The Power of the Mobile Device For The Restaurant
With millions of active accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare, restaurant owners now have the ability to directly access their customer base on a daily basis. Social media outlets provide an ideal way to share tantalizing information that will get mouths watering. Reach your customers on your social media outlet of choice by sharing any of the following information:
- Announce daily specials
- Offer 20% off coupons to the first 5 Facebook followers who comment on your profile
- Reward the first 5 Twitter profiles who tweet about your restaurant with a free meal
- Offer free drink rewards to those who “check-in” to your restaurant using FourSquare
- Spread the word on any special events occurring at your restaurant
From quick-service restaurants, like Pei-Wei, to higher-end establishments, such as Maggianos, online-ordering is becoming a digital trend that will be expected by customers within the coming years. QSR magazine has forecasted that in 2012, the power of mobile technology being used for online ordering will continue to increase[ii]. The advantages of online ordering has proven effective as restaurants that offer online ordering are averaging $2,000 to $10,000 of online orders each month[iii].
Creating an online ordering tool is a relatively simple operation that can be set up through third party companies, such as Merosys or Compel Cart. Restaurants with online ordering systems offer customers the ability to jump online and place an order for pick up via their mobile device or computer.
The National Restaurant Association has recently discovered that 26% of chefs have ranked smartphone applications as the hottest tech trend of 2012. Among some of the most popular apps on mobile devices are Urban SpoonandFoodspotting. Urban Spoon is a restaurant review destination complete with links to restaurant websites, menus and reservation systems. Foodspotting is an app that gives customers the ability to share uploaded photos of their food, giving other views a look at what awaits them at any given restaurant.
While these apps are largely customer driven, you are not left completely helpless in creating a positive presence. Here are some suggestions to use these apps to your restaurant’s advantage:
- Offer guests a discount if they uploaded a review on Urban Spoon
- Reward uploaded Foodspotting photos with a free drink or small dessert
- Encourage spreading your name through any other food-related app with rewards for positive customer activity
Embrace app-happy customers and develop a strong reputation with tech-assisted word of mouth marketing. Keep a positive presence in the app world and translate shared information into a larger customer base.
Reach your customers effectively and stay actively engaged with mobile media opportunities. Marketing techniques in an era of digital information includes utilizing social media accounts, developing online ordering capabilities and creating a presence on popular food apps.
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