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How To Increase Restaurant Sales With Online Ordering?

Competition in the restaurant industry can be cut-throat and with the rapidly changing trends, it can be difficult to acquire new customers or retain existing. As more customers seek out the ease of take-out–and especially delivery, third-party for delivery services provide an easy way to increase restaurant sales with online ordering.

Although these delivery services offer an opportunity to reach new customers  and increase sales, the benefits  come at a cost: giving up access to valuable customer data and losing loyal customer base to the delivery partners. 

It, therefore, becomes pertinent for restaurants to explore strategies to engage with their customers to keep the regulars coming back, attract new customers, and build their native platforms to increase online orders on their website. In this article, we will discuss some strategies to increase restaurant sales with online ordering.

How to increase restaurant sales with online ordering?

  1. Opt for A Robust Online Ordering Solution
  2. Streamline your online ordering menu
  3. Optimize your online ordering platform
  4. Make it easy to order from your website
  5. Leverage Digital channels to Promote Online Ordering
  6. Optimize Your Website For Local Search
  7. Promote your Online Ordering Platform
increase restaurant sales with online ordering

1. Opt For A Robust Online Ordering Solution

Many restaurant owners/managers opt for third party delivery services to provide the convenience of online ordering to their customers. The general belief is that it is easier to get started on such platforms and get more orders without any investment in terms of time and resources. However, what they fail to factor in is that the additional revenues generated by orders received via these platforms is usually diluted by the hefty commissions charged by them.

At this point, it is advisable to consider the long-term benefits of building your own online ordering platform. Initially, you may have to put in some efforts to promote your online ordering platform but these are resources invested in building your brand that have the potential to deliver huge dividends in the future.

There are several robust online ordering solutions in the market, which are commission-free and are available to restaurants totally free of cost. There are a few things you should keep in mind while selecting an online ordering solution:

What are the key features of an online ordering solution?

  • Simple configuration: Most modern solutions are easy to setup and configure and allow to start taking online orders within 24 hours.
  • POS integrations: An integrated online ordering solution does away with the need for manually updating orders. Your online orders appear on your POS along with other orders, and all menu updates on the POS are automatically reflected on your online ordering platform.
  • Customer data: if your online ordering solution is integrated with your pos, the customer data from online orders appears with all other data on your POS.
  • Customizable: You should be able to customize the platform, upload pictures and add descriptions to align with your brand identity.
  • Customers should be able save their preferences and customize their orders easily.
  • Accept Multiple Payment Options
  • Integrated feedback and loyalty program help you to build a loyal customer base.

2. Streamline your online ordering menu

increase restaurant sales with online ordering
Chipotle Online Ordering

A lot of thought should go into creating your online ordering menu. Some items that may be very popular in-store might not lot lend themselves to pick-up or delivery. Evaluate each menu item on the following three criteria to come up with the ideal menu.

  • Whether they do or do not travel well
  • Whether the margin on the food item is enough to cover packaging/delivery costs.
  • Packaging considerations

Your online order menu should include only those items that travel well and at the same time have a high popularity and profitability score.

3. Optimize Your Online Ordering Platform

The online ordering platform is an extension of your brand, and you should take utmost care to build the same customer experience on your online ordering page that customers have come to expect from your brand.

  • Customize every aspect of the solution to align with your brand identity.
  • Upload good quality food images and detailed descriptions of food items.
  • Arrange menu items like they would appear on your in-store menu.
  • Create up-sell or cross-sell opportunities by creating pop-ups for popular items or items that are usually ordered together.
  • Streamline and smoothen the customer journey on your online ordering platform by setting up automations such as helpful tips and suggestions or allowing customers to save orders or delivery address etc.

4. Make It Easy To Order Right From Your Website

In most case, customers land on your online ordering platform from your website. The order online button should appear prominently on the top of your home page and menu page to grab the customers attention. Highlight your specials and consider adding add to cart buttons to menu items.

5. Leverage Digital Channels to Promote Online Ordering

You should build a strong online identity by adding the order online button to all your social media handles including Facebook, Instagram and GMB page. Platforms like Yelp and Tripadvisor also allow you to build your restaurant page and add an order online button to lead customers to your order online platform.

Each day thousands of customers are searching on Google for restaurant like yours using keywords or terms related to your business/menu. You should optimize your website for these key search terms. Research keywords for your restaurant and include them in your page’s body, header, title tags, and Meta description and your sit’s SEO.

Build your website’s credibility and trust with the search engines by adding your restaurant to relevant local listings including Google maps, Apple maps, Yellow book, Map quest and Nextdoor.

increase restaurant sales with online ordering

7. Promote Your Online Ordering Platform

You would want your customers to know that you are accepting online orders. Promoting your online ordering platform through organic and paid channels can help your reach more customers and increase restaurant sales with online ordering.

In-Store Promotions
  1. Promote your online ordering link via window displays and posters in prominent places such as the check out counter.
  2. Grab the attention of your customers when they are waiting for their food to arrive with table tents.
  3. Menu inserts are also a great way to reach your customers.
  4. Ensure that your online ordering link is prominently printed on your takeout packages and receipts.
  5. Train your staff to promote your online ordering platform to your customers.
Online Promotions

Social Media platforms can be a great tool to reach your customers. Besides regular posts promoting your online ordering link, you should also consider advertising to reach your target audience on these networks.

  • You could create a special offer or discount to promote online ordering among your customers.
  • Run contests to promote online Orders.
  • Run Ads to promote online ordering

8. Leverage Data To Build Loyalty

Use data from your online ordering solution to create targeted promotions fostering brand loyalty. Segment customers based on their purchase history, preferences and visit frequency and come up with customized offers to bring back customers. For instance;

  1. Offers to bring back dormant customers
  2. Offer on kids meal to bring back customers with kids
  3. Deals to increase average order value of regulars
  4. Flash offers to increase online orders on slow days
  5. Offer available only on online orders to incentivize customers to place pickup orders during rush hours.

Streamlining the customer experience on your online ordering platform and targeted promotions can help you build your brand and increase restaurant sales with online ordering.

Increase Your Restaurant Revenues with FoodKonnekt Online Ordering

4 Tips to Create a Powerful Brand Online

Outstanding customer experience is the basis of any successful restaurant. It’s what sets you apart from the plethora of competitors and drives loyalty with your customers. In the digital age, knowing how to create a powerful brand online is as important as the in-store experience. Online presence not only strengthens your brand identity but also helps you reach a larger audience.

In this article, we’re going to show you how to create a powerful brand online by delivering seamless customer experience.

How do you attract customers to your restaurant?

1. Use Social Media to share pictures of your food and restaurant
2. Mobile Optimized and SEO Friendly website
3. Use Email Marketing to Reach More Customers
4. Run a restaurant Birthday Club
5. Partner with the local community for fundraisers 
6. Host Local Events
7. Give Coupons for Local events
8. Run a loyalty Program

How do you create a restaurant brand?

a. Define Your Identity
b. Identify your Target Audience
c. Give Your Brand a Voice
d. Work on your Look and Ambiance
e. Ensure that your Online Platforms reflect your brand identify
f. Customers service should be a reflection of your brand identify
g. Reward Loyalty

Tip 1: Respond To Every Comment and Complaint

For online reviews, the way you answer can affect other users’ experiences because they can read the reviews. So, as you respond, don’t forget that your comments are for more than just one customer. Best practices recommend you respond to every review, both positive and negative, in a timely manner. Online Reputation Management is therefore very important for a restaurant business.

Respond to every comments and complaints on Social Media to create a powerful brand online

Tip 2: Incorporation of  Chat-bots

At the core, restaurants are service businesses — they primarily care about providing the best possible experience for guests who visit their physical stores. Everything else, from their website to their marketing campaigns to their online customer service, is just a method to accomplishing that goal. For this reason, we think that chatbots are perfect for service-based businesses that are so focused on in-person experiences.

By answering questions automatically to real humans only when necessary, chatbots can help restaurants concurrently improve customer service and also save up time for their staff to spend promoting their actual in-restaurant experience. Dive in into these 8 examples How Restaurants Can Effectively Use Chatbots

Incorporation of Chat-bots as a strategy of create a powerful brand online

Tip 3: Emphasize On Customer Reviews

Capitalize on your positive customer reviews.

If a restaurant has great reviews on Google, make sure they show up on the website and all social media handles. Do the same with Google my business reviews.

By highlighting your reviews on your website, you’ll improve the customer experience. Your potential customers want to see social or material proof. They want to know others think highly of your restaurant. Learn more about our product KritiQ to take care of the reputation management requirements for your restaurant business.

Emphasize on customer reviews in order to enhance customer experience as a tip to create a powerful brand online

Tip 4: Make It Easier To Place An Order 

One more thing you can do to enhance the customer experience is making your online menu and shopping cart as easy as possible. A bad online ordering experience does zero for your website’s overall usability. Don’t dissipate your customers’ time by asking for too much information or by asking for too many item confirmations before the ultimate purchase. Discard the pop-ups and don’t incorporate too many additional offers. Have a look at our product Foodkonnekt-our integrated solution that can help you to add an additional revenue source while expanding your customer base.

Make it easier to place an order on your website

Wrap Up:

The grounds of any strong and successful restaurant begins with providing exceptional customer service. Whether you are a large chain restaurant or a small business, going above and beyond with your customers is a tactic that will drive repeat customers and thrust your revenue today, as well as in the future.

Images by: Rod Long, Jonas Leupe on Unsplash, Miguel Á. Padriñán on Pexels

Proven Strategies For Increasing Your Restaurant’s Online Orders

Providing the ease of online ordering to your customers can help you generate incremental sales for your restaurant and boost profitability. Besides, it can also help you to expand your reach, improve order accuracy, and help you get over the hassles of taking orders over the phone.

However, in a crowded restaurant space, just adopting an online ordering platform for your restaurant may not cut the mark. You have to work constantly to increase your restaurant’s online orders by making the platform more visible and making the online ordering experience smooth for your customers. Here are a few strategies for increasing your restaurant’s online orders. We can categorize these strategies into three groups.

What are the advantages of online ordering for your restaurant?

1. Online Ordering drives revenue: You can reach more customers online. The average order value of online orders is higher than in-store orders
2. Free up your Employees to provide a superior customer experience. Taking orders over the phone interferes with in-store services especially during rush hours and over the weekends. With an online ordering solution, employees do not waste time taking orders over the phone. 
3. Improves Order Accuracy: Disturbances while taking orders over the phone, can result in incorrect orders. On an online ordering solution, customers can easily enter the orders to the last detail improving order accuracy.
4. Losing customers: You will no longer lose orders during rush hours/ weekends due to busy phone lines.
5. Provide accurate estimates of pick-up and delivery times.

What features should you be looking for in an Online ordering Solution?

1. Ability to work across different browsers such as Chrome, Safari or Bing.
2. Availability on Mobile Platform
3. Multiple Payment Options including wallets like Apple Wallet and Samsung Pay.
4. PoS integrations

What are benefits of having a native online ordering solution for your restaurant?

1. Full Control Over Customer Experience
2. An extension of your brand identity: You can customize your online ordering platform to align with your brand identity; upload food pictures, add specials and offers, make instant and real-time changes to your menu.
3. Collect Crucial Customer Data to create customized experiences, and personalize your marketing messages and encourage repeat visits. Further by integrating your loyalty program to your online ordering solution, you can ensure that your loyalty customers can redeem their offers and coupons on online orders.
4. Keep Your Profits: By opting for an in-house solution, you can do away with commission charged by third party services on each order. All profits from online orders are your own.

How to increase your revenues with online ordering?

1. Native Online Ordering Platform
2. Optimize User Experience On Your Website and Online Ordering Platform:
3. Optimise your menu 
4. Provide Multiple Ways To Order
5. Make it easy to reorder Ensure that your online ordering system has the ability to save previous orders based on the timings, delivery address, and card information.
6. Offer Delivery
7. Promote your online ordering link via window displays and posters in prominent places such as the checkout counter.
8. Grab the attention of your customers when they are waiting for their food to arrive with table tents.
9. Menu inserts are also a great way to reach your customers.
10. Ensure that your online ordering link is prominently printed on your takeout packages and receipts.
11. Train your staff to promote your online ordering platform to your customers.
12. You could create a special offer or discount to promote online ordering among your customers.
13. Online promotions: If you are running any offer exclusively for promoting Online Orders, you must ensure that you are posting about these offers on your networks or running ads to reach a larger audience
14. Run contests to promote online Orders.

Technology Parameters for increasing your Restaurant’s Online Orders

1. Native Online Ordering Platform

Until a few years ago, only large restaurant chains could afford sophisticated software and global data infrastructure for the benefit of their business. However, the breakthroughs in cloud computing have now made these services accessible even to small family-owned restaurants.

There are several different solutions out there from third-party online ordering solution that can be integrated with your POS to the restaurant point of sale systems that have their own integrated restaurant online ordering software.

You can select a platform that meets your requirements. Here are a few things you should consider while building your native online ordering platform.

  1. Ability to work across different browsers: Your online ordering platform should work seamlessly across different browsers such as Chrome, Safari or Bing.
  2. Availability on Mobile Platform: The millennial customers prefer to order food-on-the-go using their mobile phones. So, it becomes important to ensure that your online ordering platform is optimized for mobile screens.
  3. Multiple Payment Options: Your online ordering system must have the ability to accept multiple payment options including wallets like Apple Wallet and Samsung Pay.
  4. PoS integrations With the advent of AI, smart online ordering options would become the norm of the day. POS integrations make it easier to automatically process orders accepted from the Online Ordering platform.

FoodKonnekt Online Ordering is one such solution that is available absolutely free of cost to restaurants. It is integrated with several PoS platforms including Clover, Focus PoS, FoodTronix and can be fully customized to align with your brand identity.

Foodkonnekt Online Ordering Platform: Increasing your restaurant's Online Orders

2. Consider a Mobile App for your Restaurant:

With the rapid advances in technology, developing an app for your restaurant is no longer going to burn a hole in your pocket. There are several benefits to having an independent app for your restaurant. An app makes it easier for you to promote offers and deals, or to roll out personalized offers based on customer’s purchase history to boost online-orders. It is also much easier to administer a loyalty program through a dedicated app.

However, regular maintenance and updates of a mobile app require additional resources in terms of time and money. Add to that the concerns associated with acquiring and retaining customers on your app, which may require consistent marketing efforts. So, you should consider the return on investment in the long-run before investing in an app.

Subway Online Ordering:Increasing Your Restaurant's Online Orders
Subway App Promotes Online Ordering

Optimize User Experience

Competition in a crowded market space provides customers with a wide array of choices. This has led to increased emphasis on user interface/user experience. A customer would not spend more than 2 minutes on your website/ online ordering platform if he/she does not find it appealing, intuitive and easy to use.

1. Optimize User Experience On Your Website

Optimize User Experience on website for increasing Your Restaurant's Online Orders
Wendy’s website is optimized for different devices
  1. The user experience on your website should be seamless across multiple devices. However, you would want to prioritize the mobile part of the user experience as the majority of the traffic comes from there.
  2. Your “Menu” should be easily accessible from the homepage of your website.
  3. The Order Online Button should appear prominently on the header of each page.
  4. Your Menu should feature good quality pictures of menu items with a description and price.
  5. Add to Cart options on the menu can make it easier for customers to save their preferences.
  6. Having a consistent menu across all platforms is another feature that you want to focus on to enhance the customer experience. Integration with POS should ensure that once an item is added on PoS the same should be automatically reflected on the online ordering platform.
Domino's Website
The Order Online Button appears prominently on the header of Domino’s Homepage
Domino's Menu Page: Optimize your website for increasing Your Restaurant's Online Orders
Domino’s provides the Order Now Button below each menu item
to make it easier to place an order

2. Optimize User Experience On Your Online Ordering Platform:

  1. Ensure that your online ordering system has the ability to save previous orders based on the timings, delivery address, and card information.
  2. Pop-up or menu-suggestions are a good way to draw attention to new menu items.
  3. The ability to keep track of the order status enhances user experience. Domino’s, for instance, enables customers to see where their order is in the delivery lifecycle.

3. Provide Multiple Ways To Order

In the digital age, where every other brand is vying for customers’ attention, you would need a broader strategy to stay on the top of your customer’s mind. One way to do this is by offering them the convenience of online ordering via multiple platforms – website, mobile, social media, voice assistants (Alexa, Google home, etc). The use of the latest cloud-based technologies will enable this kind of transition. 

Popular Brands like Dominos and Pizza Hut are already using technology to push online orders on various platforms. Take a look at all the ways you can now order a pizza from Domino’s

  • Text: If you have “Easy Order” set up in your Domino’s app account, you can order a pizza by texting a pizza emoji to DPIZZA (374992)
  • SmartWatch: If you own an Android Wear or Apple Watch, you can “Easy Order” your pizza from Domino’s. You can also schedule a pizza delivery.
  • Smart Car: If your Ford vehicle is equipped with the technology, you can order pizza on your way home via the Domino’s app Ford SYNC AppLink.
  • Twitter: You can also order your Pizza from Domino’s by tweeting #EasyOrder or sending pizza emoji to @Dominos via direct message.
  • Amazon Prime Now: If you’re using Amazon Prime Now services—you can order pizza from not just major brands but also from participating vendors in your local area.
  • Amazon Echo: With the Domino’s Skill for the Echo, you can reorder your last order, place an Easy Order, or track your order.

4. Offer Delivery

There is no denying the convenience of having food delivered to your doorstep. Most customers say they prefer to order online from restaurants that offer delivery. Offering delivery services can help you increase your restaurant’s online orders.

However, providing delivery services may not be the easiest thing to do. It involves a significant amount of logistics and can be a drain on resources. A good way to check if the benefits of providing delivery outweigh the costs is to run test cases in your local area for a stipulated time and work out the logistics before going for full-scale delivery service.

Tying up with third-party delivery services can also help you to take care of the delivery aspects. There is a lot of data to support that third-party delivery services can bring incremental sales for restaurants, however, there are costs associated with such services that you must factor in to adjudge the real value they bring to your business.

Once you have made the decision to go ahead with delivery, you should ensure that provide a great experience to keep your customers coming back.

Chipotle offering delivery: Offer delivery for increasing Your Restaurant's Online Orders
Chipotle Promotes Delivery Services on its Website

Here are a few tips that could help you to optimize the delivery experience:

  • Your delivery menus should ideally have only those food items that deliver well.
  • Food Packaging: You would want to ensure that food is packaged in proper containers so that it does not spill and get messed in the containers.
  • Invest in insulated food bags that keep hot items warm and cool items cool.
  • Ensure that you include add-ons such as sauces, dips, seasoning, paper napkins, and bio-degradable cutlery.
  • You could consider apps that help you to assign the delivery orders to your riders based on their availability and location. These apps can also help you track the location of the delivery person and the average time is taken to deliver an order.

Right Marketing to Increase Your Restaurant’s Online Orders

Promoting your online ordering platform consistently can help you reach more customers to increase your restaurant’s online orders.

In-Store Messaging:

In-store promotions should be a major part of your strategy to reach your regular customers and make them aware that they can order from your restaurant from the convenience of their homes.

In-store promotions to increase Your Restaurant's Online Orders
Pizza Hut Promotes Online Ordering through Offers
  1. Promote your online ordering link via window displays and posters in prominent places such as the check out counter.
  2. Grab the attention of your customers when they are waiting for their food to arrive with table tents.
  3. Menu inserts are also a great way to reach your customers.
  4. Ensure that your online ordering link is prominently printed on your takeout packages and receipts.
  5. Train your staff to promote your online ordering platform to your customers.
  6. You could create a special offer or discount to promote online ordering among your customers.
  7. If you don’t already have one, you should consider launching a loyalty program to promote your online ordering platform. Regular customers are your restaurant brand ambassadors and account for a major part of your sales.  Loyalty programs are an easy way to keep these customers returning to your restaurant and build a loyal customer base. They are also an ideal target to promote your online ordering platform.
In-store promotions
Pizza Hut Runs Offers Exclusive to Online Orders

Online Promotions

Social Media

Social Media platforms can be a great tool to reach your customers. Besides regular posts promoting your online ordering link, you should also consider advertising to reach your target audience on these networks.

Online Promotions to increase online orders
Papa John’s Promotes Online Ordering Through Social Media Posts

Here are a few other tips:

  • Replace the Call Now Button On Your Facebook Page with a Shop Now Button which leads customers directly to your Online Ordering Platform.
  • Remember to include the link to your Online Ordering Platform On Your Instagram Bio.
  • Instead of leading people to your Website from your twitter profile, send them directly to your online ordering page.
  • If you are running any offer exclusively for promoting Online Orders, you must ensure that you are posting about these offers on your networks or running ads to reach a larger audience
  • Run contests to promote online Orders.
Chipotle promotes delivery on it's Facebook Page to increase online orders
Chipotle promotes delivery on it’s Facebook Page

Online Presence

  • GMB Listing: Promote your online order link on your GMB page
  • Reputation Management: Before ordering food from any restaurant, customers usually check the website and review sites like TripAdvisor to get an idea of the quality of food and services. Ensure that your website is updated regularly and you have a well-organized system of monitoring and replying to reviews.

You may have to invest some time to promote your online ordering service in its initial days, but once it has taken off you can sit back and reap its benefits over the long run.

Increase Your Restaurant Revenues with FoodKonnekt Online Ordering

How to Build an Email List for your Restaurant?

Email marketing is the fastest and the most efficient way to reach out to your customers and build long term bonds. The first step towards setting up your email marketing campaign is building a customer list for your restaurant.

Here are a few practical ways that will help you to Build an Email List for your Restaurant?

1. Collect Emails In Person

This old school strategy is still one of the most effective ways to collect emails. There are several ways in which you can do this. Place a small box at the check-out counter, prompting customers to drop their business cards.  You can take it a step further by adding a small incentive to the action; like a free treat in exchange of business cards. Another great idea is to promote it as a monthly raffle, where a single winner could be offered a free meal or dessert.  You would also want to train your wait staff to request customers to leave their emails at the time of check out.

2. Add an Email Optin to your Website

Email Optin- Build an Email List for your Restaurant

You have put in a lot of effort into building a great website and promoting it through ads and social media. Finally, you have managed to get a decent number of people visiting on your website and browsing through your menu. Now, it’s time to ensure that you are not losing any of these casual visitors or prospective customers. The way to do it is by adding an opt-in form to your website, nudging customers to sign up for your restaurant’s newsletter. Incentivize the deal by offering a free coupon- it can be something as simple as a sign -up and get free ice cream on your next visit.

3. Employ your Wifi as a Tool

Wi Fi- Build an Email List for your Restaurant

Are you offering free Wi-Fi to your restaurant’s customers? You can use the service as a tool to collect email ids. Configure the service in a way that the customers are required to submit emails to use the free wi-fi.

4. Use Technology To Build Email List for your Restaurant

There are several kinds of technology that you may be using at your restaurant which can be used to grow your customer list. For instance, your POS. Most modern PoS systems require customers to submit their Email Ids at the time of check out. You can download this data and use it for your email campaigns.

On similar lines, if your restaurant is running its loyalty program, which requires customers to sign in or subscribe using their email, you have the data at your disposal. The only thing you need to do is encourage customers to subscribe to the program or fill in their details. Your online ordering solution can also be a great source of customer data.

If you are using a guest management system to allow customers to make reservations or feedback software that send out automated messages to customers dining at the store, you can source email data from these systems for your campaigns.

5. Enlist Partners to Co-promote:

Tie up with local businesses to co-promote. Let’s say you own a pizza place, you can tie up with a local art school to display your sign-up info on their bulletin board. In exchange, you can have one of their posters at your restaurant.

6. Build Email List by Referrals

Request your current customers to forward or share your emailers with friends and colleagues. Don’t forget to add a sign-up form in the email body encouraging the people who receive these emails to sign-up.

7. Host a Contest

Contests are a great way to boost engagement on your social media handles. At the same time, they can be employed to collect email ids and build an email list for your restaurant can ask participants to submit their email ids to register for the contest.

8. Integrate Social Media into Your Strategy

Have links to sign-up on your restaurant’s Facebook Instagram or Twitter handle. Promote Your restaurant’s newsletter through social media and invite customers to sign-up for the same.

9. Join Our Club

Another great way to build an email list for your restaurant is to set up a Birthday or Anniversary campaign and invite your customers to join the club by registering their Emails.

Wrap Up

The success of your Email Marketing Campaign depends on how well you build an Email List for your Restaurant and customize your messages. With little effort, these tips can help you grow your customer list to kick-start your Email campaign.

15 ways to Use Your Restaurant’s Chatbot

The growing popularity of Chatbots in the Restaurant industry can be attributed to the wide array of services for which they can be put to use. Popular chains like Burger King and Taco Bell are already leveraging their restaurant’s chatbot for everything from engaging with their customers to simplifying delivery and takeaway. 

Here’s how are ways to use your restaurant’s chatbot at every stage of the customer journey from awareness to advocacy.

Awareness Stage

Brand Discovery- ways to Use Your Restaurant's Chatbot

With the proliferation of messaging apps and the increasing amount of time people are spending on these apps, chatbot is a perfect medium to reach out to your customers.  You can employ this pioneering technology to grab your customers attention and let them know that you are available to assist.

Your restaurant’s chatbot can be programmed to engage customers visiting your website or social media pages, ask questions and guide them in the right direction, share menus, pricing, and collect their email ids.  Providing quick responses and resolving queries helps you to create a better user experience.

Engagement Stage

Engagement Stage- ways to Use Your Restaurant's Chatbot

1. Real-Time Response to Customer Queries

Providing quick responses and resolving queries helps you to boost customer engagement. To give you an idea of how this works let’s say a customer stops by your website or social media page and inquires about store timings via a contact form or direct message. Even if your marketing team is very prompt they would take somewhere between 15 minutes to a few hours to respond to the message (assuming you don’t have a dedicated person just to respond to such queries). Would the customer linger for that amount of time waiting for a response? No! They will easily navigate to some other restaurant. With a chatbot in place, you can significantly decrease the average time taken to respond to such messages. An engaged customer is much more likely to buy from you.

2. On-Demand Assistance 

Customers no longer have to scan your entire website to find the information they are looking for. Your chatbot can provide quick, precise responses and helpful suggestions to guide them in the right direction.

3. Personalized Communication and Advertisements

Chatbots can be employed to nurture potential customers and persuade them to visit or order from your restaurant. To show you what I mean, let’s suppose that during a conversation with a chatbot, a customer checks out the kids’ meals options on your menu. Now every time you run offers or deals on the kid’s meal, you can send them out to this particular customer. He/she would be more likely to respond to these personalized offers as this is something they have already expressed an interest in.

4. After Hours Service

Your customers can get the information they are looking for via your restaurant’s chatbot even when your business is closed.

5. Lead Generation 

You can use Chatbots to nurture prospects and gathers email addresses of potential customers, which can be used for your future marketing campaigns.

Acquisition Stage

Acquisition Stage- ways to Use Your Restaurant's Chatbot

1. Promote Offers, Discounts, and Limited Time Deals

Chatbots can be employed to send out regular marketing communication to all customers who have engaged with your chatbot at any time. They can even tap into your email list and entice your existing customers with new deals and offers.

2. Increase Sales Through Improved Order Efficiency

a. Take Online Orders

A chatbot, deployed on your website, app, social media – Facebook, Twitter, can interact with your customers and take online orders with 100% accuracy. Further, if your restaurant’s chatbot is integrated with your POS systems, your customers can place the order and pay through the same interface

Easier Delivery & Takeaway

You can reduce the time and effort it takes for a customer to place an online order. In fact, customers can order directly from your  Facebook or on your website’s chat window. Domino’s Anywhere initiative allows customers to order a pizza by Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Echo, smart TV, smartwatch, just by texting an emoji. I cannot imagine a more engaging and convenient way to order a pizza on the go!

Reduce Wait Times by Pre-Booking Orders

Customers can place their order via your chatbot much before they arrive at your restaurant, significantly cutting down on wait times.

Allow Customers to Make Reservations

Your restaurant’s chatbot can also be put into service to take reservations and book tables.

3. Food Recommendations

Chatbots offer a great opportunity to cross-sell or upsell menu items. Let’s say, some customer orders grilled steaks from your menu, your chatbot could recommend the Grilled Zucchini Salad or Red Wine that go great with his order. Some other examples could be of first-time customers looking for gluten-free options on your menu or somebody trying to find vegan options.

4. Round the Clock Customer Support

Providing around the clock customer support requires a huge investment in terms of time and resources. By automating conversations you could save time and money that can then be allocated to other efforts.

5. Consistent Communication

Most customers find it very frustrating when they have to provide an update of past interactions to every service rep they interact with. A chatbot helps you to provide a consistent experience to your customers by automatically updating previous chat histories of customers.

Loyalty Stage

Loyalty Stage- ways to Use Your Restaurant's Chatbot

1. Send Personalized Offers and Recommendation to Regular Customers

Chatbots for restaurants can bring back regular customers and boost long term loyalty by sending out automated deals and offers in accordance with a customer’s purchase history.

2. Solicit Feedback and Reviews

Most customers prefer to go through review sites before selecting a restaurant to eat out. Chatbots can be employed to send automated reminders to customers to leave their feedback on popular sites like Yelp or TripAdvisor. Many restaurants are using this technology to collect Feedback from their customers. This helps them to discover areas where they can improve, with the end goal of providing better customer services.

3. Promote your Loyalty Program 

You can use your restaurant’s chatbot to encourage your regular customers to join your loyalty program. It is also a perfect medium to send out exclusive deals to loyalty members or to facilitate redemption of loyalty rewards.

Advocacy Stage

Advocacy Stage- ways to Use Your Restaurant's Chatbot

1. Promote your Advocacy Program

Chatbots can target long term loyalty members and encourage them to join your restaurant’s advocacy program

2. Offer Incentives to Advocate your Restaurant

Asking customers to share their experience at your restaurant by a social share button embedded on your chatbot is a great way to attract attention towards your brand.

Wrap- Up

Those were some of the ways in which we at mKonnekt are employing chatbots for our restaurant clients.  We would love to hear how you are using this wonderful technology for your business.

Key Features of a Successful Customer Loyalty Program

With more than 80% of the customers claiming that they prefer brands that offer some kind of a loyalty program, we can safely say that customer loyalty programs are here to stay. Before you adopt a loyalty program you must invest some time in finding out what will work best for your restaurant. Here are the Key Features of a Successful Customer Loyalty Program.

Features of a Successful Customer Loyalty Program
Key Features in a Successful Customer Loyalty Programs

You may have to employ some effort to attract and motivate them to enroll in the program by offering an initial reward on sign-up, or on their first visit as a loyalty member.

1. Make it Easy:

A loyalty program needs to be simple. If a loyalty program isn’t easy to understand and use, then your customers won’t use it. If your employees find it difficult to understand, they may not be able to get customers on board.

2. Create an innovative reward system

Your reward system should not impinge on your margins. Looking for ideas? We have covered the various kinds of rewards you can offer in this article.

3. Engage with the customer:

Think of creative ways to engage with your loyalty members. Invite your customers to leave comments and recommendations about your loyalty program via social media platforms or surveys.

4. Mobile Accessibility:

59 percent of customers said they would be more likely to join a rewards program that offered a Smartphone app. Most third-party loyalty programs offer consumer-facing mobile apps. However, while adopting a mobile interface, remember that it should be easy to use.

5. Integrate your Loyalty program with your POS system:

One of the main benefits of a customer loyalty program is that it enables restaurant owners to collect valuable customer data. It is best to integrate your loyalty program with a point-of-sale (POS) system. If you already have a point of sale system in place then adopt a loyalty program that can be integrated with it. This helps you in streamlining processes like the promotion of offers or redemptions of coupons.

The ultimate goal of any restaurant customer loyalty program is to create a loyal customer base by providing a happy Dining experience, if you plan and execute your loyalty program with this in mind, there is no reason your restaurants’ loyalty program wouldn’t be a success.

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