[PART 1] Positive customer experiences: The phase before ordering food
In this part of the blog about customer experience, we cover the first phase of the Customer Journey; the phase before ordering food. Concrete tools are provided with which you can get started. The advantages of SEO, branding and how to appeal to different target groups are discussed.
Online and offline marketing of your restaurant
In the phase before a customer starts ordering from your restaurant, it’s all about attracting the attention of potential customers. Regarding your website, it is important that it scores well in Google and other search engines. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) responds to the way these search engines rank pages by placing catchy content, supported by the use of the right keywords. If done correctly, it is possible to rank higher without having to spend money on advertisements. Keyword optimisation means that you use terms that are searched on a lot, and that you have a good chance with of ending up high in search engines. For example, it is difficult to get good search results on the term ‘restaurant’ while ‘ordering sushi Boston’ probably offers more chances.
Your social media channels are also important in generating attention among customers. Do you already have an Instagram or Facebook account? Show your menu on these channels, be original and keep it concise. In other words, make it attractive for your customers to follow you!
Finally, don’t forget offline marketing. For example, delivery drivers also influence the brand awareness of your restaurant. At the moment, many delivery drivers are driving around cities with Takeaway.com clothing, while not all these drivers are on the payroll of TakeAway.com. Do your delivery drivers contribute to your own brand awareness, or to that of the big platforms?
Once you have been able to draw attention to your restaurant, it is important that this attention is positive. A stable and strong brand can contribute to achieving this as it ensures that people have positive associations with your brand name. Below are a few measures you can take with regard to the image of your restaurant:
- Think about what you want to stand for with your brand, and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly. For example, using social media is an effective tool to share your mission and vision with your target group
- Make use of different (online and offline) advertisements. An brand name that’s easy to remember is essential here
- Have your restaurant regularly tested for hygiene by an independent agency for better consumer confidence
- Show reviews on your website and answer negative reviews or complaints in a customer-friendly and solution-oriented way
It is very important that your offer fits in well with the different target groups you are trying to reach. Enough freedom of choice for the customer has a direct positive effect on the customer experience during this phase (Maklan & Klaus, 2011). As a Sushi restaurant, for example, it may be wise to offer different sizes of boxes so that you can offer an attractive option for both larger and smaller groups. On the other hand, a menu should be clear and you should not offer the customer too many options. Finding the right balance has a major influence on whether or not the customer chooses your restaurant during the ordering phase.
Part 2 of the blog about customer experience explains how you can make sure that customers come back to your restaurant again and again. In addition, we go deeper into the second phase of the Customer Journey, the ordering phase at restaurants. User-friendliness, cross selling and upselling are some of the themes that will be discussed. Do you want to go back to the introduction? Click here.