Smartphones In Your Diners' Hands

/ Foodservice Tips / June 10

A lot has changed since the arrival of the smartphone.  We have more information at our fingertips that ever before.  We are able to stay in constant contact with our friends and family via text and social networks.  We can shop whenever we want, wherever we are.  However, with all this comes the fact that many of us have our phones out whenever we are sitting still.

I’m sure you’ve noticed the growing number of diners who have their phone out at the table.  Are you using this trend to your restaurants advantage?  There are several ways that you can use your customers’ addiction to their smartphones to help out your restaurant.

Encourage Engagement

People love to take pictures with their phones.  Undoubtedly there are diners in your restaurant snapping photos of themselves, their friends, and their food.  Most likely, they are also sharing these pictures to their social channels.  Forty-four percent of Millennials have posted a photo of food or drinks that they or someone else was having on social media, and 19% of 21-24 year olds have borrowed someone else’s food to take a picture of it and post on social media (Media Post).  Train your staff to encourage them to tag your restaurant in the post, or share those images on your pages.  Use statements like “It looks like you love your burger.  Tag us in that picture you took so your friends can try it when they come here next time.”  Or “If you are having a fun night with us, make sure to post that picture on our page too so your friends will know where you were.”  This is free advertising for your restaurant.

Check-Ins

Several social media platforms allow customers to “check-in” at your location.  This lets their friends and family know where they are.  Also, when those friends click on the check-in, it takes them to your page.  Encourage check-ins by offering a coupon or deal.  Have your wait staff or hosts mention the offer to diners as they are seated.  This is another way to spread the word over social about your restaurant, and the cost isn’t very high.  It’s easy to set up this feature on your Facebook page.  Just follow these easy instructions.

Loyalty App

If your customers are already on their smartphone, they might as well be interacting with your restaurant.  Direct them to download your app with QR codes on you menu or table top advertising.  Offering a loyalty program in your app will increase both downloads of the app and return visits to your restaurant.  According to Loyalogy, loyalty programs increase visits by 35%, and 73% of consumers would recommend a restaurant more if it offered an appealing rewards program.  Working a program into your app ensures that people will carry your restaurant with them wherever they are and come back often.

Smartphones are getting more powerful every day.  Be sure that your restaurant harnesses that power to encourage repeat visits and first time diners.


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