Restaurant marketing used to rely on high spending and over-the-top marketing campaigns. But that is no longer the case. Today, restaurants can use modern marketing software to revolutionize their approach. It can even significantly improve the ROI (return on investment).
Let’s take a look at what sort of software restaurants are employing and how they make marketing easier while enhancing results.
What is restaurant marketing software?
Generally, the term software simply refers to any programs or apps on a device like a computer. Restaurant marketing software is a tool. It helps businesses plan, perform, and track marketing campaigns.
There are various segments of marketing technology. Some of these aim to increase sales, while others strive to improve online reputation or provide a better customer experience.
What software do restaurants use?
Restaurants have access to plenty of innovative software solutions today. And these options are far more affordable than many think, especially given the excellent results they can produce.
Let’s look at some most important marketing tools for restaurants.
Online reservation or table booking systems are becoming ever-more popular with restaurants. These systems have grown because people, particularly younger generations, prefer to do things online rather than over the phone. But that’s not all. Online booking software also allows customers to interact with your business outside of operating hours at no extra cost to you.
Two of the best online booking software include:
People are used to easy-to-use systems, particularly when ordering online. So, restaurants need to make the food ordering process as smooth as possible to ensure they don’t lose customers in the shopping basket stage.
Some of the most popular software tools for online ordering include:
Customers now expect places like restaurants to offer free wifi. Luckily, providing wifi can now be beneficial beyond positive customer experiences. Companies like Beambox can help you install a simple solution. It delivers seamless internet access and automatically collects data to benefit your restaurant and marketing strategy.
Event management software
A great way to earn more is by booking out a room in your restaurant or even the whole place. Rental prices go straight towards your profit margins. But physically managing these bookings and ensuring you don’t miss email inquiries can be challenging. Keeping up with the task is often not sustainable. Event management software reduces the workload by checking schedules and setting up reminders. It allows you to stay on top of events without the stress.
If you’re interested in an event management software, then two great options include:
Do you look up a place before you visit? Most people do. So you need to stay in the loop with what your online reviews are saying about your restaurant. Realistically, there are tonnes of review sites around, and no one can know precisely what people are saying in each of these places at once. That is where online review aggregators come in. These tools help you track all your reviews and manage and respond to them all in one place (meaning no more wasting time flitting between sites).
Our favourite online review aggregators are:
Digital marketing methods tend to provide the best results for the lowest cost. They are much cheaper than traditional marketing strategies. Additionally, multi-channel marketing can increase good or excellent ROI reports by up to 80%. So consider using more than just one channel when planning your digital marketing campaign.
Email marketing for restaurants
Email marketing is one of the most well-known and widely used digital marketing methods across industries. For example, restaurant marketing emails have an average open rate of 18.5%, with a click-through rate of 2%. Of course, these rates aren’t the highest but are comparatively better than closely related sectors like retail.
We know that personalization can make consumers more likely to interact and open emails when it comes to marketing. Unfortunately, restaurants don’t realistically have the time to customize their email campaigns. But there is software out there that can do this for you.
One of the highest-rated overall email marketing software tools is MailChimp. This technology works well for restaurants and all sorts of other small businesses.
**SMS marketing for restaurants **
Americans are spending over 3 hours on their phones every day on average. This is good news for SMS marketers since you know that it won’t be long before your customer sees your message. Plus, SMS marketing is one of the most cost-efficient strategies. And this is extra good news for those in the restaurant industry (particularly for small business owners).
One great option for restaurant SMS marketing campaigns is Textedly.
Social media posts
Scheduling software for things like social media posts is also being used more and more by those in the restaurant industry. Such tools allow your restaurant to pre-write and design posts. They also let you set the exact time your account will post. Regular posts help ensure that customers don’t forget you so you can stay on top of social media algorithms without the extra effort.
Buffer, Hootsuite, and Later are excellent software tools that allow you to schedule social media posts. Most of these applications offer free options or trial periods so you can make sure the system works for you before making purchasing.
Why do restaurants need digital marketing?
Digital marketing is becoming the most widely used and effective form of persuasion. But, more than this, digital marketing allows restaurants to reach a wider audience with tailored messages. You can achieve all this while spending less time and money on outreach.
You can grow loyalty more easily with marketing automation. Restaurant marketing doesn’t have to be very time-consuming. You can send one-time or event email and SMS marketing messages. You can even send personalized special occasion messages for customer birthdays. Automation systems allow you to do so much more without requiring endless energy from you and your team.
Track and measure results
Collecting data becomes increasingly effortless as the world moves to digital communication. There are plenty of software tools that automate processes and track information and often even organize their findings into more understandable snippets.
Software like Beambox allows businesses like restaurants to provide a valuable service (wifi) to their customers and collects essential consumer data to aid your business’ promotion and communication strategies. As a result, the software can improve customer experience, increase sales (with better customer retention and attraction), and enhance brand reputation.
Don’t forget POS systems
While a POS (point of sale) system isn’t strictly a part of a restaurant’s marketing campaign, it is a vital component of the customer experience.
A POS system usually includes a touch-screen monitor (for menus, ordering, or paying), a card reader and/ or barcode scanner, and a receipt printer. The system essentially offers everything needed to make sales seamless and effortless for your customers.
Marketing software for restaurants
Restaurant marketing software tools make various promotional and operational activities much simpler and less time-consuming. With the use of the right tools, your restaurant will be able to connect to consumers directly and improve your reputation, sales, and customer retention rates like never before.