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Mobile marketing for

RESTAURANTS

● Mobile Web Sites ● Mobile Advertising ● SMS Text Services ● Email List Services


Presented by :

HILLBEACH LTD www.hillbeach.co.uk t. 0800 0199 809 m. 07928 257966

There are very, very few industries that can benefit more from the wonders of mobile marketing than the restaurant industry. This is because mobile marketing is viewed as a personal, more social way of reaching out to customers, and the truth is that the restaurant business thrives on person-toperson sales. After all, people don’t want to eat at a restaurant which is run by mean, nasty people. People do, on the other hand, want to eat at a restaurant that welcomes them in and has a way of inviting them in that seems personal. This super personal way of marketing is unique for many reasons. Consider some of the statistics below when you think about how mobile marketing can improve your restaurant’s bottom line... ● Mobile marketing’s SMS marketing is the only form of advertisement that has a 10%

reply rate.

● Most common forms of marketing, including flyers, mailers, and radio ads, only get about 1%

to 2% of people replying back.

The average person will read an SMS message within 4 minutes of it being sent. The average person will reply within seconds of reading it. This means that mobile marketing will work faster than any other form of marketing. People view companies that have mobile marketing campaigns as more professional, more capable, and better at keeping in touch with their target audience. Better yet, most mobile marketing campaigns don’t need a lot of money to get started. Many of the things you need to have are free of charge, and the ones that aren’t are pretty easy to afford. The only things you really need to buy in order to start your own mobile marketing campaign is a short line that allows people to opt into your campaign, some SMS software, and possibly some postcards and signs. Of course, having a handy guide that teaches you how to make the most of your time working on your mobile marketing campaign helps too. This is what this guide will do. Instead of wasting your time with marketing methods that don’t work, we will show you what does work, and how to use your mobile marketing tools to their fullest extent.

Secret No. 1

Work On Expanding Your SMS Marketing List, And Start Blasting! SMS marketing is also known as text message marketing. This form of marketing gives you about 160 characters per mass-sent text message to talk about your restaurant’s specials, as well as any interesting events you will be throwing at your bar. In order to legally send out those mass texts, you need to get people to opt into your mobile marketing campaign. There are some easy ways to do this...


● Offer a free drink or appetizer with every opt in that you receive.

ing about your restaurant will always translate into more people wanting to stop by for some food

● Offer a small discount on your clients’ tab in exchange for an opt-in.

and drink.

● Have a contest that involves opting into your SMS marketing list. (“Win a shot at a 20-person

dinner party for you and your friends!”)

Get your menus to have QR codes that link into the opt-in for your campaign. You can also have your staff mention that opting into the SMS marketing campaign is a good way to get a heads up on exclusive events and specials. The best way to go about this is to make your mobile marketing campaign as awesome as possible. You want it to feel like the “cool kids club,” and you want to show people how much value it can add to their dining experience. When you get your mobile marketing list going, it’s time to start blasting out text messages to advertise special nights at your restaurant. Here are some tips for proper SMS marketing use for beginners.

Secret No. 2

QR Codes Make Marketing Easier QR codes are tiny little pictures that, when scanned, link to a website, or hold enough data for a person to put their own information, photos, or music into a downloadable format. Best of all, QR codes are cheap (and there are even free QR code makers on the net), and they are low maintenance. As long as you have QR codes displayed, you will be able to get people to scan them. A lot of the issues that people worry about is whether or not their customers have QR code scanners on their phone. Although this tech is relatively new, it should come as no surprise to most

● Make sure that your clients know what the special is, what day and time it is, and what res

business owners that the vast majority of smartphones can scan QR codes. That being said, it

wouldn’t make sense for a business owner of any industry to pass up such a cheap and trendy

taurant o head to. (Example: “Friday Fun: Drinks ½ Off Till 10 At Cindy’s!”)

● If your SMS marketing software allows it, schedule a “Happy Birthday” text with a free dis

count code for customers who give your their birth date.

As crazy as it sounds, you can overdo text message blasts. Never send more than 1 to 2 messages a week – even if your restaurant is super-popular with locals! Don’t force an opt-in on your customers. If you find your wait staff bickering with a customer over opting into the mobile campaign, admonish them. You should never make customers feel awkward by forcing them to repeatedly refuse to opt in if they don’t want to opt in.

way to advertise their goods.

Here are some quick tips on how to get people scanning your QR codes, and how to get the most out of the codes you get... ● Have a QR code that links directly to your mobile website. ● Have a QR code that offers a special discount code. Better yet, why not make a game by

Always keep your SMS blasts upbeat, and never insult customers!

giving out multiple QR codes (one per table) with different discount codes on each one?

Offering SMS-only discounts and prizes is a good way to keep your customers opted in, as well as

● If you have the money to entertain your restaurant’s guests, use QR codes to unlock cool

a great way to build customer loyalty.

You can also use SMS marketing software to let customers book a reservation ahead of time. This is a great perk for people who are always on the go! Certain SMS software sets also allow you to get a hold of your clients who already reserved their tables in order to tell them that their table is ready.

new games at your restaurant.

● Have a QR code that opts in your customer to your SMS marketing campaign. ● Use a QR code to link to a quick takeout menu for your restaurant, or a quick drink menu. QR codes are easy to use, and even easier to display. Here are some of the best ways to get your QR codes scanned.

Convenient? Oh my, yes!

Place them on your takeout menus.

Most people who receive SMS blasts from companies that they enjoy also mention that having a

Add them to your business cards.

Put them on posters and signs outside of your restaurant.

Put them on stickers.

particular format that you can stick to is a good idea. It is worth mentioning that a well-planned SMS marketing campaign can go viral, and that means that you will be getting a LOT more business than you currently do. This happens when people start forwarding your text blasts to friends, and when they start to opt in so that they can get the news firsthand too. And really, for most marketers, going viral is the goal. After all, more people hear-

If you are going to use the QR code to get people to opt into your SMS marketing campaign, it makes a lot of sense to put the codes on your restaurant’s menu. After all, it makes it easy for waiters to tell people where to scan the code.


Remember, you can re-use QR codes, so you don’t have to worry about having to spend tons of money in order to get all-new menus once a seasonal special runs out of time. All you need to do is update the link that your QR code provides, and you’ll be good to go.

Secret No. 3

A Mobile Website Is A Must-Have

Secret No. 4

Link Mobile Marketing With Opinions The easiest way to get people involved in making your restaurant theirs is to get their opinion on various things. SMS software allows you to hold polls that give you the ability to hear out your customers on issues that could help make your restaurant a better place. Ask them what they want

Chances are that you already have a website devoted to your restaurant, but then again, who

to see improved. Is it the service? The cleanliness? The menu items? The only way to find out is

doesn’t? If you want to get ahead of the advertising game, you have to amp up on the latest tech-

to ask!

nology – tech that your competition hasn’t yet gotten their hands on. Having a mobile website can improve your Google search rankings for both your regular site and your mobile site, and it can also be one of the biggest sources of income that your restaurant has. 86% of all people search the net for local restaurants and such, and about half of that is done via mobile phone. Unfortunately for most businesses, websites that were programmed for computer surfing don’t normally work too well with most mobile phones. Moreover, regular sites have a tendency to load slowly with mobile phones, which oddly enough, leads to a decrease in the number of sales that you will get from the mobile site. The best mobile website that you can have will be a no-frills, fast-loading site that gives people the information that they want at lightning speed. This means that you will need to have the following things on your main page... ● Your restaurant’s name ● Your restaurant’s hours ● Your restaurant’s contact information. ● Your restaurant’s location, and directions to the restaurant from common areas. You can also provide a link to your diner’s menu, as well as details about the bar. You should also avoid having too many (or even any) of the following on your mobile site. ● More than one or two (small) pictures. ● Videos. ● Music. ● Too much text ● Background photos ● Clashing colors Most of the time, you can make and design your own mobile website with little to no problem. However, if you are not quite steady with your site design skills, hiring someone to do it shouldn’t cost more than £200. Remember – your site should load quickly, offer all the basic info that you need, and maybe even look good doing it.

Polling can be hard to get people to participate in, so make sure that you emphasize that they will enjoy the results too. Offer them discounts or incentives to reply to your poll. And, it’s also worth noting that you should make an effort to make the answers and questions as clear and unambiguous as possible. Why not try to do a test run when it comes to your incentives by asking people to vote on which special they enjoy the most? The easiest way to do this is by promising that you will add the favorite dish of the week to your menu permanently.

Secret No. 5

You Need To Be Consistent In Your Efforts It’s a safe thing to say that the key to successful marketing of any form is being persistent and consistent about your message. This is true with all steps of mobile marketing, as well. Being consistent in your efforts to get the word out about your mobile marketing campaign is an absolute must. You can’t be too forceful with customers when it comes to getting them to opt in, but at the same time, having notices of your mobile marketing campaign drop off the face of the planet isn’t acceptable, either. Keep your mentions about your mobile marketing regular, not too heavy handed, and friendly. Consider the following scenarios when it comes to getting people to opt into your ad campaign... ● You are a customer at your restaurant, and the waitress sits you down, hands you the menus, and then asks if you want to know specials for next week via mobile marketing. You say you aren’t interested. She asks you again, saying “But this is a really cool program we have.” You say you aren’t interested again. She asks a third time. You are getting frustrated. She asks a fourth time, and at this point it’s getting ridiculous. You leave the restaurant angrily, but not before complaining to management.


You are a customer at your restaurant. The waitress hands you the menus, and says, “Hey, you’re regulars here, right? You know you can get secret specials by joining out text marketing campaign. It’s free, and your discounts get sent straight to your phone once a week.” You say no thanks, and she says, “All right, but if you want to join, the QR code link is on your menu. All you have to do is scan it OK?” You have a good meal, and leave. The next week, you return to the store, and sign up after the waitress asks again. You are a customer at your restaurant who is returning after the first scenario occurred to you. This time, no one mentions the mobile marketing campaign at all, but now, you actually could use a discount! So, you ask one of the waiters about opting into the mobile marketing campaign. The waiter stares at you blankly, since he forgot the code to opt in, too.

See the difference? You also need to be pretty consistent and regular when it comes to sending out blasts via SMS text message, and when it comes to updating your mobile website. In fact, many successful marketers schedule when they send out their text message blasts. If you don’t see the value in this, then consider the following scenarios... ● You are one of the customers who opted into your restaurant’s SMS text campaign. You get no text messages for 3 weeks, then all of a sudden get 4 text ads on your cell phone the week after. You might have forgotten even signing up for the text campaign, so you opt out almost immediately. Or, you are confused and feel spammed due to the sudden amount of text messages you’re receiving, so you opt out quickly. You are one of the customers at the restaurant that you own. You are in need of sleep, so you start dozing away in your room. All of a sudden, at 1 o’ clock in the morning, you get a buzz on your phone. Thinking it’s an emergency, you jolt yourself awake, and look at the message...only to have it be an ad for 50-cent wing night at the restaurant. You grunt angrily, and opt out so that you can avoid having this occur again. You just opted into the restaurant’s mobile marketing campaign. Every week at 5 PM on Friday, you get a text talking about the drink specials at your restaurant’s happy hour. Since you just got out of work, you always check the text to see if the restaurant has specials on your favorite beer or appetizer. Now, which one of those three scenarios do you want your restaurant to deal with? Obviously, the third scenario is the most positive for everyone involved. Chances are that in the first two scenarios, you might end up with upset customers who tell others not to opt into your mobile marketing campaign because of the bad experience that they had. This is why being consistent – to the point that people expect your texts to come – is a great thing.

Secret No. 6 Time

All great things take time to accomplish, so don’t get frustrated if your mobile marketing campaign doesn’t go viral immediately. Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor were the best marketing campaigns of our time! Everything that is worth attaining will take time and consistent effort. The good news about using mobile marketing for restaurants is that restaurants have a tendency to have their mobile marketing efforts become widespread and popular much more rapidly than other industries. It also takes time to set up everything in order to have a good mobile marketing campaign going. It takes a couple of days in order to make a decent mobile website. It takes a while for printing companies to print out new menus with QR codes on them. It definitely will take at least a week or two to get enough people to opt into your text message marketing plan for your marketing to become successful. These things all take time, but it is time well spent. It is also very common for business owners to feel frustrated when they don’t see immediate results in their mobile marketing campaign, and to a point, it’s very understandable. After all, you just spent a couple hundred dollars in order to get this thing going, so why isn’t it working yet? If you’re feeling this way, take a deep breath and remember that time is a huge factor when it comes to building your reputation. It will always take time to get the word out. That is just the way things are. And, with time, your mobile marketing campaign will become one of the most effective tools you have when it comes to drawing in customers – both old and new.


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