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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 loosing 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 they can easily start getting 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 integrtaed 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
  • Inegrated 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 them selves to pick-up or delivery. Evaluate each menu item on the following three criteria to come up with the idea 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

6. Optimize Your Restaurant Website for Local Search

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.

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 Promote Build Loyalty

Use data from your online ordering solution to create targeted promotions to bring back customers. 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

Best Social Media Marketing Tools in 2021

Target audience

Social Media Marketing Manager! No matter how glamorous and delightful it may sound, but, if you have handled social media accounts for even a handful of clients, you probably know how overwhelming it can get. From keeping up with the current trends to strategizing, creating, and publishing content.

Thankfully, there are a bunch of awesome tools out there that can help you streamline most of your work and get a competitive edge over your peers.

So, let’s start from the top. Here, we are dividing the tools into the following categories:

  • Content creation and curation tools
  • Automated scheduling of content
  • Measuring and data analysis tools,
  • and lastly, Social listening tools, which we will cover in the later part of the article.

So let’s get started:

1) Content Creation and Curation-

a) Canva:

Canva- Image Creation tool for social media graphics

When creating content for your social media platforms, you always need some pictures, graphics, infographics, etc. Canva is an extremely useful tool with which can help you create beautiful graphics. The best part is that you don’t need to be a graphic designer to use Canva, it’s an intuitive drag-and-drop editor, and tonnes of free and paid templates can be used by anyone to create stellar designs. It has a free and a paid version, so depending on your needs, you can use either one of them.

The free version provides you with plenty of features but if you want to take your designs to the next level, you should definitely try the pro version which allows you to set up a brand kit by uploading your own logos, fonts, and setting a color palette to easily create designs that are aligned with your brand identity. You can also remove background from images or resize your images for different social media platforms.

Recently, Canva Pro also added the ability to schedule content directly to social media handles.

b) Animoto:

Animoto- Video creation tool

Did you know that the native videos that are uploaded on Facebook have 10x more reach than the videos on other video search engine platforms like Youtube? However, it takes a lot of effort and time to create videos from scratch.

Animoto is an amazing video creation tool that allows you to create professional-looking slideshows and marketing videos. It has a vast galley of pre-customized templates that you can use to create powerful videos. You can upload your own media such as videos and photos and use the simple drag and drop feature to customize them by adding text and music.

c) Quuu:

Quuu

Your audience wants to hear from you. But creating-3-4 pieces of content each day is not possible even for the best of us and you don’t always know what to share. This is when the CURATION of content comes in. And Quuu does just that for you.

Once you have created an account and set up your niche, the platform sends you hand-curated content to your dashboard every day. Each and every piece of content is hand-reviewed by Quuu’s own staff to ensure that you share only quality content relevant to your followers. You can connect your Quuu account to Hubspot, Buffer, Hootsuite, SocialBee, or its own free scheduler SocialChief to automatically publish your content to Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter. You can choose to select your content and schedule manually through the Quuu dashboard.

d) Buzzsumo:

Buzzsumo

As social media managers, we are required to keep an eye on the competition, and this is where Buzzsumo can help you. It is really killing it in terms of research and curation. It is literally one of the best tools I have ever come across.

Have you ever gone through those days when you are just not able to come up with content, no matter how hard you try? Well, Buzzsumo comes to the rescue!

All you need to do is type in the relevant keyword in the Buzzsumo app and it gives a list of the best performing content related to a specific keyword. Now that you have viral content at your disposal, you can analyze it to figure out what makes it popular and use the ideas and inspiration to create your own content.

You can use it to track competitors and set up alerts based on keywords, brand name, links, author name, or domain. It also allows you to research trending topics your audience is interested in or find influencers in a particular niche to plan your influencer marketing strategy.

2) Automation and Scheduling-

a) Hootsuite:

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is one of the oldest marketing tools in the game. It is a boon to any SMM. It has many such features which can help one in the long run. It gives options to schedule bulk content in advance, helps to create and analyze streams, keeps track of your social media performance in terms of engagement and other metrics and analytics. One of the best features it provides is the collaboration of team members and the approval feature. Hootsuite has also acquired Heyday. Heyday is a customer messaging platform that blends Conversational AI’s capability with your team’s human touch to help you offer 5-star customer experiences at scale. It provides a free trial period of 30 days. It is a very beneficial tool for any brand which has multiple social accounts to be handled simultaneously.

b) Tailwind:

Tailwind

It is for your audience that digests a lot of picture-related content, that is Pinterest and Instagram. Not only does it help you in scheduling bulk content for Pinterest, but also lets you find the best people to reach out to (with hashtags), tells you what’s working for your page and what’s not, and also gives you an option of collaborating with your team. Its drag and drop calendar feature helps you in easy content strategy planning. There are four versions of this tool: Pro, Advanced, Max, and Free forever. The Pro version has

  • 1 Pinterest Profile(s)
  • 1 Instagram Profile(s)
  • 100 Posts/mo
    Across both Instagram & Pinterest
  • 200 Post Designs/mo
  • 5 Tailwind Communities
  • Smart.bio Custom Link
  • Advanced Analytics
  • 1 user

The Advanced version has double these features and Max has triple.

c) Buffer:

Buffer

When talking about marketing tools for automation for scheduling, Buffer would always be the front-runner. It is kind of an all-rounder tool, as you can do anything with it, from scheduling to analysis to group collabs.

One of the most amazing features of Buffer is that it helps to seamlessly iterate on content to customize posts for each channel. It makes sure that your posts will be shared at the best possible times. You can also track links to see which content is most popular with your readers. There are many other features available, which you can check here.

3) Measuring and Analyzing data-

a) Sprout Social:

Sprout social

If you want to try an intuitive platform whose dashboard will help you to manage and analyze all your social media efforts on major social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+ and Linkedin, then do give a try to Sprout social. It offers a 30 day free trial period. The most unique feature about this tool is that it helps a brand to receive genuine feedback from customers which allows you to build long-lasting relationships with them.  The new Engagement Report provides insight on team interactions (Premium Plan only). Expose trends in social engagement by day & time and see how you stack up against profiles with similar message volume.

Sprout’s Smart Inbox is the ultimate social media monitoring feature; it combines every message, alert, and action from all your profiles into a single, filterable stream.

Sprout combines profile-level, group, and roll-up analytics reports to get a high or low-level look at performance. You can report on your social profiles in a way that makes sense to your business.

b) Adespresso: 

Adespresso

Do you need a customizable dashboard that can automatically monitor all your ongoing ads on Facebook, Instagram, and Google ads? Adespresso is one of the best marketing tools for you. It checks out all your active ads and suggests what is working for you and what is not, and automatically promotes new posts, and uses some extremely intelligent filters to decide what should be promoted for how long. This is legit fire!

c) Socialinsider:

Socialinsider

SocialInsider is a benchmarking and analytical tool that helps you to measure the different metrics and KPIs depending upon your social media strategy. It can be used for all influential platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube. The tool uses powerful analytics to provide in-depth information for every social media profile, resulting in increased interaction, better content design, automated report generating, and dashboard management from a single spot. Users can also do in-depth competitor research across major social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube. As a result, consumers may compare their channels to those of top competitors, influencers, and other important industry players.

4) Social listening:

Social listening

Whenever you run a business, online or whatever, always remember, it’s not just about you. It’s not just about selling. It’s not just about announcing your offers, your products. It’s also, not also but to a great extent, about your customers. What do people feel about you, your product, your brand? Are they even happy with you? Do they respect you? Would they want to make a purchase with your brand? Would they want to come back to you? More than talking, LISTEN. (Ahh, you see what they did there?) 

Social listening is just this. Your reputation is on the line when people put in mean comments about your company, your product online. Listen to what’s going wrong with your product, respond to them online, make your customers feel respected, make them feel that you care. Let’s see some marketing tools which may help you in this:

a) Mention:

Mention

If you want deep insights into what people have to say about you, Mention is just for you. You can track 1 Billion sources across the web daily with it. 1 Billion. As I discussed above, protect your reputation, build relations. It offers real-time social media monitoring of your social media presence. It helps you to respond to all the tags, comments and mentions on one single dashboard. It also gives you an option to sort out the mentions based on priority and N number of other filters available.

Shared notifications and tasks allow you to collaborate with your team. Connecting social accounts allows you to respond directly from your dashboard. Produce clear and concise reports that make tracking and analyzing your performance a breeze.

You can also share your post on social media and schedule it.

b) Awario:

Awario

Awario is one of the majorly discussed marketing tools when Social listening is talked about. It not only lets you know whenever your brand is mentioned or other related keywords are discussed on all major social media platforms, but it also segregates the mentions into positive reviews, negative and neutral ones. It provides you with a detailed report on how many times your brand was mentioned, and by whom, if they were influencers, it gives you a list of them too. Hence, it helps you in monitoring your social media presence in terms of mentions to great heights.

c) Brandwatch:

Brandwatch

Brandwatch’s analytics data is ideal for illustrating the meaning of social media marketing. Signals is another feature that sets Brandwatch apart. You can set up an alert to get notified anytime a keyword is discussed by the writers you select. Signals are triggered when major changes in the data set occur, such as a sudden surge in unfavorable comments or a sudden peak in the number of mentions.

This platform provides the critical social intelligence that brands require to make informed marketing campaign decisions. 50+ filters, sophisticated segmentation, tailored sentiment, real-time graphing, a fast and intuitive interface, filters and search tools, shared dashboards, search operators, and proprietary technology are the primary characteristics of Brandwatch.

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

Tiktok marketing

How To Use TikTok For Your Business?

TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social media apps. It allows its users to create, edit and share short looping videos with filters, musical overlays, animations, special effects, and more.  You can lip-sync to popular songs, shoot comedy sketches or cringe videos, record a “duet” with someone by replying to their video or upload your own sound.

The app was developed by Chinese Internet technology company ByteDance. It was released in China in September 2016 as Douyin. Almost a year later, ByteDance launched the app as TikTok for markets outside of China. TikTok and Douyin both use the same software, but maintain separate networks in order to comply with Chinese censorship restrictions.

In August 2018, TikTok merged with the US digital platform musical.ly to leverage ‘s its young user base. The existing accounts were consolidated into one app to create a larger community. Since then, there has been no looking back!  With more than one billion all-time downloads, it had surpassed Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat in monthly installs by September 2018.  It has 500 million active users worldwide, which is much more than sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Snapchat. As of February 2019, it had 27 million active users in the US.

Why Should You Start Using TikTok for Marketing campaigns?

Gen-Z has already taken to the platform to flaunt their creative side, while several brands have started experimenting on the platform to engage their audience.

TikTok is actively seeking partnerships with brands in its bid to expand in the U.S. market.  As such juncture brands have more opportunities and autonomy on TikTok than on established social media channels. Moreover, in a less-crowded brand space, you have more opportunities to show off your creative and funky side.

How Can Brands Use TikTok?

The majority of users on TikTok are between the ages of 13 and 24 and most of them are females. 24-30-year-olds constitute the next demographic. For your marketing efforts to make sense, your products should have some appeal for people in this age group.

There are three main ways that brands can use TikTok for Business:

  1. You can create your own channel and upload videos showcasing your products or services.
  2. You can work with influencers to target a broader audience
  3. You can pay to advertise on TikTok.

Using TikTok For Business

#1: Install TikTok On Your Mobile Device

Download the TikTok App on your mobile device to get started. The “For You” feed is the default screen when you first log in, so you don’t even have to set up an account to start viewing videos. 

Tap on “Discover” to see content categorized by hashtags. You can use the search bar in this section to discover content that you may be interested in. It is a good idea, to search for brands in your category and see how they are using the platform. You may even want to check your competitors profile to learn how they are engaging with their audience.

Now its time to create your account, use your business email to create your brand account. You can even login using your Facebook or Google account. If you are signing-in using an email, it may ask for a phone number to verify your account.

Signing up on TikTok: Using TikTok for Business
  • Once you have signed in, you can edit your profile by clicking on “ME” in the bottom navigation menu.
  • Click on Edit Profile to add your Name and User Name. Remember this is your brand account, so your Name and User Name should ideally be your Brand name.
  • Just like on Instagram, you can add a short bio of around 80 words to describe your business to your audience.
  • You can also link your Instagram and Youtube profiles.
  • Add a profile photo or video; In case of a brand account, this should be your logo.
  • Click on save to complete.
Optimizing your Profile: Using TikTok for Business

#2: Start Populating Your Feed

Tap on the plus icon to create a 15-second or 60-second video. You can either upload an existing video that you recorded earlier or record something on the fly.

For first time users, it is always better to start by uploading a previously recorded video. When you click on the upload icon, you will be led to your gallery, select the video you wish to upload and click on Next to continue.

  • TikTok Provides you several options to edit your video. You can trim the video, add different filters, and adjust the volume.
Using TikTok for Business
  • You can choose from a wide of filters available on the app.
Creating Posts on TikTok: Using TikTok for Business
  • Add special effects to make your video fun. You have a wide array of options from visual effects, stickers, transitions to splitting your video into parts. You can even control the speed of your video- show it in slow motion, increase the speed or show it in reverse. See the screenshots below.
Creating Posts on TikTok: stickers, filters and Transitions
Creating Posts on TikTok:
  • Add sound to your video by choosing from the options available on the app or add your own audio.
Sharing Posts on TikTok: Using TikTok For business
  • Just like on Instagram and Snapchat, you can also add text to your videos.
Adding Text to videos on TikTok on TikTok: Using TikTok For business
  • When you are satisfied with the editing and ready to share your video to the world, click on “Next” to continue. You can add a caption, add any relevant hashtags, and adjust your sharing settings.
Sharing posts on TikTok: Using TikTok For business
  • Click on “post” to share immediately, or save to drafts if you wish to come back to it later.

By default, people can download or share your content on other social media sites. Although all videos downloaded or shared from TikTok will bear the TikToK logo. While this feature does increase the organic reach of your videos, if for any reason you do not want to allow people to download or share your video, you can control this within the privacy settings.

Build your own Feed

Tiktok is the place for quirky, funny, casual and cool. What is it about your brand that you want to showcase on TikTok? Once you have a strategy in place, you can start creating and uploading fun videos to bring out the fun, creative side of your brand. Here are some examples to inspire you.

The Washington Post

The Washington Post was one of the earliest brands on TikTok. If you are expecting breaking news or political analysis from Washington Post’s TiokTok handle, you are in for a big surprise.

The newspaper uses its account to share behind-the-scenes videos of their staff having a good time in the newsroom. These videos are quirky, musical, and just everything the audience on TikTok is looking for.

NBA

With a whopping 5.1 million fans, NBA’s TikTok Account shows a different side of the organization. They often post videos of players working out or having fun on the court, videos of team mascots and fans.

Calvin Klein (@CalvinKlein)

Calvin Klein shares campaign footage, videos showcasing their products or customers chilling out in their products.

Restaurants on TikTok

Several restaurants Have already started experimenting with TikTok. Quirky videos of the service staff handling multiple orders or videos of your chef’s preparing menu items are very popular on the platform.

The Bailey Bakery creates videos of their bakers decorating cookies with music in the background. They have already accumulated 4.4 million fans.

Chipotle

Chipotle has over 55,000 fans on TikTok. They publish a variety of posts from quirky original content to memes and videos showcasing menu items.

Promoting Your Brand On TikTok

a. Hashtag Challenges

TikTok users love creating and uploading videos. You as a brand can leverage this to your advantage by creating a challenge. Challenges are a pretty common feature on TikTok. You only have to think of a fun and creative way of including your product or service in the challenge. Once you have come up with an idea, give it a Hashtag name to make it memorable and easy-to-find and invite your followers to participate in the challenge.

On National Avocado Day, Chipotle posted a #GuacDance challenge, encouraging fans to post videos of themselves dancing with Avocados inspired by Dr. Jean’s “Guacamole Song.” The challenge generated 250,000 video submissions in six days and became TikTok’s highest-performing branded challenge in the U.S. The promotion also resulted in Chipotle’s highest guacamole sales in a single day.

Popular brand Guess issued the #InMyDenim challenge, which encouraged users to show off their moves wearing Guess’ new denim line to the tune of Bebe Rexha’s “I’m A Mess.”

Challenges help you reach a wider audience and generate brand awareness. They also allow you to engage with your audience in a meaningful way.

If your Brand has just started out on TikTok, Hashtag Challenges may be difficult to pull off. In such a scenario, it is best to collaborate with influencers on TikTok to kickstart your #hashtag challenge.

b. User-Generated Content

UGC is one of the most sought after content forms, primarily because word-of-mouth referrals are the best kind of referrals. It lends your brand social currency if your customers step into the role of advertisers and share videos of themselves using or interacting with your products. Like on every other platform (remember Coca-Cola’s Share a Coke Campaign), UGC is very popular on TikTok.

Chinese restaurant Haidilao came up with a DIY option on their menu. Customers could create their own dish using a selection of ingredients from the Haidilao menu and film the entire experience. Haidilao encouraged their clients to share their videos on Douyin(The original Chinese version of TikTok). Almost 15000 people flocked to the restaurant to try the DIY option on the menu and a total of 2,000 videos were uploaded, which received 50 million views.

c. Influencer Marketing

Another way to reach a wider audience on TikTok is through influencer marketing. If you have tried it for your other social media channels, then you know how it works. There are several young people who are incredibly popular on TikTok. You can work with them to create videos showcasing your products.

Before you start hunting for an influencer, consider your goal —is it to drive UGC or to generate brand awareness and sales? Search the TikTok creators whose audience aligns with your target audience. The ideal match would an influencer whose online persona is in line with your brand values. You would also want to check the quality of their content and how much engagement do they generate on an average.

Work on the terms and conditions of the agreement and help them understand how you would like your product to be showcased. Once you have taken care of the basics, you can leave the creative process to their discretion.

Wrap-Up

TikTok offers a great opportunity for brands that are targeting young audiences. In terms of advertising, the platform is still in its infancy, so it is the right time to get on board!

How to Optimize Google My Business Listing for your Restaurant?

Are you looking for a place to eat or a plumber maybe? In the good old days, you may have asked your neighbors or friends for recommendations! Now, you have a personal assistant – “Google” at your fingertips. Each day millions of people are searching on Google for places to eat, nearby salons, plumbers and every other imaginable thing. Google provides businesses a great opportunity to meet their target audience right where they are looking for them- A Google My Business Listing.

Google My Business is completely free to you. It can help boost the local SEO of your website by showing it in local searches. If you have not claimed and optimized your Google My Business listing yet, you are missing out on substantial traffic.

In this article, we will show you how to create and Optimize Google My Business Listing for your Restaurant to reach more customers.

Creating  a Google My Business Listing

First off, search for your Business on Google to ensure that it is not already listed on GMB. If your business has been around for a while, chances are that it is already listed on GMB and you just need to claim it. On the other hand, if you’ve used Google tools such as Google Places or Google+ Pages in the past, you would have automatically upgraded to Google My Business.

To claim your business, head over to https://business.google.com/create and enter your Business Name. If the listing has already been created, GMB will show you the following message, you can use any of the options listed here to claim your Business.

Once successfully claimed, you can start optimizing and managing your GMB page.

If you do not already have a GMB listing you would need to Create one

Step 1: Head over to google.com/business, it will prompt you to log in to your google account. Login with your Business account. Once you have logged in, select “Start now” in the top right-hand corner

Step 2: Enter your business name.

Creating your Google My Business Listing

Step 3: Business address

Selecting the location- Optimize Google My Business Listing for your Restaurant

Step 4: Select Delivery Area

If you deliver your goods and services to your customers’ locations, check the box “Yes, I also serve them outside my location.” You can also add the delivery area.

Selecting Service Area- Optimize Google My Business Listing for your Restaurant

Step 6: Choose your business category. 

Step 7: Add your business phone number or website.

Ways to Verify your Business- Optimize Google My Business Listing for your Restaurant

Step 8: Choose a verification option.

Verifying your Business- Optimize Google My Business Listing for your Restaurant

How to Verify Your Business on Google

There are several ways to verify your GMB listing:

  • By postcard
  • By phone
  • By email
  • Instant verification
  • Bulk verification

Postcard Verification

If you are opting for this method make sure your business address is correct. Do not make any changes in the business name or address before you receive your code as that could impede the verification process. The postcard should normally reach you in five days, however, if your postcard does not reach you, you can request a new code by signing in to Google My Business and clicking on “Request another code” Once you receive the code, login to GMB and select the listing you want to verify and enter the code to verify your account.

Phone verification

Google allows certain businesses to verify their location by phone. This option will appear for you only if you are eligible. Ensure that you have entered the correct phone number before you select this option. Enter the verification code received via text message to verify your account. 

Email verification

You can also choose to “Verify by email.” In this case, google sends a verification email to your registered email id. All you need to do is click the verification button in the email.

Instant verification

If your business has already been verified with Google Search Console, Google will instantly verify your GMB listing.

Bulk verification

If you own more than 10 locations for the same business you might be eligible for bulk verification. Learn more about Bulk Verification.

Once your GMB page has been verified you can start optimizing your profile. Navigate to the left-hand menu and click on Info. Here you can edit the information under each heading/subheading by clicking on the pencil icon

Optimize Google My Business Listing for your Restaurant

1. Ensure your Business information is accurate and up-to-date

  •  Name
  • Address including Pincode
  • Service Areas: Let your customers know whether you provide delivery or other services. In this section, you can also provide information regarding the distance or area in which you provide these services. 
  • Provide Accurate Business Operating Hours: Ensure that you update this info on a regular basis- to keep your customers up-to-date on holidays any other changes in operating hours.
Updating NAP Info - Optimize Google My Business Listing for your Restaurant
  • Phone Number: (Preferably a Local Number)
  • Website: In addition to your website, restaurants can also provide the links to their Menu, Order ahead or reservation pages.
  • Menu/Services: GMB provides the option of adding your menu/services to your GMB listing. It allows you to list out your menu/services so that your customers can see what your business has to offer directly on Google without having to navigate to your website. This feature is only available for food and drink, health, beauty, and other services businesses that don’t have a third-party “menu” link. 
NAP Info - Optimize Google My Business Listing for your Restaurant
  • Attributes:  In this section, you can provide detailed information about the services available at your business. If you are a restaurant, you can provide information about the various amenities that your restaurant provides including dining options, acceptable modes of payment, other things which customers can expect at your restaurants such as kids menu, salad bar, Hallal food, and the like. 
Business Info - Optimize Google My Business Listing for your Restaurant
  • Description – add a short description of your business.

The information that you provide on your GMB page should be consistent with that on your website. You can edit and update this information at any time by logging into your GMB account and navigating to the Info tab.

2. Add Photos and Videos

According to Google, Businesses with photos receive 35 percent more click-throughs to their websites than businesses without photos. Photos help you to showcase the best of your business- it gives potential customers a vivid idea of what to expect from your business. Remember the instances, when you are searching for a new place to eat on Google, don’t you like take a look at the interiors of the restaurant to get a better idea of what to expect in terms ambiance or the photos of food to make a fair estimate of the kind of food to expect. Your customers looking for the same.

Good pictures can make or break your business. GMB allows you to upload different kinds of photos of your business to help increase the reach and visibility of your business and is one of the essential steps to optimize Google My Business Listing for your restaurant.

Logo image: Your logo is an important part of your brand identity. Google recommends that you upload your brand’s logo on your GMB listing.

Cover photo: Your cover photo could be anything that fosters your brand image, from a picture of your products to the interiors of your establishment, you could even update your cover image from time to time to showcase the latest offers and deals.

Additional photos: Google allows you to upload additional Pictures of your Business. This could include pictures of your products or interiors and exteriors of your shop or business place.

Videos: You can also add short videos up to 30 seconds. 

All information that you have updated on your page is verified by Google and may take up to 3 days to be published. Your GMB listing is now complete and ready for the world.

Monitor Regularly

However, your task is not complete, you must realize that anyone can suggest a change or edit to your business listing. Anyone who searches for your business/or business like yours online can see the “suggest an edit” option marked in the picture below.

Monitoring Regularly - Optimize Google My Business Listing for your Restaurant

By clicking on this option they can edit any business information they want to. And if you do not monitor your page regularly, these changes can go live without your approval. When these changes are made, Google sends out emails to the people managing your Google My Business account, but most account managers claim that they never receive notifications about changes to their listing. So, how do you monitor these– Log in to your  GMB page. On the left-hand menu, navigate to manage locations listed towards the bottom. When you click on it- you will be lead to the page below.

Managing Locations - Optimize Google My Business Listing for your Restaurant

Click on review updates to see the updates or edits made to your page.

Business information - Optimize Google My Business Listing for your Restaurant

The changes are highlighted in red- You can confirm these or edit them from here.

Also, it’s important to note that Google crowdsources information about your business by allowing people to answer questions. They can simply click on the “Know this place – answer quick questions” To answer these.

GMB listing - Optimize Google My Business Listing for your Restaurant

Now, it is all good if a genuine customer answers these questions, but there have been instances when people with malicious intent or your competitor may choose to provide incorrect information that may harm your business.  Google, nevertheless, encourages this type of user-generated content as they feel this helps them in providing them a more complete business profile. The only way to regulate these unauthorized changes is to log in to your GMB page regularly and keep an eye on these changes.

Some Additional Features You Should be Using

a. Messaging

Your GMB page provides a great way to connect directly with people interested in your business via Messaging.  Your customers can send direct messages to your business via this platform, you can respond to their queries and send them updates on offers and deals. Currently, this service is only available in select countries to only certain types of businesses. 

To activate this download the GMB app  and open it

If you have multiple locations, open the location you’d like to manage.

  1. Tap Customers.
  2. Tap Message- Tap Turn on to activate.

Once activated – you can see all messages under Customers > Messages 

For more information on this click here.

b. Questions & Answers

Questions & Answers is another great feature on your GMB listing. Q&A allows people to ask questions about your business and you can answer those questions, but so can any other person. Chances are that when the answers are provided by a customer or any other person, the information may be incorrect or incomplete. But ironically, most of these questions are being answered by customers rather than business owners. The simple reason for this is that business owners are unaware that these questions being asked about their establishment. There are no notifications on your Google My Business dashboard or the GMB app letting you know that there are new questions to be answered. However, there are a few ways to find these questions:

  • Search for your business on a desktop/ laptop and see if there are new questions. 
  • Install Google Maps on your phone, log in and check for questions/notifications.
  • Search for your business on a mobile browser and check if you have new questions that need to be answered.
QnA - Optimize Google My Business Listing for your Restaurant
Qn A

A great way to use this feature is to prepare a list of FAQs about your business and add them to your GMB listing- this would help in providing all essential and correct information about your business to your customers.

P.S. Google has recently started sending out email notifications letting you know that a new question has been asked. 

c. Booking Button Feature

Google’s Booking button feature can help your customers book an appointment with your business directly from your Google My Business listing. To enable the booking button, choose and sign up with one of their scheduling providers. You can receive bookings through Google once your scheduling account is linked to your Google My Business account. (This might take a week after you sign-up).

If you already use a scheduling provider, the booking button is automatically updated on your GMB listing. You can see your booking history with that provider under the bookings tab in your Google My Business account.

Another area of concern for businesses is that sometimes a booking or ordering ling appear automatically on their GMB listing in Google search and Google Maps. For instance, if you are a restaurant owner- you would suddenly see a Doordash – link on your profile which you have not added- Here’s what Google has to say about these links:

Why some links appear automatically

Booking Button- Optimize Google My Business Listing for your Restaurant

d. Manage & Respond to Customer Reviews

Your customers can leave reviews for your business on Google. These appear on your GMB page under the reviews tab. These reviews also appear on the knowledge panel when a customer searches for your business on google or google maps. Most people searching for your business online would go through these reviews before making a decision to purchase from you. So it becomes important to respond to both positive and negative reviews to engage your customers and show them that you value their feedback.

Google Reviews- Optimize Google My Business Listing for your Restaurant

Encourage customers to leave feedback by creating a link they can click to write reviews for your business.

Answering Reviews- Optimize Google My Business Listing for your Restaurant

e. GMB posts

Google provides you a great opportunity to update your customers with the latest and the greatest at your establishment via GMB posts. Your customers can view your latest posts on the knowledge panel when they search for your business on google. You can create offers, events or general posts showcasing your products.

GMB posts- Optimize Google My Business Listing for your Restaurant
Example GMB posts- Optimize Google My Business Listing for your Restaurant

Wrap Up

Here we have rounded up some of the interesting features available to you on your GMB page and strategies to optimize Google My Business Listing for your restaurant you make the most of them.

5 Restaurant Marketing Strategies For The Holiday Season

The holiday season starts in Nov & Dec but for some, it starts much before –  40 percent of consumers begin their holiday shopping before Halloween each year. It is the busiest season with some retailers accounting for 30% of their annual sales. The projected retail sales during the holiday season are around $700B. Most restaurants witness a major jump in sales during this time. If you want to promote your small business this holiday season, you need to prepare in advance. We have detailed five Restaurant marketing strategies for the holiday season.

Start Early & Have a Plan

a. Hire & train staff:

Given the seasonal nature and high competition, start looking at hiring and training staff early on. You want to put the best foot forward and highly trained and motivated staff is what you want during the holiday season rush.

b. Plan out the specials & events you want to organize –

Halloween contest, Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals and Christmas specials.

c. Inventory Check:

Make sure you have planned the required inventory for your events and specials.

d. Back-Up Plan:

Based on your prior experience come up with “what if” scenarios and have backup plans for these scenarios.

Focus on Customer Engagement

Now that you have lined up your ducks in terms of events and specials it is time to let your existing and potential customers know about these specials. The earlier you let your customers know about these specials/events the better off you are

a. Create events/specials on your website and social media sites.

If you plan to host any kind of event, it is better to have a landing page where your customers might sign up (on Facebook or on your website).

b. Email marketing:

Build your customer email list and start informing them along with links to events and specials so that your customers can plan accordingly.

c. Social Media:

Use social media to the hilt – have an advertising budget that you would like to spend on promoting these specials and events.

d. In-store decoration:

Decorate your store early on based on your planned activities. Have posters, lights and another kind of decor that would give the festive look.

Plan Co-Marketing Activities

The more the merrier and this applies to the holiday season. Have a plan as to what other local merchants/partners you can work with

  • Identify strategic partners with whom you can work with to execute co-marketing activities
  • Come up with a value proposition for your partners, their customers, and your customers. For example, if you are a retail toy store, reach out to local Montessori schools with specials for kids, or if you are a restaurant- work with a local mall and see if you can give customers with black Friday bill a freebie
  • Come up with an execution and promotion plan (see customer engagement) that includes the customer base of yours and your strategic partner.

Emphasize on Gift Cards

If you are thinking of restaurant marketing strategies for the Holiday season, you cannot ignore gift cards. Over the past ten years, there has been an increase in the amount that customers are spending on gift cards. As a small business you can ride this wave:

  • Identify whether you want to have physical or e-gift cards or both.
  • Identify with whom you would like to partner with (for example you can join OpenTable Gift program – https://go.opentable.com/rd-gifts.html).
  • If possible have an offer on gift cards and promote the availability of the cards (sell them online, social media and in the store).
  • Run a special for your gift cards.

Partner with a local charity

Even though this falls within the ambit of co-marketing activities we want to emphasize the fact that the holiday season is also considered the season of giving.

  • Identify a local charity that your customers associate themselves with
  • Approach them to organize a fundraiser or some sort of an event. For example work with local Salvation Army or Toys For Tots to raise funds for kids/toys.
  • If possible involve your customers – for example, if you are a restaurant explore the option of involving your customers in organizing a Thanksgiving feast at a local soup kitchen.
  • Promote the partnership and announce the results so that your customers can understand what kind of impact you/they had on this non-profit.

To have a great holiday season, it is imperative that you start early with a plan and set of activities that are in line with the plan. Define a set of metrics that you want to measure so that you can understand whether your plan was successful for this year and how it can be improved for future holiday seasons. With the above restaurant marketing strategies for the Holiday season,  you can ensure a higher footfall at your restaurant. Happy Holidays!!!

How to Set Up a Google Remarketing Campaign?

Google Remarketing or Retargeting refers to showing targeted ads to prospects who have visited your website. Let’s say a customer views a product on your website and then moves on to some other webpage. You can show him targeted ads for the products he checked on your website while he is browsing the web or watching YouTube videos nudging him to complete the purchase.

Google Remarketing Campaign have a  higher conversion rate as compared to normal display Ads as the prospects have already shown an interest in your products and services and are caught somewhere in the decision making cycle. Reaching out to them at this stage helps in keeping your brand on top of their minds propelling them to take action.

How Does Google Remarketing Work?

To get started with retargeting, you need to have a Google Ads account. If you don’t have one. Here’s how to create one.

  • Go to  www.ads.google.com
  • Sign in to your Google Account.
  • Select already experienced with Google advertising.
  • Select- Create an account without a Campaign.
  • Enter details and submit to set up your account.
Signing up on Google ads- Google Remarketing Campaign

If you are advertising on Google you may have an Ads account, then all you need to do is add a piece of Google remarketing code to your website. Once this code is added to your website, every prospect visiting your website gets added to your remarketing audiences through browser cookies.

Let’s say, you own an online store that sells rugs and carpets.  You might create a  remarketing audience based on people who checked out the pages listing handcrafted rugs. You can show these visitors highly targeted display ads for your hand-crafted rugs.

Google Ads Retargeting Options

  • Standard remarketing allows you to show ads to your past visitors as they browse websites and apps on the Google Display Network.
  • Dynamic remarketing allows you to show ads to past visitors that have viewed a specific product or service on your site.
  • Remarketing for mobile apps – If someone used your mobile app or mobile website, Google ads will let you show ads to them when they use other mobile apps or are browsing websites on their mobiles.
  • Remarketing lists for search ads allow you to target past visitors while they search on Google and Google’s Search partner sites.
  • Video Remarketing enables you to show ads to people who have interacted with your YouTube channel or other videos. You can show these ads on YouTube or through Display Network videos and websites.
  • Email list remarketing is also known as customer match. Google Ads allows you to upload an email list of your customers in order to show ads to them if they are signed in to Google Search, Gmail, or YouTube.
Before you set up your retargeting campaign, you need to install the retargeting code on your website and set up a retargeting audience. This can be done through
  1. Google Analytics
  2. within Google Ads.
Let us start by setting up the remarketing code through Google Analytics 

1. Set-Up Remarketing Codes within Google Analytics

If you have been using Google Analytics to monitor the traffic on your site, then you can use the same code for retargeting with slight modifications. If you are just starting out, here’s how to do it:

If you have a Google Analytics account, head over to Admin -> Property ->Property Info ->Tracking->Tracking Code.

Google Analytics- Set-Up Remarketing Codes within Google Analytics

a. Connecting Your Google Analytics Account to Your Google Ads Account.

  • Property Settings ->Product Linking ->Google ads linking
  • Select the relevant Google Ad account and Click Continue.
  • Complete Set-up and click on Link Accounts
Connecting Your Google Analytics Account to Your Google Ads Account.

b. Setting-up Retargeting Audiences In Google Analytics

Here’s how to set up remarketing audiences in Google Analytics:

  • Click on Admin -> Audience Definitions -> Audiences
  • When you enable remarketing by clicking on  “Next step”, Google Analytics automatically creates the first remarketing audience comprising of “All Users”.
  • Your first list of the remarketing audience is already created, now all you need to select the ad accounts with which you want to share this remarketing audience. Select the relevant Google Ads and Analytics account and click “Ok”.
Setting-up Retargeting Audiences In Google Analytics

Setting- up additional Remarketing Audiences:

You can also create additional remarketing lists within Google Analytics including people who visited specific pages on your website or prospects who signed up for a newsletter or a special offer that you may be running.
  • Go back to Admin -> Audience Definitions -> Audiences 
  • Click on the Red “+New Audience” button
  • Select the relevant option and give your audience a name and hit Next.
  • Again as the last step share this audience with your linked Ad account.
Setting- up additional Remarketing Audiences: 1
Setting- up additional Remarketing Audiences:

You can also click on “Create New” to access the audience builder.  You can use this option to create custom audiences based on demographics, devices, behavior, traffic source, and more.

Setting- up additional Remarketing Audiences- 3

Now, that you have set up your remarketing Audience list, you can set up your remarketing campaign in Google Ads. But, before that, we will show you how you can set up your remarketing code and audiences via Google Ads

2. Setting up Remarketing Tag in Google Ads

  • Click on the tool icon in the upper right-hand side of the AdWords interface -> then click on “Audience Manager”
  • Click on “Audience sources” on the left-hand side and select the AdWords tag
Setting up Remarketing Tag in Google Ads
Setting up Remarketing Tag in Google Ads- Google ads

When you are setting up your Google Ads tag, you can customize the data collected depending on your industry.

Google Remarketing Campaign- Remarketing Tags
  • Select the relevant options. Hit save and continue.
  • Copy the Google Ads tag and paste it between <head></head> tags of every page of your website.

Once you have installed the remarketing pixel on your website, it starts tagging all visitors to your website. You can now start creating your remarketing audiences. However, it may take a few days for the audience to populate if you have just installed the code on your website.

a. Creating Remarketing Audience in Google Ads

Google Ads enable you to create remarketing audience from the following sources:

  • Website Visitors
  • App Users
  • Email lists
  • Youtube Users
  • Custom Combinations

 Let us begin by creating a remarketing audience from past website visitors

  • Click on the tool icon in the upper right-hand side of the Google Ads interface -> then click on “Audience Manager”
  • Click on the large “+” sign and select “Website visitors”
Setting up remarketing Audience-Google Remarketing Campaign

Note: You don’t need to create an audience for “All visitors”. Google Ads will create this audience automatically.

  • Give your audience a name
  • Then specify the visitors you want to add to your remarketing audience by clicking on the drop-down menu adjacent to list members and selecting the relevant option.
Naming your Audience-Google Remarketing Campaign

Below is an example of an audience that would include all users that visited URLs containing /menu/ and /order_confirmation/.

Selecting an Audience-Google Remarketing Campaign

You can also create a remarketing audience of prospects who visited one page but did not visit another page. Say customers who checked out your menu but did not place an order.

Audience Types-Google Remarketing Campaign

The other parameter that you can control here is how long a customer remains on your list.

Audience Filters-Google Remarketing Campaign
a. Creating a  remarketing Audience from App Users
Creating a  remarketing Audience from App Users-Google Remarketing Campaign
b. Creating a  remarketing Audience from YouTube Users

To create a remarketing list of people who have interacted with your youtube channel, you have to connect your youtube account to Google Ads. If you haven’t done this before, GoogleAds will lead you through the setup when you click on this option.

Again you have a number of retargeting options to choose from. Select the one that meets your requirements and proceed.

Creating a  remarketing Audience from YouTube Users-Google Remarketing Campaign
5. Creating a  remarketing Audience from Customer match

You can create a remarketing list by uploading your own customer list. However, to use Customer Match, your account must meet certain criteria laid down by Google.

  • A good history of policy compliance.    
  • A good payment history.
  • At least 90 days of history in Google Ads.
  • More than USD 50,000 total lifetime spend. For advertisers whose accounts are managed in currencies other than USD, your spend amount will be converted to USD using the average monthly conversion rate for that currency.

Source: Google Ads

If you want to start using Customer Match and you meet the requirements above, you’ll need to contact your account manager to request access to Customer Match.

The process is pretty simple after that. Give your list a  name and upload the list of email addresses. Your list must have at least 1000 subscribers for this to work.

You can also create a remarketing audience by using custom combinations. We will cover that in another article.

The big question is whether you should be creating your audience in Google Ads or Google Analytics. Analytics offers a definite advantage as it enables you to create more targeted remarketing audiences such as audiences based on visit Duration, Browser, Country/Territory, City, and Goal Conversion. With Google Ads, on the other hand, you can only create audiences based on page visits.

Setting Up Your Google Remarketing Campaign

  • On the Google Ads interface, click on “Campaigns” and then click on the large blue “+” sign.
  • Select New Campaign
  • Then select the campaign goal 
Setting Up Your Google Re-Marketing Campaign

– Here we will show you how to set up a Display Ad keeping Website Traffic as our Goal.

Note: The parameters that you can control may vary with your chosen goal. So, the steps involved in creating a “website traffic” Ad may differ slightly from a campaign created with “Brand awareness and Reach” as a Goal.

  • Choose the Campaign type “Display Campaign”.
Setting Up Your Google Re-Marketing Campaign- Campaign types
  • Select a Campaign Subtype- We have selected “Standard Display Campaigns”
  • Click “Continue”.
Setting Up Your Google Re-Marketing Campaign- Campaign Subtypes
  • Name your Remarketing Campaign and select the locations and languages you want to target
Setting Up Your Google Re-Marketing Campaign- Language and location filters
  • Select Bid
  • Select “High-Quality Traffic” as your focus.
  • Choose to “Manually set bids”
Setting Up Your Google Re-Marketing Campaign- Bidding
  • Choose a daily budget for your remarketing campaign. It is best to start with a low budget and then increase it over time.
Setting Up Your Google Re-Marketing Campaign- Budget
  • Name your ad group
Setting Up Your Google Re-Marketing Campaign- Naming Your ad Group
  • Select Audience
  • In the audiences section, click on browse and select “How they have interacted with your business (Remarketing and similar audiences)”
  • Click on website visitors and select from the list of your remarketing audiences. In this case, we chose “All Users”. Once you have selected your audiences, click “Done”.
Setting Up Your Google Re-Marketing Campaign- Selecting an audience
  • Skip the targeting expansion section as this refers to by targeting people outside of your remarketing audience.
  • In  Ad group bid Choose a cost per click bid for your remarketing campaign. Usually, a bid between $0.50 – $1.00 is a great starting point.
  • Click on “New Ad” to create ads for your ad group. 
Setting Up Your Google Re-Marketing Campaign- audience
  • Add The Url of the page where you want to lead your customers.
  • Add an image and logo.
  • Keep your headline short and impressive.
  • Ensure that your description is crisp and concise.
  • Remember to check Preview before hitting publish.
Setting Up Your Google Re-Marketing Campaign- Creating Your ad

Click “Create Campaign” when you are done.

Website visitors who are retargeted with display ads are 70% more likely to convert. So, if you have not already you must include retargeting ads in your marketing arsenal.

How to Create Retargeting Ads on Facebook?

What are Retargeting Ads on Facebook?

Retargeting Ads on Facebook refers to running ads on Facebook and Instagram targeted toward past visitors to your website, app, or social media pages (Facebook and Instagram). Let’s say you run a restaurant. You’re getting traffic to your website, but they are not visiting your online ordering page, so you’re losing these customers.

Through Facebook’s tracking pixel, you can identify these visitors and run a targeted ad based on their behavior. For example, you could offer an exclusive coupon to push them towards purchase.

In fact, Facebook allows you to retarget in quite a few ways:

  • You can target prospects visiting your Website.
  • You can target previous Customers through any customer lists that you have on MailChimp or any other source.
  • You can target customers visiting your App.

You can target customers from the following Facebook Sources

  • Video – prospects who have engaged with your videos
  • Lead Form- Prospects who have filled up your lead form
  • Instant experiences
  • Instagram Business profiles – prospects who have engaged on your Instagram posts
  • Events- Prospects who have engaged with your videos
  • Facebook page- Prospects who have engaged on your Facebook posts

Getting Started

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook

1. Setting up Facebook Business Manager

Let’s start from scratch- as a first step, we will show you how you can set up Facebook Business Manager for your Business Pages on Facebook.

Log in to Facebook Business Manager if you already have an account. However, if you do not have one, you can create an account in a few simple steps. (Although Facebook does not mix-up posts from your business and personal profiles, it is still advisable to keep your business account separate from your personal account.)

If you already have a Facebook Business Manager account and have added your pages and Ad accounts to it, you may jump to the next section – Setting up your Facebook Pixel.

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Setting up Business manager
  • Enter a name for your business,  and enter your name and work email.
  • Enter the information in the rest of the required fields.
Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Setting up Facebook Business manager
Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Setting up Facebook Business manager

Once you have created your account, you need to add your Facebook business page. If you already have a Facebook Business Page, you can add its URL and continue. 

You can only add those pages for which you have admin’s access. If you manage a page for a client, you need to request access to it. Facebook will only allow you to request access to a client’s page only if you have added at least one Business page to your Facebook Business manager ( so you must have one Facebook Page for which you have admin’s access, if you don’t have one, you can create within the business manager by selecting the create page option.)

Note: If you own a  marketing agency handling several business pages, the right way to set up your account is to first create or add a page (If you already have one)  for your marketing agency. This will act as the primary page and then you can go ahead request access to all pages you manage for the clients.

  • Click on accounts in the left-hand Navigation bar on the business setting pages
  • Select pages in the drop-down menu
  • Click on add Page
Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Setting up Ads account on Facebook Business manager
  • Add the Url of your Facebook Business Page
Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Adding a Facebook Page to Business manager

Note: If you don’t yet have a Page for your business, create one. by selecting the option and filling the required fields.

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Adding a Facebook Page to Business manager
Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Creating a page for your local business

Once you have added a Business Page, the next is adding an Ad account. Select Ad accounts Under the accounts in the left-hand navigation bar and click on add accounts.

  • You can add an ad account- if you already have one.
  • You can request access to an ad account of your clients.
  • Or you can create a new Ad account
Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Assigning Assets on Facebook Business Manager

Note: Once you have added a primary facebook business page, you can add or request access to your client’s pages and their respective add accounts.

To Summarize-

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Setting Up Facebook Business Manager

2. Setting Up The Facebook Pixel

There are several ways in which you can retarget on Facebook. Using Facebook Pixel is just one of them. Facebook Pixel is basically a tracking code that helps you to track customer behavior on your website or mobile app. All you have to do is copy and paste the code between the header Tags on each page(that you would like to track) of your website or mobile app. 

Note: If you not looking to retarget website visitors or maybe for starters you just want to retarget visitors to your facebook page or by using customer emails that you have at your disposal, you may skip this step.

So, let’s set up our pixel:

To set up your pixel, go to Menu > Events Manager> Pixels

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Setting Up Facebook Pixel

If you have never created a pixel before, navigate to data sources and select create a pixel. Enter a name for your pixel. You can add the url of the website, however, this is an optional step.

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Creating a Facebook Pixel On Business manager
Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Creating a Facebook Pixel On Business manager

If you have already created a Pixel- here’s how you access it.

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Installing the Facebook Pixel
Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Installing the Facebook Pixel

Once you have created or accessed your existing pixel- click on install pixel.

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Installing the Facebook Pixel

There are several ways in which you can install the Facebook Pixel on your website.

Facebook currently integrates with BigCommerce, Google Tag Manager, Magento, Segment, Shopify, Wix, and WooCommerce. If you’re using any of these, simply select the relevant platform and follow the instructions to integrate.

If you are not using these platforms, you have the option of copy and pasting the code between the tags on your site. Here’s how:

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Installing the Facebook Pixel
Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Installing the Facebook Pixel

If you want you can use the Facebook pixel to track specific actions that customers take on your site, like Add to Cart, Purchase Complete, etc. For this, you’ll need to add a few extra lines of code (shown in blue in the pic below) on the relevant pages. 

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Installing the Facebook Pixel

You can also set up pixel tracking for events. The business manager provides you with a number of options depending on the nature of your business. You can select the relevant option and follow the step-by-step instructions to set up event tracking.

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Installing the Facebook Event Pixel

If you are still unsure about how to set up events for your business. You can visit the pixel implementation guide which walks you step-by-step through the set-up process.

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Installing the Facebook Event Pixel

If you have a web developer working on your website or you can also simply e-mail the instructions to them for installing the pixel.

Here’s how to copy paste the code on your site- Navigate to the backend of your site

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Installing the Facebook Pixel on your website

Copy and paste the Facebook Pixel just below the header tag on each page of your website that you would like to track.

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Installing the Facebook Pixel on your website

You should have a separate Facebook pixel for each ad account-if you want to keep your conversion data separate across domains.

Step 3: Create a Custom Audience

Retargeting on Facebook, as we have already mentioned before, implies targeting a set of people who have visited your website or social media pages. Now the question that automatically comes to mind is that from where do you get this list of an audience who have shown a prior interest in your products. There are several possibilities here; you may be having a list of subscribed customers in your brand’s MailChimp account. Or, you may have customer data available to you via your CMS or other tools. Retargeting Ads allow you to use any kind of customer data that you have at your disposal.

Here are all the sources from which you can create a custom audience.

  • Website traffic
  • Customer List
  • App Activity
  • Offline Activity

Use Facebook Sources

  • Video
  • Lead Form
  • Instant experiences
  • Instagram Business profiles
  • Events
  • Facebook page

 Now, let’s head over to Facebook’s  Business Manager and create a custom audience to retarget.

Go to Menu > Assets >Audience.

Then select Create Audience > Custom Audience

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Creating a custom audience

a. First, we will be creating a custom audience based on “Website Traffic.”

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Creating a custom audience based on website traffic

Depending on your campaign goals you can select the audience you are looking to target. The Facebook business manager gives you an option of targeting

  • All website visitors
  • People who visit specific pages of your website
  • Visitors by time spent

From any events that you may have set up. In this example, we have set up two events

  • Page views
  • Purchases
Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Creating a custom audience based on website traffic
Business Manager provides you several parameters, which help you to define your custom audience.
 
The first parameter as you can see in the pic above is “ANY or AND”. According to Facebook,
 
“By selecting Any, you’ll include or exclude people who meet any one of your criteria during the time period chosen by you. For example, you can include people who visited your website in the past 20 days or people who added an item to their wishlist in the past 14 days.
By selecting All, you’ll include or exclude people who meet all your criteria during the time period selected by you. For example, you can exclude people who searched for an item on your website in the past 21 days and purchased from your website in the past 21 days. You can track all prospects who visited your website within the last 180 days at the max. “

You can create a  custom audience that includes all prospects who visit your website within a specific time. This is particularly helpful if you want to keep your brand on top of the mind of customers or in the awareness phase. You can choose to show your ads to all customers who may have visited your site in the last 180 days at the max. However, we feel to say more relevant if you restrict yourself to the default 30 or 15-20 days. You can narrow down your target audience by adding another parameter- say for example excluding people who have spent less than 30 seconds on your site or including people who have triggered the page view event.

        Once you have defined your custom audience, you can give it a name and hit save.

The second option – “people who have visited specific pages on your site” allows you to create more targeted ads. Let’s see how this can be done. You can create your audience in two ways:

Now suppose you run a restaurant, you would obviously want to target customers you viewed your menu or online ordering page but did not pace an order. To set this up you can choose to include the keywords #menu #onlineordering and exclude people who visited your order confirmation or Thankyou Page.

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Creating a custom audience based on website traffic

Let’s take another example, suppose you own a store that sells home decor and you are planning to offer a discount on rugs and carpets. You would want to show an ad to all customers who have shown an interest in your rugs and carpets but abandoned their shopping carts. You can target anyone who’s looked at both your rugs and carpets AND the checkout page. This tells us that they viewed our products and are interested in them. To control ad costs or avoid showing the ad to customers who may have completed the purchase, you can exclude the people who have visited the Thankyou page.

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Creating a custom audience based on website traffic

If you are targeting audiences who visited specific pages on your website, the business manager allows you to further refine the audience by frequency and device.

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Creating a custom audience based on website traffic
Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Creating a custom audience based on website traffic
Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Creating a custom audience based on website traffic

The third option of targeting visitors by the amount of time spent would make more sense if you own an online publication or have a blog where you write about your products. Obviously, a higher the amount of time a spent on your site may indicate that the prospect may be more likely to subscribe to your publication or purchase your products. Let’s say that your website sells men’s health products. The articles on your website’s blog discuss many men’s health-related issues, you can target the prospects who have spent five minutes or more on a page, indicating a definite interest in the topic.

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Creating a custom audience based on website traffic

The other parameter you can control here is time.  If you’re retargeting people who viewed your content or blog posts, the default 30 days might be good. However, 10 -15 days is more suitable for cart abandonment ads. Now that you’ve defined your audience all you need to do is name the group and save.

Once you have saved your audience will be lead back to the list of saved custom audiences.   It may take Facebook some time to gather the relevant data, in the interim period you will see a red light and a warning “audience too small” beside your newly created audience set in the availability column. You would have to wait for this light to turn green (this may take up to 30 minutes or more) before you can use this custom audience in any of your ads.

b. Creating a Custom Audience based on App Activity

With the help of Facebook Pixel you can also track the behavior of prospects on your mobile app. You can get more details on this here.

c. Creating a Custom Audience based on Customer files

You can create a custom audience by importing customer files from MailChimp or uploading them manually.

d. Creating a Custom Audience based on data from Facebook sources.

Business manager allows you to track customer behavior on Facebook and Instagram without the use of Facebook      Pixel. To do this you can set up a custom audience based on Facebook sources.

  • Video
  • Lead Form
  • Instant experiences
  • Instagram Business profiles
  • Events
  • Facebook page

Here are a few examples:

1.People who have interacted with your videos.

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Creating a custom audience based on video view

2. Custom audience based on people who have interacted with a lead form that you have integrated on Facebook.

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Creating a custom audience based on lead forms

3. Custom audience based on the people who have interacted with your events in the past.

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Creating a custom audience based on event interaction

4. People who have interacted with your Facebook page in the past.

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Creating a custom audience based on page engagement

5. People who have interacted with your Instagram page in the past.

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Creating a custom audience based on page engagement

4. Set-up your Ad

Once you have created your custom audience you can go ahead and set up your ad. If you are familiar with advertising on Facebook or Instagram, you will not have any problem setting this up.

Head over to Ad Manager within the Facebook Business Manager and click on create ads and follow each step within the guided creation. The basic steps involved are:

    a. Determine Your Objective

Depending on your goals, select your campaign objective and name your campaign.  We have selected Traffic in            this example here.

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Selecting your objective
Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Selecting your objective

 b. Select your Audience

You should select the custom audience you set in the preceding step.  You may skip Advanced targeting as it may interfere with the custom audience that you have set up. However, this is totally up to you. Let’s say you have set up a custom audience based on all website visitors who have visited a specific page on your website, but you want to run an Ad offering discount only in a particular location, you may want to filter your custom audience by location.

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Selecting your audience

   c. Set Placements

Again, it is totally up to you, but we generally recommend automatic placements.

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Ad Placement

  d. Set Your Budget

If you are just starting out with advertising on Facebook, you may want to go with Facebook’s recommendation. Keep in mind that Facebook allows you to set a daily budget and a lifetime budget for your ad. Retargeting ads work well if they run continuously.

Creating Retargeting  Ads on Facebook; Setting up a budget

e. Create Your Ad

Finally, you get to create your ad. Upload your Ad creative and follow the steps to create your Ad!! don’t forget to check the preview before you hit publish!!! Here is a helpful link

Retargeting Ads on Facebook are a powerful and effective way to convert casual visitors into loyal patrons. So, if are not using Retargeting Ads already, start Now!!!

Everything You Need To Know About Chatbots For Your Restaurants

What Are Chatbots?

Chatbots are programs built to automatically engage with the customers visiting your website or social media pages. These bots are programmed to send out automated replies in response to customer queries.

Types of Chatbots:

1. Driven by Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence:

This type of chatbot understands natural language and commands and uses machine learning to adapt responses in accordance with the context.

2. Keyword based chatbots

These are driven by a set of predetermined answers that are triggered in response to certain keywords. They rely on a large database of frequently asked questions to produce the best response and therefore may not be correct 100% of the times.

Your customers don’t have to download another app to use these chatbots. They can be accessed via existing chat apps such as Facebook Messenger , Whatsapp or website chat windows  to receive and respond to messages.

Shake Shack- Chatbots For Your Restaurants

Chatbots have been around for quite some time. However with the recent advances in natural language processing and AI, Chatbot technology has grown robust enough to meet the challenges of modern marketing.

According to a drift survey customers use chatbots for a number of purposes such as

  • To get a quick answer to questions
  • To resolve a complaint or problem
  • To get a more detailed answer to a query
  • Finding a human customer service representative

However, Chatbots aren’t just a handy tool for your customers, they’re also great for your business.

Benefits of Chatbots

1. Save Time & Money

Research from Sprout Social shows that the number of social messages requiring a response from a brand increased by 18% from 2015 to 2016.

The millennial customers expects brands to be available 24×7 to answer questions, clear doubts and guide them through the purchase journey. Providing around the clock customer support requires huge investment in terms of time and resources, which may not always be feasible. By automating conversations you could save time and money that can then be allocated to other areas that require your attention.

2. Nurture Customers

Every customer visiting your restaurant’s website or social media pages may not have an intention to buy. He may be just checking on offers or perusing through the menu.

You can program your chatbot to engage with these customers, ask questions to guide them in the right direction, share menus, pricing , or collect their email ids.  Providing quick responses and resolving queries helps you to create a better user experience.

3. Generate Sales

You can use chatbots to connect directly to all your customers sending them personalized offers and recommendation in accordance with their purchase history.

Many popular restaurant chains  are successfully using chatbots to promote offers and discounts, limited time deals or loyalty privileges. They can also be used to allow your customers to make reservations or order ahead.

4. Provide ‘After Hours’ Support

According to data from Drift, most people use chatbots get quick answers to questions. Your customers can get the information they are looking for via these chatbots chatbot even when your business is closed.

5. Generate Leads

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

GETTING STARTED WITH CHATBOTS

Taco bell- Chatbots For Your Restaurants
Taco Bot By Taco bell Made Online Ordering a Breeze

There are a few ways in which you can get a Chatbot for your restaurant

1. Building your own bot:

Coding  your own chatbot, be it from scratch or using NLP Platforms involves a huge investment in terms of time and a steep learning curve. You would also need  prior knowledge of coding and natural language processing.

Use DIY platforms for building a bot –

There are some platforms which provide you with Drag ‘n’ Drop features to build chatbots without any coding.

Hire An agency:

You can hire an agency to create a fully functional chatbot for you.

Whichever method you choose, there are several other aspects which require your attention before roll out your restaurant’s chatbot.

2. Preparing to Launch

a. Define Your Goal

Spend time at the onset to define the goals you are looking to achieve from the chatbot. It could range from

  • Engaging your customers
  • Resolving customer service issues
  • Promoting menu items, offers and deals
  • Acquiring new customers

Having clear goals in mind helps you to develop a strategy and build out a unique experience.

Subway- Chatbots For Your Restaurants
Subway’s order ahead bot on Facebook Messenger

b. Choose Platforms to Leverage

Consider the channels you would like to take your programs live on. The answer to this would depend on your goals and also which channel in your opinion could provide you with the maximum leverage

Social Media Channels

  • Facebook Messenger
  • Twitter Direct Message
  • Whatsapp messenger

You can check your Facebook and Twitter insights to get an idea of how many of your audiences visit these platforms regularly. Also, consider how many of your followers are on Facebook Messenger and how they are using the channel. You should also check on the audience demographics on each of these channels. 

Your Website

Check your website analytics to see where you get maximum visitors. What are these visitors doing on your site. What kind of assistance or experience could you offer to these visitors.

All these metrics will help you to decide which platform to leverage and what kind of communication(Via Your Chatbot) would be appropriate on that channel.

c. Build Your Content Strategy

Once you have finalized your goals and the platform you plan to employ, you can start working on the experience you want to offer to your customers.

Think about what questions customers are likely to ask your chatbot.  Think of multiple responses to every question. Build flows for each turn a  conversation could take- think about the kind of information you would like to disseminate through these conversations, such as information about offers or deals, your loyalty program, specials, and the like. Figure out how you can take a prospective conversation in the intended direction while fully satisfying customer needs. 

Pizza Hut- Chatbots For Your Restaurants
Pizza Hut”s Bot On FB Messenger allows you to order just by sending an emoji

d. Craft Your Bot’s Voice 

Your chatbot is ultimately another extension of your brand. Ensure that its voice and personality is aligned to your brand image. Many restaurant give a name to their bot to humanize the whole experience.

Laying down these basics at the onset facilitates the bot building process and helps you provide a better customer experience.
Wingstop- Chatbots For Your Restaurants
Wingstop launched its Bot both on Facebook and Twitter

BEST PRACTICES

a. Maintain Transparency: Let your customers know they’re chatting with a bot so they do not feel misled at a later stage.

b. Call-To-Action Buttons:Use CTAs to drive users to a specific goal such as leading them to your online ordering page or sharing their experience with friends on social networks.

c. Always Offer a Way to Exit : Give your customers the option to switch over to a human assistant at any time they wish to.

d. Gather Customer Feedback: Don’t forget to ask your customers whether they enjoyed the interaction with your chatbot and the improvements they would like to see.

e. Promote your bot: The success of your chatbot would depend on how well you promote it. Go all out on letting your customers know that you are offering them a exciting new way to interact with your brand.

Wrap Up

Like all other marketing initiatives, you would need to monitor and analyze the performance of your chatbot in the long-run and look for ways in which you could improve customer experience on your Bot.

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