Black Friday and Cyber Monday have together created a weekend of opportunity and finding the best deals! There is an assumption that only the retail industry can really benefit – this is simply not true. All industries can look to take advantage of this gold rush, by communicating with their customers in a way that is relevant to them. With a focus on the restaurant industry, here are a few top tips to think about when creating your strategy.
Build up excitement for the Black Friday offers with teaser emails – not only will this put your brand front of mind before the day, it also means that customers could take a sneak peak of the menu and pre-plan their shopping day with food included. Line this up with a message on “downloading the app to stay up to date on the latest news and seasonal offers” to encourage more engagement with your brand. For additional effect, segment the emails by loyalty and offer the most loyal customers a free drink if they dine on the day.
Personalised Experience with Geo-fencing Technology
The use of geo-fencing has risen over the past few years, and there is a great reason too. With mobiles being the most viewed device, and the average person spending 3 hours a day looking at content on their phones, geo-fencing interacting with apps can allow for a more personalised experience for customers. Below are a couple of iBeacon ideas that restaurants can take advantage of:
- Send a notification to customers within an X mile radius to encourage them to use your restaurant. Tailor the messaging to the time of day i.e. breakfast, lunch, dinner, happy hour.
- Allow customers to order ahead via an app to reduce waiting time and improve service time. Then set up a notification to the kitchen staff that confirms when a customer who pre-ordered has arrived.
Failing to Prepare is Preparing to Fail
First impressions count, and with the rush of the day, your restaurants will likely attract new customers. Training staff to know all the new specials and offers available during this celebratory period will enable them to provide recommendations on the day and create a great experience for customers, who could become new regulars. The dining experience doesn’t stop there though, it is also important to ensure all specials, gift cards and other festive promotions are updated and integrated on the till system for a seamless transaction.
Rise of the Gift Card
Over the past few years, there has been an increase in gift card sales due to the trend of individuals wanting experiences with loved ones, instead of presents, as well as buying for self-use. Gift cards are also proven to increase loyalty with a brand, as 57% of self-purchasers, visit a restaurant more often due to their gift card, according to Response Source. To boost gift card sales, encourage employees to promote them during payment and set up a Black Friday promotion i.e. if someone purchases a £50 gift card during the weekend, add 20% so the recipient has an extra £10 to spend when they next come into the restaurant.
Take a break
Black Friday is one of the busiest times for the retail industry, where customers will wake up earlier and stay out later in the hope of finding great deals. This is perfect for the restaurant industry as customers will need time out from the hectic stores and long queues. Make the most out of the eager shoppers and encourage them to stay energised by:
- Fuelling for the day with a hearty breakfast
- Taking a lunch break to warm up with a hot meal
- Come in for drinks to wind down with friends after a busy day of hustling
Sharing is Caring
Shoppers tend to come in pairs or groups when looking for that next big price drop, so why not create a menu which consists of quick bites and sharer platters, ensuring customers can be fed promptly and back on their way to the shops. This also makes it easier for kitchen staff who can create multiple meals at the same time, which can build loyalty with the brand on the back of the fast and efficient service.
Black Friday is only the start of festivities, which leads nicely into Christmas and New Year celebrations. This time of year is about celebrating with family, friends and colleagues, usually over a meal and some drinks; perfect for restaurants to fill seats, which haven’t been booked yet, as well as showcasing the new festive menu. Offering a free drink or discount on group bookings for Christmas celebrations or New Year’s Eve parties can help bring in the last-minute planners.
The holiday period is important for both your profit and your customer engagement, so, don’t forget to keep listening to your customers to guide your marketing plans. Whether that means; seasonal offers, targeted messaging through geo-fencing, recommendations from waiters or sending festive emails, push notifications and more, a personalised approach during a busy period is a great way to boost loyalty and can even turn new customers into regulars.