Restaurant marketing strategies have become critical because the majority of millennials have ranked eating out as a number one priority. Millennials are willing to spend good money on going out to eat and it ranks higher than apparel, beauty aids, electronics, cosmetics, and many other products.
Studies have shown that millennials who are between the ages of 18 to 34, dine out at least 3 times a week and are substantial money spenders. They have surpassed the baby boomers and is considered the most profitable group for marketing strategies. If you are overlooking this age group, you are losing out on a great deal of revenue.
If you own a restaurant, grabbing the attention of millennials is critical so here are some great marketing tips to get more traffic in your doors.
1. Use Social Media
We all know about social media and the benefits of having your brand present for all to see. You must build a campaign that will showcase your restaurant which is not that difficult to do. You can showcase high-quality photos of some of your best dishes, run a contest or two, offer coupons, or let your followers know what days you offer discounts.
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter seem to provide the best platforms for restaurants. If you are new to social media, start off with only one account until you get used to before moving to next platform and staring another one.
2. Use Emails To Stay In Touch
Emails have proven over and over again to generate business, keep customers up on deals, and create customer loyalty. There are several practices you should follow to keep your emails valuable to consumers. Always make sure they have a personal touch, no one enjoys reading emails that sound like they just came off the assembly line, especially millennials. Play around with different email templates to figure out which style works best for engaging your customers. Do Not make your emails predictable, people will get quickly bored!
Adobe performed a research that showed the 88% of millennials will read their emails via their smartphones. Keeping that in mind, make sure your emails are mobile-friendly. You want to be sure you have a mobile responsive email template and that the content will display quickly and properly to improve your user’s experience.
With emails, you can gather customer email addresses if you offer a guest management system that merges with loyalty programs. Your loyalty program can gather important information such as birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
For different templates and having access to email performance analytics, you should purchase an email marketing software. These cost approximately $10 a month and some actually provide their software for free.
3. Implement Technology
Keep in mind, millennials will stay away from restaurants that are not consistent with their food or have long waiting times and lines. There are several technologies that will ensure this doesn’t happen to you. Check out some of these leading software:
A Restaurant Waitlist System
A restaurant waitlist app is very useful for millennials to be able to view waiting times and make reservations through its companion consumer app. This software will make your customers overall experience much more pleasant. Adding to that, consumer apps will give your restaurant access to consumer networks allowing you to continually improve your customer service. It will help you find the solution for issues when gathering guest analytics. You can track trends and make much more informed business decisions.
The Kitchen Automation Tool
If you want and need a more efficient kitchen, this kitchen display system is for you. It will also reduce ticket time giving the guest a much better experience and better quality of food.
Millennials love being on their phones so, during working hours, they want to go somewhere that does not require using the phone data to get on the internet. If you’ve experienced problems with sales during the lunch hour, this might just be your answer.
Kiosks That Are Self-Service
There are several restaurants that are already using self-service kiosks including McDonalds and Wendy’s. These kiosks offer higher accuracy and make dining out a great deal more convenient.
4. Offer convenience
Everyone, especially millennials, demands convenience. Especially since the growth of food delivery apps and takeout orders are on the rise. According to some studies, approximately 75% of millennials prefer delivery orders. To stay competitive, delivery and takeout orders should be on the top of the list.
You should ask a few questions before diving into your new takeout and/or delivery menus. First off, what kinds of food will you be offering? These items should be foods that can be easily prepared. Have you considered your packaging? You are probably going to need containers for hot foods and other containers for cold foods.
You will need some form of technology to manage all the avenues and still offer real-time order tracking. That includes what foods are heading out the door and which are going to an in-house table. Also, you are going to need a service to make deliveries for you. Even though they will operate on commission, many of these services have a network of consumers looking for food delivery, so keep that in mind while shopping around.
5. Be transparent
Consumers are going to want to know where your food is coming from. Where possible, you want your ingredients grown locally and organically. Millennials, above other groups, are really into organic foods. Most consumers, including millennials, are more likely to be loyal to restaurants that are upfront and truthful about their ingredients. If you are in the process of changing your menu, over time, to more healthy foods, you might want to look into places like Panera that are giving their consumers updates on their menu changes and a time frame when all be completed. These places will give you some good ideas how to approach a menu change.
6. Showcase your expertise (and legacy)
Does your restaurant have a story? Why did you open your restaurant? Let your customers know what is behind your restaurant and what it stands for. Talk about your restaurant and then bring it all together and increase your branding. Coca-Cola has been doing that for more than 100 years!