Restaurant marketing: word-of-mouth advertising, influencer marketing and restaurant ambassadors

Marketing includes all the activities that a business performs to boost sales. Thus, restaurant marketing is about selling more meals. A broad topic, but very important for delivery restaurants. There are still many opportunities for delivery restaurants in the field of restaurant marketing. In this blog, we will discuss the following ways you can use restaurant marketing: through restaurant ambassadors, positive customer experiences and mystery guests, word-of-mouth advertising and influencer marketing.

 

“But why are restaurant ambassadors important for my delivery restaurant?”

A customer who represents a delivery restaurant sends a positive message to those around him/her about this particular restaurant. He/she can do this, for example, by giving review or by spreading the word. Word-of-mouth advertising is a form of restaurant marketing in which a customer promotes a particular brand, product or service through everyday conversations. When this customer’s positive opinion comes across sincerely to those around him, customers are more likely to order from this delivery restaurant.

A restaurant ambassador attracts customers to your delivery restaurant through reviews, word-of-mouth advertising or other positive expressions, which leads to more sales and, if done right, more profit. However, in order to get your customers to want to represent your delivery restaurant, as well as to come across as genuine, you need to offer them a pleasant experience first.

 

Positive customer experiences as the foundation for a successful restaurant marketing

Everything in your restaurant marketing hinges on the experience that sticks with customers after they ate their meal. Was it delivered on time and were lemon wipes delivered with his spareribs? Such details affect the final customer experience. Did the customer enjoy his meal? Chances are that he/she orders again from your delivery restaurant in the near future. Before you know it, you have a loyal customer! Who knows, maybe he/she will post a positive review or order with a large group of friends next week. A negative customer experience on the other hand, might cause the customer to order at one of your competitors the next time. In this case, word-of-mouth advertising can also backfire on your delivery restaurant. Customers do not only share positive experiences with those around them, but also negative ones.

The customer experience that you can offer your customers during the customer journey is the basis of it all. This journey starts when a potential customer encounters your delivery restaurant online and ends once the ordered meal is eaten and cleaned up.

 

Improving the customer experience: mystery guests

It is not always easy to identify the areas with room for improvement in the customer journey. A mystery guest can be of value here, especially for delivery restaurants. Using a prepared checklist, a mystery guest orders a meal unannounced and anonymously. Based on his/her feedback, a delivery restaurant can assess the quality of their service and food. This way, the mystery guest provides concrete points of improvement that you can work on immediately. A couple of months ago, we already wrote a blog about this topic called “Mystery guests within the hospitality industry: can they also be of value for delivery restaurants?”

 

From customer to restaurant ambassador through word-of-mouth advertising

Is the majority of your customers satisfied? Then you can start considering to actively encourage your customers to become restaurant ambassadors. The easiest way is to stimulate your own close connections (family, friends etc.) to represent your restaurant. With them, you have already built a personal relationship. Ask your friends, family and employees to post a review online and to like and/or share your social media posts.

A next step would be to entice your loyal customers to become restaurant ambassadors. What loyal customers will do on their own initiative, is to use word-of-mouth advertising to persuade people ordering from your delivery restaurant, simply because it is genuinely their favorite restaurant. Make sure that they keep coming back and that they enjoy themselves. For such customers, you might want to do something extra once in a while. For instance, offer a free drink or give a loyal customer a discount if he/she orders with a group of friends.

After you persuaded youw own connections and loyal customers to become restaurant ambassadors, you can start influencing the remainder of your customer base: a large group of people with who you have little or no personal relationship. However, you can easily reach this group of customers by mail and social media. After an order, always send an email to the customer asking for an online review (including a link). Through your social media channels, you can encourage your followers to send you pictures of the meals they ordered at your restaurant. If they do, share them! This will create more interaction with the rest of your followers who will also be looking at positive customer experiences from others. Want to take your restaurant marketing a step further? Then you might want to consider influencer marketing.

 

What is influencer marketing and how does it work?

Influencer marketing involves cooperating with an influencer – a person with a large reach on social media – in which they, for a fee, promote your delivery restaurant. Followers see their favorite influencer recommending your delivery restaurant and will be more likely to order from your restaurant as well. In the blog we wrote about how delivery restaurants van use Instagram effectively, we also discussed the opportunities that influencer marketing offers. Two things to keep in mind when using influencer marketing:

  1. Make clear agreements in advance about the number of posts, the type of posts and the fee that is agreed upon. Doing so, you ensure that it is clear to both parties what the expectations of the other are.
  2. Make sure you only start a partnership with an influencer who has a fan base that matches your target group. This is much more important than the total number of followers an influencer has!

 

How you approach these influencers? You can of course try to contact them through their personal channels. Influencers, however, already receive countless messages every day, which they often cannot read attentively. A solution is offered by platforms that bring together demand for and supply of influencer marketing. In return, they often ask for a percentage of the amount paid to the influencer. An example of such a platform is Join, but a quick search on “Influencer marketing platform” will soon provide you with all sorts of similar parties. We advise you to compare and/or try these alternatives yourself.

 

In short: this is how you optimize your restaurant marketing

We can’t stress it enough, but start with the basics! Make sure you offer your customers a pleasant experience. Listen to their wishes and possibly use a mystery guest to find out what your improvement areas are. A good basis will naturally lead to word-of-mouth advertising, probably without you even noticing it. Next, encourage your close connections and loyal customers to post a review or share a post from your social media channels. In return, feel free to spoil them a little bit sometimes by offering a discount or filling up that tray of fries to its maximum limit.

A final step is to appeal to the masses by mail, social media and/or influencer marketing. Be creative while doing so. Try partnering up with an influencer. What’s there to lose? 😉

 

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Thank you for reading,

CashDesk