So you’ve read about all of the benefits that online ordering can provide to your restaurant, and you’ve made the decision to invest in an online ordering platform for your restaurant. Congratulations! Making the choice to integrate online ordering into your restaurant’s toolbox is almost guaranteed to add profits to your bottom line, and boost your business.
But in many ways, the success of your online ordering system depends on how well you promote it, and spread word about the new service your business has to offer. After all, how will your customers take advantage of your new and convenient technology if they don’t know about it? If you’re curious about how best to spread the word about your new online ordering system, fear no more. Here are our 7 best ideas for promote your restaurant’s new online ordering system.
1. Go Mobile — and Offer a Referral Program
Without a doubt, one of the best ways to get people to remember your restaurant when they are hungry and need a bite to eat is to have a dedicated mobile app. But, you need to use the app to also promote your restaurant to people who do not already have your app. A simple way to accomplish this goal is to start a referral program.
Give your users a chance to spread the word about your app to their friends and family. Include a unique referral code, and tie it to earning extra points in your rewards program (if you do not already have a rewards program in place, do it now.) Then, all you have to do is sit back and watch your new customers rolling in and downloading your app. It is a no-lose situation. You get the word out about your restaurant and online ordering system, as well as some new customers, your existing customers will rack up loyalty points and your new customers will have found a great new place from which to conveniently order.
2. Get Social!
If you have active social media accounts that you use to promote your business, posting information about your online ordering system on all of your platforms is a no-brainer. Make sure that you are posting on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other pages as an administrator, and then share an update about your new online ordering options. And make sure to bring an element of excitement to your post. Your goal should be to get your social media fans excited about online ordering, and give them a chance to check out your new technology.
And don’t stop with just one post! Social media moves quickly, and there’s nothing wrong with reminding people that you have online ordering as an option. On Facebook and Twitter, you could decide to “pin” your announcement post, so future visitors will see it. Or, simply re-post links to your online ordering system every few weeks until you are confident that word has spread.
3. Create a Coupon
If there’s one thing that every customer loves, it’s a good deal, and promoting your online ordering platform with a new coupon is a great idea. By offering a coupon specifically for customers who order food for pick-up or delivery with your new online system, you promote online ordering in a tangible way that will catch on quickly with your new and existing customers alike.
To create a coupon, log into your Orders2Me account. From the restaurant owner’s dashboard, select “coupons,” and then select to “add coupon.” From there, you can give your coupon a short name and description. Focus on something related to online ordering, and decide what kind of deal you want to offer to your online ordering customers. Try shooting for a deal that is enticing, but sustainable from your end. Customize your coupon so that it won’t break your bank, and share word of the coupon once it has been created.
4. Blast the Email List
Hopefully, you have been building an email list for promotional purposes for your restaurant for a while now, and have a list built up that you can leverage to spread the word about your online ordering system. If you don’t have a strong email list yet, don’t worry too much: just start working on building one, and return to this guide when you have a list to blast.
To spread word about your online ordering system via email, make sure that your email marketing is exciting and entices users to open and read your important updates. In your subject of your emails, make sure to mention your new coupon if you have one. Otherwise, make sure to advertise how convenient online ordering can be, and let your customers know that your new technology is there to serve them. Make sure to embed links to your ordering system directly, and feel free to send more than one email out to your list over the course of a month or two to assure that word is spread.
5. Post an In-store Flyer
Even for your customers who aren’t as tech savvy and don’t keep up with your online presence, there are a lot of benefits that can be enjoyed from online ordering. To reach these customers that aren’t currently engaged with your business online, try printing out some catchy flyers and hanging them up in your brick and mortar location.
A smart idea for flyer creation is to include a “QR Code” that links directly to your online ordering system, so that customers who have mobile phones can scan in and be led right to your menu. Also, include links to your online ordering platform written out in long form, for usres that aren’t mobile friendly. Make sure to explain the simple and straightforward benefits of online ordering in your new flyer, stressing how much convenience online ordering adds for your customers. And hang up those flyers by the front of your restaurant, on your bulletin boards, and anywhere else where your restaurant has high foot traffic.
6. Spread the Word on Receipts
Especially if you print out receipts for your customers from a computerized receipt system, it’s usually fairly easy to customize what appears on them. And throwing some promotional information about your online ordering system onto receipts is a a great way to spread word about your new ordering options to all of your current customers.
On the bottom of your receipt, include a link to your online ordering platform, with a catchy message to draw the eyes of your customers. Make sure that your message is concise and direct, and includes all the information that your current customers need to reach your online ordering system quickly and easily. Encourage your servers, hosts, and other staff to point out the message to anyone they hand a receipt to, and even think up a quick 2-4 sentence script for your staff to utilize to talk about online ordering in an effective and direct way. When your customers have a physical take-away with your online ordering information on it, they will be much more likely to check out your new service.
7. Tell Customers in Person
Your staff probably has a good rapport with most of your regular customers, so feel free to leverage these in person relationships to spread the word about your online ordering system to your diners directly. Tell your regulars about your exciting new technology as you chat, especially stressing the convenience of online ordering to your regulars who often order take-out or delivery.
And don’t stop spreading the word about online ordering with your face to face interactions. Make sure your staff spreads information about your new technology to everyone who calls in to your restaurant, especially when phone calls are from customers who are ordering delivery or take-out the old fashioned way. Stress to your staff the importance of talking about online ordering in a conversational and helpful way that doesn’t sound like advertising and gets your customers genuinely interested in your new services. Keep spreading the news about online ordering to all customers you interact with, and word of mouth will help your new technology really take off with your customer base.
Things to Keep in Mind When Promoting Your Online Ordering System
Try out all of the tips above, and your online ordering system should gain some major traction with you customers new and old. It won’t happen overnight, but if you keep diligently experimenting with the ideas above, you’ll find that most or all of your delivery and pick-up orders will be handled by your online ordering platform in no time. While spreading the word about your online ordering system, just keep a few things in mind. First, online ordering provides tremendous value to your customers, and if you can communicate that value well, online ordering sells itself. Second, online ordering will only help you grow your business if you promote it and people use it, so keep implementing the above tips constantly. Good luck, and feel free to reach out to us with any other ideas you have for promoting your new online ordering system!