Businesses across the globe are always on the prowl for the latest way to reach their customers. Building a viable website was the first step when the Internet was young, but now businesses must look further to keep their clients interested. In the restaurant business, today's advertising and loyalty programs incorporate mobile technology. With millennials and older adults using their smartphones and tablets for almost constant communication, it's time for restaurants to get in on the lucrative action.
Create a Mobile App
Besides a sleek website, you also need a mobile app or application. The majority of restaurant fans use their mobile phones to locate addresses and browse menus. Add an app to your advertising campaign and post the information on your website. As your customers download the app, they'll have access to all of the basics surrounding your brand. Only include the core items people want to see on the go, including location addresses, hours and detailed menus. If your mobile app is too complex, hungry customers will simply try another app and eat at that restaurant. Simplicity is always the best strategy when it comes to mobile apps.
Use Push Notifications
Design your mobile app with basic push notifications. When your potential clients download the app, they'll have the choice of allowing these banner ads. Whenever you have a sale or special event, you can send that information out as a push notification. Your clients don't have to be actively looking at the app either. A banner or pop-up ad appears on their smartphone or tablet screen, and it tells your customers about a great deal at your restaurant. Although your clients have the choice of turning these notifications off, most people tend to keep them on as a way to stay connected every day.
Personalize Your Coupons
Through your mobile app is an area where your clients can sign up for email coupons. When people are a fan of your cooking, they're always excited to receive a small discount on their next visit. Time your coupons, so that they can arrive at least once a month. Don't create a blanket coupon for everyone either. Personalize each coupon based on the person's previous meal with you. When they see that they can receive 10 percent off their favorite appetizer during the next visit, customers will be sure to keep you on their to-do list.
Offer Online Ordering
People live busy lives, and they want their favorite stores and restaurants to recognize that fact. Make your customers' lives easier with online ordering. They can look at the menu on their mobile device or home computer and instantly order through the website. When the customer arrives at your restaurant, the takeout order is ready to go. In fact, you might see a boost in profits when to-go ordering is implemented at your business. You can fill your tables and the front counter with food orders that fly out the door.
Encourage Online Reviews
As you become familiar with your clients, ask them to review your business online. There are many online-review websites where people can honestly summarize their experiences. With each review and business mention, your company name will become more familiar with potential clients and the online world. In fact, your search-engine ranking might rise because of the discussions surrounding your business. If there are any negative remarks, respond to them by using the comment section within the review website. When you kindly resolve any situation through these platforms, your business appears professional and customer-service oriented.
Avoid Technology Saturation
You might want to add more mobile technology at your restaurant, but be careful about your selections. Incorporating too many technological concepts into your business might take away from its reputation. If you're building a family-oriented restaurant, adding tablets to each table for remote ordering might not work. Families may want the socializing aspect with their waiter to complete that relaxed restaurant atmosphere. Reserve table-tablet ordering for hip restaurants geared toward young professionals trying to eat and run. Being clever with mobile technology means you know when to implement or omit its use.
Add Mobile Payment Options
Paying for a meal is often a time-consuming process. The waiter must take the check and credit card to the cash register where there might be a line. Customers no longer have to wait, however, if businesses incorporate mobile payment options. For takeout situations, customers simply pay when they order. When they show up at the restaurant, the hostess simply hands them the food. Diners can pay for the check when they finish their meal. The waiter can instantly send the check to the diner's phone where a credit card number is instantly processed. Tables will clear out faster than before, and customers will be pleased with the speedy process.
Every professional, including Louis Ceruzzi, has had to start their business with the basics. If you're building a new restaurant brand, start with one mobile-technology innovation and slowly add new ones as you become more comfortable with the format. In the end, you'll see your nightly reservations fill up with excited guests.