Blog/Beyond Texting

6 Innovative Restaurant Marketing Tools in 2021

Sick and tired of seeing the same restaurant marketing tools mentioned over and over? We found six you probably haven’t heard of.

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2020 forced restaurants to shut down, pivot, or adapt. A year later and things are finally starting to look up with many expecting a restaurant rebound.

That being said, what used to work pre-Covid may not anymore. A host of trends from curbside pickup to food delivery apps have changed the way consumers eat out. 

The problem is that most articles on restaurant marketing tools are outdated. 

They tell restaurant owners to invest in Facebook ads, send an email newsletter, or focus on SEO.

While it’s not necessarily bad advice, it’s not exactly a ticket to innovation and growth anymore. 

With that in mind, we wanted to find six innovative apps and practices that can help you attract and retain diners in 2021.

1. Bring In New Customers (Bloc) 

Introducing your restaurant to a new audience will be crucial in 2021.

Bloc, a social events app and marketing platform for the hospitality industry, can help you do just that. 

Users check-in to venues to earn the app’s currency, stars. Once they have collected over 500 stars, they can exchange them for real money. 

Restaurant owners can create an ad shown to all Bloc users within 10 miles of the venue. The company doesn’t charge for impressions or clicks like other platforms. 

Instead, you only pay for actual customers. This makes it risk-free and budget-friendly. It’s a new app with several hundred restaurants advertising with them at the moment.

According to the CEO, Josh Wood, they bring each restaurant roughly 200 new customers per month, so it’s worth trying out.

2. Upsell With Your POS (Speedline Solutions)

Diners who made it through the pandemic with jobs and health intact are aching to spend money at restaurants. 

So it’s important to look for upsell opportunities. A lot of POS systems can help you do this automatically.

For example, SpeedLine Solutions works specifically with pizzerias and delivery restaurants. They offer the ability to program prompts to appear to remind staff to upsell during the order-taking process. 

When an employee enters an order for a pepperoni pizza, for instance, a prompt will appear on the terminal screen that asks if the customer would like to add extra cheese. The employee has to answer yes or no to the prompt, ensuring that they ask the customer. 

The prompts are programmed to offer a logical upsell that pairs with each menu item, such as a larger size, extra toppings, or other add-ons. 

They surveyed their customer base last December and found that more than half of the pizzerias using the feature earned at least an extra $1,000 in revenue a month from upselling–some earning as much as $5000.

Even if you don’t use Speedline Solutions, most POS systems offer something similar, including the popular TouchBistro. It’s worth taking advantage of.

3. Take Control of Your Delivery Process (Say2Eat)

Most third-party aggregator services like UberEats, GrubHub, and DoorDash eat up close to 30% of a restaurant’s delivery profits. The exponential growth of online orders and delivery makes that cut in your profits devastating to cash flow.

Say2eat has a different model. Because it integrates with your restaurant’s existing website and social media pages, the restaurant stays front and center from a marketing perspective. 

Your restaurant also keeps control of all the data from orders, so you can better track your repeat customers, popular menu items, and other insightful information. 

Unlike other third-party delivery services, Say2eat only bills a low, flat rate fee per order, along with a reasonable monthly service charge. That’s because they have a network of drivers across 4,000 cities worldwide via Say2eat Delivery Dispatch.

4. Offer a  Contactless Menu (Beaconstac)

Lots of restaurants are switching to contactless ordering systems involving QR Code menus that allow people to avoid touching physical ones. 

Beaconstac has a great option for restaurants looking to make this a little easier. You can:

  • Deliver menus from breakfast to dinner, with one QR Code menu
  • Exhibit menus in the diner’s preferred language
  • Show a menu on the smartphone without force downloading it

5. Use a Review Aggregator to See the Full Picture (Feedcheck)

Everyone in the hospitality industry knows the importance of good online reviews

It’s why a great marketing tool for restaurants is FeedCheck. It allows an easy way to aggregate and display all the reviews your restaurant gets across different platforms. 

It can then show you where to invest more of your review-building efforts. You can also:

  • Get alerts when you receive a new review so you can reply promptly to your customers
  • Aggregate data across Google, Facebook, TripAdvisor, and other review sites
  • Automatically monitor key metrics trendline over time
  • Get broad insights on people’s experiences,e.g., if people constantly complain about the service

6. Use Texting to Bring Back Past Diners (SimpleTexting)

Text message marketing for restaurants is not new, but it is becoming commonplace.

71% of consumers are either likely or very likely to sign up for a restaurant’s text message loyalty program. And 51% of consumers currently receive promotional text messages from 2-3 restaurants.

The reason behind the rise of texting is simple. It’s one of the best marketing tools for restaurants that want to increase a customer’s lifetime value.

The most common way restaurants do this is by sending time-sensitive promotions that often lead to immediate sales. It’s a strategy that increased Blue Baker’s coupon offer redemptions by 162%.

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If you’re curious about SMS marketing, you can sign up for a 14-day risk-free trial of SimpleTexting.

The Wrap on Our Restaurant Marketing Tools Roundup

There’s no denying that the restaurant industry suffered because of the pandemic. But if there’s one silver lining, it’s the innovative tools and practices that have emerged.

It’s well worth taking advantage of them sooner rather than later.

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