Business Sense II
Food & Business Tips
As mobile marketing becomes more and more like a science fiction movie where you are addressed by name as you walk into a store, we must begin looking at the technological side of attracting customers and stop relying on marketing strategies from the 1920’s. I am sure all of you have seen television ads asking you to text to a number and receive deals or promos. The companies doing that kind of advertising get your cell number when you text, and use that to target you for future promos and store you in their immense data banks of consumer profiles.
Until recently, nobody in the food service industry was thinking about applying some of these new technologies to the end game of improving sales and customer retention. All of that is now changing, and one of the agents of change is Fishbowl Inc, a technologybased marketing company for the food service industry. This company has built e-mail and internet marketing campaigns for over 30,000 restaurants and has the endorsement of the National Restaurant Association. Currently, they are getting into the mobile marketing side of advertising, which is proving a boon for many of their clients. Some examples: Scotty’s Brewhouse in Indiana increased to-go orders placed on the internet by 500% with a two-for-one promo that went out via email and applied only to those internet orders. Smoothie King chain restaurant locations offer a free smoothie in exchange for a text message from customers. The cost of the smoothie is a fraction of the value of having that customer on an email and text list for future promos, and sales are up on promo days by 24%.
Jack-in-the-Box has even experimented with placing a small computer chip in special promo posters that communicates with mobile devices and alerts customers to local store locations and deals.
Building email and text number databases of customers will help connect customers and businesses and allow restaurants to improve sales in slow periods and maximize customer retention.
Advanced marketing methods should not be enjoyed only by the largest companies; we can take advantage of technological advances in our restaurants by thinking outside the box and understanding what is out there to help us. As our customers become more techno-savvy, we need to stay on top of the game and give them reasons to keep coming back. Chef William Knapp; CEC, CCA, CHE, FMP, MIHTM