Mobile Marketing Strategy for Restaurants

Mobile marketing wasn’t even a concern 5 years ago. It used to be a question of whether or not your restaurant had a website. People need to find your phone number, directions, browse your menu, check your hours…so having a website was a good way to market your business. Fast forward to 2012, in a time where having a website is a given, and including a mobile marketing strategy is now becoming the norm. Recent data reveals that searches for restaurants are almost as likely done on a mobile device than a desktop computer.

Stay Ahead of the Mobile Marketing Curve

As the ratio moves toward 1:1, restaurant owners need to be ready for the demand. So what are some mobile marketing strategies to prepare? Sherwood Stranieri provided some insight in a recent blog post on

  • The next time you redesign your website, think seriously about a website design that is “mobile-first” – a phone-friendly website that also will work fine for desktop PCs. Most websites do the opposite (at best) but in the restaurant category, he market favors mobile, so your site design should, too.
  • If you’re not ready to redesign yet, be sure that your homepage has a clickable phone number, with driving directions one click away. This is good common sense for all customers, phone-based or not.
  • Should you do an app? Probably not – you want to be found by both new customers and old. Apps are great for keeping in touch with established customers, but only if you need to interact with them a lot. Domino’s pizza-delivery app is a prime example of that – they expect frequent business, and use the app to automate the process. If you just need to take reservations, then…
  • Make sure you get listed in the search engines that phone users rely upon. Google Places and Yelp are the prime candidates, and if you have the right systems in place, OpenTable can be a big advantage in getting spontaneous bookings.
  • Google’s Mobile AdWords can be the best money you spend this year. If your average table brings $100, you might spend $20 on twenty dollar-clicks to get a call for a booking. Maybe less, if you’re outside a major metro area. That’s a lot better than giving half your receipts to Groupon.
  • Encourage customers to submit Yelp reviews, and suggest that they mention the specific dishes ordered by the table. This will help down the road when iPhone’s Siri becomes a bigger source of traffic and bookings, due to the fact that Siri lets you search by menu item (“Siri, who serves ravioli?”)

Contact us if you’d like more information on a mobile marketing strategy. We can also help you develop a mobile ordering platform, set up a point of sale system, or connect you with the lowest credit card processing rates in the industry.

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