As such, they kind of deserve articles all to themselves.
However, I’ve not got the time or space in this article to go into the detail required. So what I’m going to do is highlight the key actions you should be taking, and link to some of the best articles on those topics around.
How to rank for local searches
One of the best ways to rank for local searches is to submit your restaurant to all of the review and comparison sites like Google Business, Yelp, Bing Places, and Apple Maps listings.
Now I know this is a little passive, but when so many people are using their mobiles to find you, it’s one of the quickest ways to see results.
Further reading – Check out the Ahrefs comprehensive guide on local SEO here.
Local Facebook Ads
If you want super quick results or are running a campaign o get more diners for something like Valentine’s Day, Facebook ads might be a faster option.
By limiting where your ads are shown, you can push a competition or promotion to a very relevant crowd.
For example, in Facebook ads I could drop a pin at Penn Station if I had a restaurant nearby and reduce the radius to one mile.
That would mean only people within one mile of my location would see the ad.
You can layer different pins and leverage both include and exclude rules to get hyper specific with your targeting.
And, if you want to make use of jumper’s automatic checkout bot, you simply choose the message ad option and include our JSON code to serve your menu through Messenger.
Streamline Your Website Order Process
Your patrons are more likely to order through your own website than a third party app or service.
However, it’s just easier to offer your menu through something like Uber Eats, right? Even if they take a huge cut of your profits.
Well, it was. However, now there’s another solution which will see you selling more without the cost.
Here’s what you do.
First, make your full menu available online through your own website.
Make sure that it’s easily filterable with things like meal (appetiser, main etc), type of protein, etc.
Then, make sure that it’s super easy for your users to order.
Of course we’d recommend using jumper as the conversational element is super streamlined and often leads to much higher conversions.
Here’s a look at it in action.
However, the key thing to note is that you should be hosting your own menu and should have a super streamlined way to take orders.
Do that, and you’ll see the local traffic coming your way buying more from you.
Offline to Online Connection
A few weeks back I was at a whiskey festival in Brooklyn with my girlfriend.
There were some awesome brands there who I would have loved to buy from.
However, due to NY’s liquor licensing I wasn’t able to buy from anyone who weren’t NY based.
And so I left empty handed.
What I would have loved to see is some of the stalls set up something like a QR code that then leads to an online order form or automated checkout bot for purchasing a bottle.
If they had that, they wouldn’t have been selling in the state, but would have a direct ROI from attendance.
You could do the same at any sort of real event.
Rather than just turn up, hand out cards with a QR code that offers some sort of discount. Maybe 10% of their first delivery order.
Then, when that person gets home and needs a quick bite in a week, they can simply scan the card and order direct from you.
It’s a simple, but super effective way to connect the real people you meet with online orders.
And yet very few people are doing it.
All you’d need is a basic QR code (easy to generate) and a jumper checkout like the one in the video above.
Imagine that, instead of a drawer full of menus, you simply have a card with a QR code on. Once scanned, a chat pops up asking you what you want and – boom – within minutes your order is made.
Much simpler and a great way to attract new and repeat clients.
These are five quickly actioned tips that should help you not only attract more local traffic to your digital properties, but also convert them into orders.
However, whatever path you decide to take with your marketing you should always make sure that everything is being tracked.
Doing 10 different things to grow your business is greta, but if you don’t know what’s leading to success you’ll waste a ton of money.
With the right digital marketing strategies you should be able to not only quickly grow your brand, but also track which are bringing positive results.
And if you want to get your next campaign started right now and make the first digital sale by the end of the day, sign up for a free jumper account here.