Sometimes, people decide to dine out on impulse and sometimes after careful thinking and searching particularly where it’s a special occasion. Whether they act on impulse or after a long exhaustive search, the finest food and beverage in the loveliest settings with the highest level of service for the fairest price with the least inconvenience is what every diner is looking at. But, there’re plenty of variables that should be factored in too - reason to dine out, preference, occasion, budget, gender, demography, proximity, dining time, available time, etc.
Considering it all, we can create a restaurant sales funnel, a model that helps a restaurateur effectively address the needs of a diner during different stages of his or her buying journey. Here, we have defined a restaurant sales funnel that consists of four main stages- Attract, Capture, Close, Retain. Here a restaurateur attracts a diner, ignites his or her interest, closes the sale and strives to retain him or her with the aid of the digital.
To attract a diner, first, a restaurant has to be where its potential diners are. Let’s look, for example, at social media as a most likely hangout for people from all walks of life. The social giant Facebook has an active user-base of 2 billion people worldwide, a strong testament to the marketing potential of this amazing social platform. Narrow it down to the specific locality you operate in and you’ll see there’s still a significant number of Facebook users. The same way, Instagram holds significant potential. A responsive website, local listing on Google Maps, local SEO, blogging and email campaigns are all powerful channels to connect with and attract diners to your restaurant. Simply stated, get visible first and then argue a compelling case to your audience why they should choose your restaurant over the competition.
Once you’ve attracted the attention of potential diners, you have to capture their hearts and minds. For that, you can showcase your menu, offer food parings and recommendations, promotions, and special offers. Also, you can chat live with the diners, share your content on social media, and present featured pages, etc among others. That way, you can really engage the attracted diners and convert them. The more compelling is your content, the easier it’s for you to win over them.
To close a sale or get a diner to book a table, you can make a set of digital tools available to them. Such tools include online ordering, online table reservation, mobile push notifications, opt-in email campaigns, user registration, and lead generation forms. You have to marshall your marketing efforts mainly towards closing the sale. But, be mindful that the funnel doesn’t end after closing the sale. This is important because you have to get them to return to your restaurant over and over again.
If you get a diner to make a booking, the next important thing is to get him or her to dine at your restaurant again and again. Loyalty programs, automated e-card systems, survey tools and feedback and review systems help you nurture loyal diners, who continue to patronize your restaurant over your competitors. Whereas many restauteurs may pay little heed to the retention of diners, its importance cannot be overstated for a progressive restaurant. Such patrons are quite valuable since they turn out to be your best marketing ambassadors. Understanding a diner’s buying journey and how to address his or her requirements at each stage with is how you market your restaurant successfully. YesDiner Digital Solutions for Restaurant Marketing from eBEYONDS strategically maps the restaurant sales funnel to diners’ buying journey ensuring your restaurant a profitable digital presence.