5 Trends in Customer Engagement That Restaurants Can’t Ignore

Restaurants across the industry are increasingly innovating and finding new ways to provide convenient and frictionless experiences.  Advances in guest engagement, from Wi-Fi marketing integrations to subscriptions, make it easier than ever for visitors to interact with your brand. They also enable you to determine which messages and promotions will resonate best in the future.

Guest engagement helps you get to know more of your customers and keep them active with your brand. Here are five of the top trends for delivering high impact to your top-line sales:

  • Wi-Fi Marketing Integrations
    Restaurants that provide Wi-Fi to their guests are sitting on a goldmine of data. By integrating guest engagement platforms directly with Wi-Fi marketing, you can maximize the effectiveness of your program. Rather than having to transfer data manually from one system to another, you can create a seamless flow of information, letting you market to your guests more efficiently.
  • NFC Smart ID
    Whether customers place their order themselves at a kiosk or interact with your staff at the register, they value convenience but still want to be able to earn and redeem rewards for being loyal followers of your brand. To achieve frictionless on- and off-premises experiences, integrate your loyalty program with NFC payment platforms like Apple Pay and Google Pay. They allow guests to participate in your program and pay for their meals with one quick tap.
  • Catering Loyalty
    If your business lends itself to catering, you have likely implemented a catering option or are thinking about it. Gaining even one new catering client per week can be the equivalent of more than 20 individual customers. Pairing catering with loyalty is a great way to get to know this group of guests and inspire repeat purchases. But in most cases, catering loyalty should be kept separate from your regular program because having the same rewards structure would result in a lot of free items and an unnecessary loss in revenue. 
  • Subscriptions
    With modern consumers demanding a frictionless experience, the subscription model provides a perfect solution. Subscriptions can drive repeat visits, boost sales, and build loyalty. When guests have already paid for meals, it guarantees return visits to your location rather than your competition. In addition, preselling meals generates immediate revenue and offers additional opportunities to upsell drinks and appetizers since the base cost has previously been covered.  Integrating subscription-styled services with your loyalty program lets guests continue to earn rewards and enables you to learn more about any shifts in their behavior. And because meals are already paid for and loaded onto an account, guests need only identify themselves at the POS to enjoy a quick and easy experience.
  • One-to-One Marketing
    A one-size-fits-all approach no longer works for customer engagement programs and sending out the same offers to everybody is not going to deliver the impact you need. Individualized offers and promotions provide content that is relevant to each guest and give you the best possible revenue drivers. Using machine learning and data analytics may even uncover guest preferences that you might never have noticed otherwise.

By not sending one-to-one offers, you risk cannibalizing your profits and even alienating some guests. As you get to know more of your customers and learn more about them, purchase data can be used to fine-tune your marketing strategy beyond just visits, frequency, and spend.

To find out more about how to incorporate any of these trends into your restaurant’s customer engagement strategy, contact Paytronix today to get started!

Jess Shelcusky

The Author
Jess Shelcusky is a marketing communications specialist at Paytronix focusing on the restaurant industry. With an MBA from Boston College and a passion for telling stories, she helps produce new content to help businesses take their marketing to the next level. When not blogging, managing the Paytronix Twitter account, or hosting webinars, she loves trivia and rewatching Game of Thrones.

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