Gone are the days when business took center stage. Today, most organizations have accepted that the customer should be the one at the center and not the other way round.
Most successful restaurants today run an omnichannel or holistic marketing strategy.
In today’s time, omnichannel marketing has come a long way.
From restaurants depending solely on word of mouth, to them gradually moving towards offline and then online marketing, it has been important for restaurant marketers to build a comprehensive marketing ecosystem. This has enabled them to cater to their potential customer base better, as each restaurant’s potential customer base is broad and is no longer rooted in a specific channel.
Nearly 89% consumers are influenced by online reviews and ads before buying products. For restaurant businesses to achieve growth, they have to go multichannel or omnichannel.
So, what is omnichannel marketing for restaurants, and should you pay attention to it? This article clears all your doubts surrounding the topic.
What is omnichannel marketing?
A few decades ago, there were only a handful of offline channels to target for marketers. Those were the good old days when marketing was a clutter-free, straightforward affair.
With the internet coming along, we saw a surge in newer and more dynamic channels to improve the reach and act like any other.
So, given the increase in channels, many teams either prefer to manage each of them individually or go the omnichannel way.
Omnichannel marketing refers to the process whereby the brand can integrate every sales channel and provide a consistent customer experience.
What is omnichannel restaurant marketing?
On average, a diner considers up to four restaurants before zeroing on one.
The digital influence on such decision-making is undeniable.
As per data released by Meta (then “Facebook”), over 8 in 10 millennials use the internet to plan their next meal. 86% of people in this age group are induced to try a new eating place after coming across their content online.
Omnichannel restaurant marketing is a way to tap into the potential of multiple channels to cater to the widest group of customer base.
It involves integrating the different contact points in an interconnected manner so that the customer enjoys the same experience irrespective of the channel used.
Benefits of omnichannel marketing for restaurants and the food industry
The benefits of developing a central management system for managing all your brand’s sales and marketing channels include:
Improved customer experience
Omnichannel marketing for restaurants enables your marketing team to use various channels in a way to ensure that the customers get the same experience irrespective of the model used.
Wider customer reach
When you are using omnichannel marketing for restaurants, you are not only guaranteeing a uniform customer experience but also have the potential to reach a wider audience.
With the rise in apps and websites specializing in restaurant services, your presence across each one of them would help find more people who can become your future customers.
Centralized data storage
Unlike multichannel marketing, where we use different channels as distinct entities to manage data, omnichannel marketing for restaurants collects data in a centralized ecosystem. It aids decision-making by ensuring a centralized database for your business.
Omnichannel marketing strategies for restaurants
A customer is the heart of omnichannel marketing strategies for restaurants.
So, while there are multiple plans at play, it is important to develop or adopt a solution that can adapt to your omnichannel needs.
Listed below are the most popular omnichannel marketing strategies for restaurants -
1. Endorse uniform branding on all channels
Your restaurant brand has a personality not limited to its food and ambiance but includes things that make it stand out.
But when you constantly juggle multiple channels, it gets difficult to maintain.
That’s what can often distract your customers and deter them from engaging with you.
Irrespective of whether a customer interacts with you via an offline or an online channel, they should be able to enjoy consistency and a similar experience with the brand. It would help create a sense of familiarity and enable people to understand your actions better.
It is also important for branding during marketing campaigns to be consistently reflected across both online and physical stores, to maximize impact.
2. Engage with customers on all channels
Now that you have decided to utilize all your channels together, you do not have an option but to engage with customers on all channels. It allows you to get a proper understanding of their pain points, behavior, and more.
3. Focus on enhancing customer experience
The digital marketing world is about customers and the experience you can create for them.
For that to happen, it is important to ensure that the customer receives great in-person service similar to any online questions or interactions that the restaurant responds to. Ensure that you do not make the customers wait for answers in store or online.
This means that irrespective of whether the customer places an online order or walks in for a meal, it is vital for you to show consistency in your communication and how you cater to them.
Make sure you pay attention to the most minor details and use the insights to curate an enhanced customer experience.
Momos Customer Engagement makes it convenient to manage and automate all your customer interactions through one platform.
4. Provide personalized experiences to customers
Going omnichannel means creating a single source of truth for every customer.
It means that you unify all the data you gather across channels to create an up-to-date, complete, and on-demand customer record that can be used for decision-making and undertaking personalization.
With multiple channels being available, it has become difficult to track the zigzag customer journey elements and combine them into one.
An example is for brands to create loyalty programs that are managed and applied to both online and in-store purchases. This would help create a seamless and personalized experience for customers across channels - to drive loyalty.
Doing so would make them feel valued and help improve brand loyalty.
5. Utilize customer interaction data for business insights and growth
Going omnichannel also means that you compile data across channels to understand customer behavior, demography, search behavior, preferences, and more.
All of this can be used to curate an optimum customer experience.
Brands can also use customer data to run more targeted and effective ads online on Facebook, Instagram and other social media channels etc.
All this can help restaurants make more data-driven, effective business decisions when it comes to expansion plans, location selection and other strategic business plans given the customer data it holds.
At Momos - you can integrate online and dine-in marketing, with comprehensive performance data across all your sales channels to have a 360 degree view of your business and drive smarter growth!
Omnichannel marketing example
By now, a lot of restaurant and food brands have been able to use omnichannel marketing to establish brand loyalty and ensure repeat sales.
Let us look at a couple of examples that showcase the same -
In 2018, Starbucks, while having many people enrolled in its Starbucks Rewards programs, was still leaving out over 60 million customers without any digital relationship.
When they realized it, they created a gated Wi-Fi solution that provided free Wi-Fi to those who signed up on its exclusive portal.
It forced offline visitors to sign up and engage with its online platform.
In addition, it created a handful of premier awards and a points system for those using its Rewards app, forcing regular customers to interact with it frequently and eventually become repeat buyers.
This global burger brand managed to keep visitors engaged (and expanded their customer base) all through the pandemic years. They did so by offering them omnichannel opportunities to access Shake Shack as per their preference.
Their strategy included multichannel delivery, digital pre-ordering and fulfillment, mobile order pick-up shelves, multi-carrier deliveries, etc. They further worked to improve the omnichannel guest experience through Shack Track. As a part of their digital marketing efforts, they also installed walk-up windows in urban markets to streamline the omnichannel experience of the guests.
In addition to launching their Shake Shack Mobile App in 2017, they developed a Kiosk experience for guests to navigate their menu. Interestingly, the brand reports that 75% of their sales comes through kiosks and other digital channels. All these different sales channels are all marketed consistently with the same Shake Shack branding and messaging.
Additionally, some of their “limited time offers” are exclusively offered to their app users for some day to increase the value of brand loyalty, before offering the items on all channels.
Is Omnichannel the future of the restaurant industry?
Omnichannel sales and marketing for restaurants has come a long way in the last decade.
They have come to realize that it is vital for every company to devise its unique experience infrastructure and work across departments to ensure they have a strong case for themselves.
It is important for you to develop a consistent strategic plan for a holistic customer experience irrespective of the channel in contention. In addition, it would allow customers to connect with your story and convert into repeat buyers easily.
Grow and manage your restaurant business across multiple channels with Momos.