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Customers are connecting and interacting with restaurants across multiple platforms. According to Square Future of Commerce data, 84% of customers prefer to make reservations online, 78% of restaurants are using social media to communicate with customers, and 48% of restaurants are reaching customers via email.
Restaurants are finding new ways to meet consumers on the channels they’re already using, providing a more seamless and user-friendly dining experience. Here are five tips for building an omnichannel restaurant strategy to more effectively reach and engage with customers.
1. Set up online ordering.
Ensuring your restaurant has a solid online presence is essential, with 79% of consumers making purchases directly from their mobile devices.
Setting up online ordering can help customers discover you online or in ordering apps, and allows you to accept orders from wherever customers want to place one — whether that’s on Google, social platforms, or through a QR code.
Square also found that 65% of restaurateurs are using non-core offerings — like premade meals, cocktail kits, or merchandise to diversify revenue and grow their brand. Besides illustrating menu items with photos and showcasing best sellers, your online ordering platform is an effective place to market and sell your retail items to customers.
Pro Tip: Seamlessly manage orders with the Square Kitchen Display System, no matter whether your orders come from online, your POS, or delivery apps.
2. Connect with customers on social platforms.
Consumers are searching, discovering, and purchasing items across social platforms in growing numbers: 50% of consumers are communicating with restaurants through social media direct messages.
And social platforms offer restaurants even more in the way of marketing. As inherently visual platforms, social media helps showcase a restaurant’s interior space, its food photos, and even retail items. Consumers often check out a restaurant’s social media profile before deciding to eat there, so building up a social presence can help attract new customers and boost sales.
It’s important to note that your restaurant’s social strategy doesn’t have to be separate from your other online ordering processes. With tools like Square Online Ordering, you can sync orders from social media with your online ordering site to easily manage orders from one place.
3. Stand out in Google Search.
If you want to be visible where customers are looking, appearing in Google Search is the place to do it. According to Google, 89% of dining research is done by mobile before visiting a restaurant, and food- and restaurant-related searches like “restaurants” and “food near me” are some of the most common search queries.
Through your Google Business Profile, customers can discover your restaurant using Google Search or Google Maps and then place an order through Order with Google. Square Online Ordering sites have Order with Google built in, so customers can find your business in search and place an order with your restaurant. Even though orders are placed through Order with Google, you can track and manage all orders and customer information through your online ordering site.
4. Leverage automated marketing and loyalty.
An overwhelming majority of customers (86%) said they want to communicate with the businesses they frequent, according to Square Future of Commerce data, giving restaurants a valuable opportunity to connect with customers even when they’re not dining or placing an order. However, restaurants are short on time and staff, and most restaurant owners noted that increased automation was needed to free up back-of-house operations.
Tools like automated email and text message marketing can help restaurants stay connected with customers and reach new ones without significantly adding to operations. Automated marketing messages can help inform customers about new menu items, offer them personalized coupons or promotions, or let them know about a new location or product to keep your business top of mind.
Once you reach customers with your marketing efforts, entice them to return with a loyalty program that tracks sales and rewards them for spending with you. Square found that customers enrolled in a loyalty program spent an average of 43% more.
Pro Tip: Leverage Square Integrations to make delivery, reservations, and marketing simple. Get discovered by even more customers across popular platforms, like OpenTable, Postmates, and more.
5. Expand revenue streams and payment options.
Restaurants reported that 21% of their revenue is coming from outside of their core offerings, from products and services such as retail items, classes, and events. Eighty-eight percent of restaurants plan to expand these offerings in the next year, with 65% reporting it necessary to diversify revenue and grow their business, according to Square Future of Commerce data.
As restaurants grow their revenue streams, it’s just as important to expand sales platforms and ways for customers to pay. Market your products, services, and events across social media or email marketing and allow customers to easily navigate to your online store to make a purchase. Once they’re ready to buy, offer them multiple ways to pay to increase the chances of conversion. With Square Online Ordering, you can easily accept Square Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Cash App Pay for a faster and more flexible checkout experience.