Instead of always having to set aside budgets when executing direct restaurant marketing strategies, why not try one that’s zero cost but yet seemingly able to achieve the goals of growing customer database as well as customer engagement?
Here we will be listing the 5 tips to building your restaurant’s emailing list/database:
1) Lucky Draw (Name cards)
Most preferably at the entrance/exit of your restaurant, you could place a cutely decorated fishbowl/ vase/ box to collect the name cards of your customers that want to participate in your lucky draw. It could be for the period lasting 2-3 weeks every month so that customers are compelled to participate so as to stand a chance to receive the lucky draw prize. The prize can be a 30% discount for the next meal or a 1 for 1 meal up for grabs as long as your customers submit their name cards for the lucky draw. With their name cards, you get to email them the outcome of the lucky draw and then you could follow up with your restaurant marketing.
Restaurant owners who do have their own online food ordering systems can effectively collate their customer’s emails because when at their check out, they would have to fill in their personal particulars so that an official receipt can be emailed as a confirmation. Use this opportunity to send them follow-ups or even to seek their feedback regarding the user experience of your online ordering system. With this engagement, you can go forth and carry out direct restaurant marketing via email. You can tap on the latest hype/ trends like the PokémonGo, informing your customers that Pokémons can be found at your restaurant as well, or just to let them know the latest restaurant promotions taking place at the moment.
3) Facebook Contest
This might seem similar to the lucky draw tip, however, not everyone is comfortable with giving away their name cards. Especially so when they have insufficient name cards to give away (more for their clients or business partners). Besides that, some customers do not have their own name cards, hence even if they wanted to participate, they probably wouldn’t be able to. However, you can let them know that for Facebook contests, all they have to do is to leave their email address to stand a chance to win great prizes. You could even be able to get silent followers to participate and convert them into your prospective customers.
4) Email subscriptions
If you have a blog/ website or even social media platforms for your restaurant, you can get your readers/ customers to subscribe to your newsletter and meal recipes or other useful content that they would like to continue to see. At the end of your posts/ content you can include a link for them to fill in their email addresses.
Get your customers to share links of your newsletter subscription, by asking their friends to sign up for on your website (with the embed link on your social media). Customers who act as referrals will then be able to receive an exclusive discount or some incentive for helping to build your restaurant’s database.
With these 5 simple tips, you can capture your customers' data and have more opportunities to engage them - well, it's a competitive industry and it's always nice to drop them a reminder of your presence.