My wife loves Starbucks. If she could have Starbucks 3 times a day, she would. She is hooked on their loyalty program and has her 5-step drink that I still can't remember. Recently her office moved and there isn't a Starbucks close to the office. Crazy, I know. However, there is a coffee shop across the street. She was dragged there a couple of times by co-workers, but they never had her favourite ingredient. It left her bummed and un-caffeinated, a sad combination, to be sure.
She was blown away when one day a co-worker came back from the shop and told her that they had brought in that special ingredient just for her. Now she was hooked. She had to get a coffee there as soon as possible. When she went in, they started chatting with her, making a personal connection and making her feel special. The owners are the operators and they take care of their customers. Now all she can do is talk about how excellent this coffee shop is.
So, what does this have to do with you? Well, if Starbucks is at risk of losing its customers to the competition, so are you. Your most regular guests might just one day stop coming in. It might be due to a move or it might be because they found the next best thing. What are you doing to pique the interest of new guests? Word of mouth is the best advertising but that is not enough. How do you put fuel into that fire? How do you attract those new guests for the top of your restaurant funnel?
Before digital media, you would send out flyers or take out a newspaper ad and cross your fingers that people would see it and come in. Maybe you were bold enough to put in a coupon for a BOGO. Although you could track your ROI on the entire campaign, it was very difficult to track the individual guests. Most restaurants saw a spike in sales and once the coupon expired, it was back to normal again. So now to get more business you had to send out another coupon and then you got into a trap. No coupon, no business. Now there is a better solution.
Make your website into a hub where you give visitors an incentive in exchange for their contact information. It sounds simple, but the key ingredient to this marketing strategy is what you do with this information. The incentive doesn’t need to be a coupon, although that usually builds the list the fastest. Some non-coupon incentive ideas: enter a contest, being added to a VIP list for a special event, a login to access a secret menu or anything you can dream up!
The reason it is recommended that you use a coupon as an incentive is that it is trackable when set it up correctly. You know when a guest has visited and used their incentive. And now you can follow-up. You can reach out using a personal email, send a personal video, or even follow up with an old school phone call. You can find out if there is a missing item that you could easily bring in to please the guest and turn that first-time guest into an engaged SUPERFAN.
Your Restaurant Marketing Plan starts by creating an incentive for to exchange for an email address. This is the top of the Restaurant Funnel and the best was to Increase Restaurant Sales.Read More.......