In the age of digital marketing, it’s more important than ever for restaurants to have a strong online presence. With 100% of diners online, conventional restaurant marketing tactics just aren’t going to cut it. Luckily, restaurant operators don’t need to do it all alone - using the right restaurant marketing software can make the digital transition much easier.
With so many options available, it can be difficult to know where to start. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the top 6 restaurant marketing software tools to help you attract more customers. Whether you’re looking for a way to automatically built a guest database, create a stream of engaging social media content, or reach a larger audience, these tools will help you achieve your goals.
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What is restaurant marketing software?
Restaurant marketing software is tools that help restaurants manage and automate their marketing efforts. This can include things like email marketing, social media marketing, and loyalty program management. Restaurant marketing software can also help restaurants track and analyze customer data to better understand their needs and preferences.
There are a variety of restaurant marketing software options on the market, so it's important to choose one that's right for your business. Consider your budget, the features you need, and the size of your team when making your decision. The right marketing software can help your restaurant grow and succeed.
Restaurant marketing software has many benefits for your business, including:
- Automated marketing campaigns: This feature allows you to automate your marketing campaigns, so you can spend more time focusing on other areas of the business
- Targeting customers: You can target customers who are likely to be interested in your restaurant based on their location, age, and gender
- Lead tracking: With this feature, you can track all leads that come from your website or social media pages
What's the best restaurant marketing software?
Restaurants have access to plenty of innovative software solutions today. And these options are far more affordable than many think, especially given the excellent results they can produce.
Let’s look at some most important marketing tools for restaurants.
In 2022, customers expect any restaurant they visit to offer free wifi to their guests. On the surface, this may seem like a burdensome requirement for restaurant operators with little to no advantage outside of the dining experience, but by partnering with a wifi marketing provider the benefit extends beyond the actual visit.
Wifi marketing software helps your restaurant collect contact details from any of your guests that log into your wifi network that can then be used for email or sms marketing. It is the easiest method for restaurant operators to collect contact details from a guest because it is tied to something the customer wants - an internet connection.
When paired with some of the other tools in this article, wifi marketing software can become the backbone of your restaurant’s digital marketing campaigns.
If you are thinking about implementing wifi marketing software at your restaurant here are a couple of options:
Online reservation software
Online reservation software is an essential tool for restaurant marketing in 2022. A good online reservation system will give your restaurant access to millions of potential diners looking for places to eat on a regular basis. This is done by unlocking your restaurant’s digital front door and not only making it easier for your potential diners to discover you online but also making it as easy as possible to make reservations.
In the past, restaurants did not have much of a choice when it came to which online reservation software they wanted to implement at their restaurant. Nowadays though, operators have plenty of options to choose from, which makes it more important than ever to evaluate what solution is right for you.
When choosing an online reservation system for the purpose of restaurant marketing, make sure to evaluate the booking functionality each offers. You’ll want to choose a system like Eat app that not only provides your diners with an easy to use booking experience but also gives you access to a large partnership network including the likes of Google, TripAdvisor and Zomato.
A good online reservation system will also come with a built-in guest CRM which allows you to store rich guest profiles for every guest that makes an online reservation to then be used for marketing purposes or create exceptional dining experiences.
Online review software
In the age of the internet, the first thing your potential customers are going to do before visiting your restaurant is look up reviews online. Hence, it is becoming increasingly important to stay in the loop of what is being said about your brand online.
The sheer amount of review websites makes it nearly impossible for one person to monitor constantly, but with online review aggregator software, you can collect reviews from all around the internet and view them from one easy-to-use platform - making it easier than ever to read, respond and make note of what your customers are saying.
If you are thinking about implementing online review software at your restaurant here are a couple of options:
Email marketing software
Email marketing is probably the highest ROI marketing strategy for restaurants in 2022 - it's estimated that for every dollar invested, restaurants get $53 dollars back. Running email marketing campaigns though can get tricky - if you’re not already using a restaurant management system that has email marketing built right in, you’re going to want to choose an email marketing solution to make this process easier for you.
In this article, we’ve discussed wifi marketing and online reservation software - both of which allow you to collect customer data to be used for marketing later on. Exporting these lists of customers to a solution like Mailchimp allows you to send highly personalized email marketing campaigns that keep customers coming back.
You can use your guest data to create different customer personas based on their behavior - for example visitors that have only visited once or visitors that order high ticket items, and then use these personals to create highly targeted email segments.
If you are thinking about implementing email marketing software at your restaurant here are a couple of options:
- Eat App - if you are looking for a solution that builds a customer list and lets you create highly targeted email campaigns from one platform.
Social media management software
If you’re not already incorporating social media into your restaurant’s marketing strategy - you’ll want to get started ASAP. Social media is crucial for the success of any of your restaurant’s digital marketing efforts.
It takes more than just having a great restaurant to get people through the door - you need a place for potential diners to not only discover your brand but also discover what you have to offer. Having an online presence on social media will help you do just that.
The best part about social media is that you don’t need to have a degree in digital marketing to run a successful pages - you just need to consistently post compelling content online. That is where social media management software comes in - tools like Hootsuite or Later allow you to plug into all your social media channels and plan out your social media calendar. These tools will even automatically post on your behalf at scheduled time, meaning you can set your posts up and then forget about them.
A good social media management tool will also give you rich analytics about which days of the week and times are best for you to post to get the most traction.
If you are thinking about implementing social media marketing software at your restaurant here are a couple of options:
Restaurant loyalty software
A good restaurant loyalty program is the key to unlocking stellar guest retention at your restaurant. In a nutshell, it is a marketing strategy that many businesses employ to incentivize customers to keep coming back by providing rewards to high-frequency visitors. The goal of these programs is to make it easier for customers to do business with the company and increase customer lifetime value.
There are two types of loyalty programs:
- Traditional loyalty programs: These programs require customers to collect points or stamps, which they can redeem for rewards on future purchases.
- Digital loyalty programs: These programs are often more sophisticated in that they offer personalized discounts and rewards based on past purchase history, shopping preferences, demographics, and other factors.
For restaurants that want to tackle digital loyalty programs, choosing the right loyalty software is key. You’ll want to choose a loyalty program provider that gives you rich insights into guest data, makes it easy for your visitors to redeem and view rewards as well optimizes incentives for your guests to come back again.
If you are thinking about implementing restaurant loyalty software at your restaurant here are a couple of options: