Technology in the restaurant industry is on the rise, with digital ordering and delivery growing 300 percent faster than dine-in since 2014. This tech brings a golden goose of opportunity: Customer data. Owning your customer data opens up new possibilities, but are you taking advantage of it to boost your bottom line? Get the most valuable data from your own restaurant app. Learn how to use your app to increase sales.
Using your restaurant app’s customer data to increase sales
Marketing to consumers can’t be a guessing game. You need to personalize the customer experience with your brand. Consider everything, including:
- Eating habits
- Purchase preferences
- Average spend
- Popular dishes
Let’s say you want to feature a special dish. Why not leverage customer data? You can send an alert to those who ordered it previously to get reorders, and maybe those people will tell their friends to try it.
Customer data has the potential to do a lot of good for your restaurant, and you can use it in many ways.
Launch a customer loyalty program
It pays to build loyalty, and research backs this up. Did you know that at least 69 percent of restaurant customers say loyalty programs encourage more frequent visits? But they don’t want to have to order 10 times before restaurants give them a little love, either. Up to 80 percent of rewards members believe loyalty programs should provide immediate benefits.
Think about it: A customer signs up for your loyalty program, and they receive an introductory freebie. Or your program connects to their order history to send an offer for an appetizer they’ve ordered multiple times and will likely enjoy again. Tactics like these increase your program’s effectiveness and bottom line.
Track historical data points
What is your restaurant app data telling you over time? Restaurants might need to think on their feet, but a little intel never hurts to guide your next move.
Staffing and supply are major data points that impact customer experience, so you need to be keenly aware of the situations surrounding both. What are your highest volume days? What about favorite dishes? Data on each allows for proper staffing and adequate menu item stocking—making customers happy. As a result, they’re more likely to return when they dine out again instead of turning to competitors.
Make customer data digestible and actionable
Using customer data is part science and part knowing your business and its customers. Maybe it means collecting and analyzing reports, or perhaps it comes straight from the source. Between your point-of-sale (POS) system, restaurant orders from suppliers, and even customer surveys and feedback, you have countless ways to gather and make the best use of your wealth of information.
A little stuck on the right road to take? Work with your technology partner to ensure your restaurant app data can effectively inform your decisions.
Turning the data into actionable insights
So how do you make disparate pieces of data make sense and—more importantly—work for you? Incorporate various strategies to leverage the information and increase sales through your restaurant app.
Set up nurture streams to increase sales
Already emailing your customers? Sweet! But did you know that up to 90 percent of them aren’t hungry for an immediate purchase? Make them salivate by setting up nurture streams to get them ordering in your restaurant app and keep them coming back for more.
“Hey! You left something in your cart. Ready to check out?” If you aren’t doing this already, abandon cart alerts are the low-hanging fruit ripe for you to use to reel customers back in. They’re already thinking about ordering, so send a push notification or email to grab their attention.
“Let me count the ways …” Telling customers you miss them is like sending them a Valentine—it shows how much you care about them (and value their business). Set these alerts to send after a set number of days or weeks since the customer has been active in your restaurant app. A nurturing email will entice them to come back or order online—especially if you shower your beau with gifts, like a discount.
Treating your VIPs
It pays to be a VIP. Your best customers spend the most time and money with your restaurant, so they deserve a little extra. At the end of the month, quarter, or year, send these customers a gift—such as free item coupons or discounts—to thank them for their loyalty.
Remember: First impressions are everything. First-time guests represent opportunities to grow your business and offer a fresh perspective on what you’re doing right and wrong. So get feedback on their experience! Ask for reviews on your preferred platform and provide a way for them to give suggestions on how to improve that your team can act on.
Statistics show that one of the most credible marketing sources outside of organic is referral business:
- 92% of consumers trust referrals from people they know.
- 65% of new business comes from referrals and recommendations.
- 82% of small businesses say most new business comes from referrals.
B2C businesses like restaurants should take advantage of this. But how? Stretch your creative muscles. Food for thought: Send referrers something special at the end of the year that no one else can get their hands on. The world is your oyster, so experiment with various tactics to encourage referral traffic.
Assess loyalty programs
We mentioned it earlier: Implement a customer loyalty program. If you don’t have one, you’re leaving valuable data about preferences, ordering habits, and average spend out on the table.
But let’s assume you do have a loyalty program. Think about how it functions. Is it based on how easy it is for your brand to deliver on a scalable basis or on what your customer data is telling you? Customers generally favor personalization above other program features, with a whopping 87 percent of Americans willing to have their activity tracked to get it. Stand out from the rest! Your loyalty program could deploy multi-sensory features or solicit customer input on products, delivering quality experiences and collecting valuable customer data along the way.
Don’t forget about employees
Tying restaurant app data back to your internal operations is crucial because missteps could trickle down to the customer level. Do you have internal nurtures or tasks set up in the system to help your employees? Your employees are likely over capacity and could use the help.
Imagine your data shows an upcoming surge of business. Does it prompt your managers to evaluate the schedule for the proper staffing levels? Without this, your restaurant could be left shorthanded, leaving staff and customers frustrated and compromising service quality and satisfaction.
Gift cards gone wild
Virtually all major gift-giving holidays (ahem, Christmas) create spikes in gift card demand. So how can your data help your employees prepare ahead of time or even automate the process? Use it to look at past trends to get an estimate of how cards you will need or even put the entire process online. Set your team up for success during gift card season so customers leave happy.
Get the most from your restaurant app
Restaurant apps and customer data don’t have to be overwhelming. In fact, with a robust app solution, you can take full advantage of countless pieces of information, so use it!
Start by finding a technology partner to assist with everything from strategy to launch. Detroit Labs can help. Check out our e-book for more details on how to select the right partner, and subscribe to our blog for tips on how technology solutions can help your restaurant.