Just as any other business restaurants are influenced or influence in some way the online community. While the franchised restaurants already have implemented online strategies there are still many mom and pop food places that have not yet taken this opportunity.Implementing such strategies can have nowadays a strong impact on the overall sales, whether on short or long term.
There are many ways managers can advertise on the Internet or just make their business more efficient by using tools available online to establish a strong identity, attract more clients or convert more sales. Below we listed some essential ones that may come handy to use to any food retailer.
Having a Facebook, Twitter or Pintrest restaurant account is a great way to connect with the online community and pretty much create your own circle where information, feed-back on products and general opinions can be easily shared with people that may be interested in your products. While it may take a while to build up such accounts with many users it is well worth it. Take for instance the daily specials –usually written on a sign somewhere in the restaurant –now you can post them on the social media accounts where people that follow you constantly are most likely to be interested in specials offers you may have and this way reach more people and produce more sales.
Since nowadays pretty much everyone has an email it is a good idea to build a large mailing list with emails from your customers so you can reach as many people as possible when you want to have certain events, sales or promotions. There are many ways you can gather such a list – you can ask your customers for their emails when placing an order, make a reservation or participate at special events. You can build professional looking emails by using an email editor such as Microsoft Outlook where you can insert html codes and your emails can look pretty much as your webpage.
Run a Website
Maintaining a website is one of the most common tools used these days by restaurants. You can think of it as a virtual business card, a place you can recommend your customers that may want to see your menu, your specials or pictures of the restaurant or the food. Also this is the best place where people can place orders online for delivery or pick-up or make table reservations. This is where a “Special of the Day” page can be setup and subscribers of the newsletter can receive a copy of it thru email. Social media widgets can be placed here making it easy for visitors to join your Facebook, Twitter or any other social networks pages and join your community.
Advertising your store, products or your website is very important to be done online at least just as much as on the other channels and it can be done efficiently. Since a niche is pretty much established and a certain territory is targeted the manager of the restaurant must center his/her attention on the most popular websites for that area where ads can be placed. Deals can be made with these sites to lower the expenses, as some may be quite interested to place their ads on your site. After all you are part of a network once you go online, why not make the best of it? Various products and services can be advertised but always the restaurant website must be the link to go as it is the best “online business card” where customers can find out more about what you have to offer.
Online Table Reservation System
Having on your website (or linked to your website) a table reservation system has many advantages .One of them is eliminating paperwork; such an system would be used both by your employees and your online customers using a single database – the margin of error is much smaller this way, the reservations can be done more efficiently and overbooking is less likely to happen. Also the customer would receive automated confirmation emails regarding their reservations. This is also a great tool to collect emails for the newsletter that customers may opt to be added to.
Online Delivery or Pick-up Ordering System
Placing orders for delivery or pick-up is a long going activity practiced by customers over the phone (or fax sometimes). However, just like texting is sometimes taking over calling time the same happens with orders placed online. It’s just easier sometimes, especially when you are not sure what you want to order. For this reason it is very important for food places to have an implemented online ordering system. Many software developers offer such systems and it is well worth looking into it as they can make it a very handy way for clients to place orders and a great way to complete sales more efficiently.
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