• Restaurant Marketing

Collecting Customer Data to Improve Your Restaurant Business

by: Allen Graves On: May 9, 2022
10 min read

As a business owner, it’s important to understand who your customers really are. After all, without them, your business wouldn’t exist.

For this reason, it’s integral that you are able to meet the demands of your patrons to achieve a competitive advantage. One of the best ways to do this is by collecting customer data.

Your guests are spending an increasing amount of time online and because of that, the options of gathering customer data have advanced beyond measure. Collecting this data will not only help you build a loyal base of patrons but will assist in attracting potential new guests as well. Here’s why collecting customer data is essential to your business.

Customer data is information collected that gives you details about customers, such as names, contact information, buying behavior, and demographics. Gathering this kind of data should always be included in your marketing strategy because without it, you simply cannot market effectively. Collecting customer data essentially allows you to target customers with more precision.

There are various sources you can use to collect data. Some include, but are not limited to:

  • Social media
  • Your website
  • Campaigns
  • Surveys

collecting customer data - guide

How Customer Data will Improve your Business

It Leads You To Your Customers

In order to reach your guests, you have to know what platforms they utilize online, and which ones they don’t. Every individual is different and some people prefer certain platforms over others. You don’t want to spread your marketing efforts across various platforms only to see little to no results.

Instead, your guest data will point you in the direction that you need to be facing. For instance, if your customer base is relatively young, you are more likely to attract them on social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. However, if your customer base is older, they may prefer a well-written email.

It Helps You Keep up with Current Buyer Behavior

Customers are continuously changing, and in order to stay connected with them, you have to always be cognizant of their current behaviors.

Your guest data is real-time evidence that gives you the opportunity to identify how they currently consume information, shop, or make purchases. This allows you to leverage appropriate strategies.

For instance, does your target audience prefer delivery or in-store dining? Similarly, are they more likely to purchase from you after watching an interactive video or after reading a detailed blog post? You can use your data to make changes to your business strategies that will make you more attractive to current guests while attracting new, more targeted ones.

You Can Promote Special Offers & Increase Sales

Collecting customer data is vital to every business because it gives you a higher probability of increasing your sales.

For example, if you have a local coffee shop, offering WiFi in exchange for a name and an email address gives you the opportunity to offer discounts and promote current sales.

Similarly, if you have an online store, you can give people the opportunity to subscribe to your email list that gives them access to sales, discounts, and resources in exchange for their contact information. In both cases, this puts you in front of your customers and increases your chances of making a sale, and even establishing a long-term guest.

Gathering and studying customer data allows you to cater to your customer’s needs, ultimately strengthening your restaurant’s position in the market.

Customer data will tell you where your customers are online, which is especially important as more individuals are spending more time on the internet. It is also important that you narrow down what platforms your customers use and how they choose to purchase for the most effective marketing.

Overall, gathering and researching your customer data is invaluable. When used correctly, it will strengthen your relationship with your customers and provide an increase in overall foot traffic and sales.

Growing Your Customer Database

As the world navigates the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurants are doing everything they can to stay afloat. During uncertain times like these, it is extremely important to continue communicating with your loyal customers and growing your customer database as quickly as possible.

Staying Top-Of-Mind With Your Customers

Now, more than ever, staying ahead of the competition can make or break your business. Therefore, you should take time every day to create creative, engaging marketing and social media messages, and keep your business top-of-mind with your customers. 

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Sometimes, a little competition can be a good thing. It can inspire, motivate and encourage forward momentum for all parties involved. 

In terms of business strategy, it keeps everybody on their toes and helps companies avoid stagnation and complacency. Knowing that diners still have numerous options, restaurant owners must understand it is essential to quickly evolve and adapt to current market trends. 

Be Creative With Your Marketing

To continue building and retaining a loyal customer base, it is crucial to go above and beyond, offering something unique to the consumer. Something that really fulfills a need or goes above standard expectations. 

While this sounds obvious, there’s a catch. It’s easy to come up with general strategies and test them, but coming up with the right strategy for your specific market and your specific guests, can be a little trickier. 

It takes insight and analysis. 

Building and Growing Your Customer Database

Customer analytics for e-commerce is nothing new, but it’s something that – until now – hasn’t been fully developed for brick-and-mortar locations. 

Luckily there is a very simple way to get a true grasp on the needs and habits of your clientele. By offering visitors free WiFi access, you’re not only providing a service they will appreciate, but you’re also being handed a foolproof way to get to know them better. 

When guests log into your WiFi, they will automatically be added to your customer database. At that point, you can begin marketing to them through email.  

Side-Stepping The Data Collection issues

When a customer comes in for take-out, ask them to log in before they leave, and you will send them offers and promotions. If your business is mostly delivery, this will not be feasible. So, Bloom Intelligence has created a new website widget that you can place on your website. 

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Now, a customer doesn’t even have to visit your place of business to be added to your customer database. When visiting your website, the form will pop up at the bottom of the screen in an unobtrusive manner.

Your website visitors can then enter their information and can be added to your marketing campaigns. 

From that point on, you will be able to track visits with accuracy, such as how often your clients are coming in and how long they stay at your location, the amount of time that passes between visits, and what times of day, or even days of the week on an individual or overall level. This information will help you target marketing and promotions to fill sales gaps and boost your bottom line. 

Targeted Marketing Is Crucial

Additionally, using the emails provided as visitors login or sign up, you can tailor messages to your clients, thanking them for repeat visits, and perhaps offering a discount once they reach certain milestones.

Or, conversely, you can automatically trigger emails to guests who haven’t ordered or visited for a while, letting them know you miss them and hope to see them again soon.  

As a bonus, you can customize your WiFi landing page to encourage customer ratings and reviews or social media follows, or even promote special offers and deals. Here’s where you can get creative with marketing, highlighting loyalty programs, or offering coupons for likes or shares. Utilize your repeat visitors to get the word out about your brand. 

Drive More Revenue Into Your Restaurant Business With Customer Data

Until now, restaurant marketing professionals have had a tough time authenticating the ROI of their online and offline marketing campaigns.

However, WiFi analytics and marketing platforms have changed the game, allowing physical locations to collect real-time tangible campaign data from actual customers. More importantly, when used properly, this data can provide a significant return on investment.

In the past, retail and restaurant managers had to pay companies large sums of money to obtain accurate and detailed customer profile data.

While this information provides a good look into customer demographics and psychographics, there are two main issues:

  • The data collected is only a snapshot in time. If you’re looking for consistent data, you’re going to have to continue purchasing it.
  • The data collected is typically from a small sample size of customers.

Fortunately, a WiFi analytics and marketing platform like Bloom can eliminate the issues. You’ll consistently receive real-time data, build accurate and detailed customer profiles, and you will see it from a very large sample size of your actual customers.

And you can do this at a fraction of the cost of purchasing data from traditional companies.

Customer profiles can allow you to make much smarter marketing decisions and engage with your customers on a more personal level, driving higher guest spending and loyalty, saving on costs, improving restaurant reputation, and boosting ROI.

Now that you know you can quickly and easily collect all the valuable data you want, let’s take a look at the actual value customer profiles can add to your bottom line.

collecting customer data - personalization guide

Turning Customer Profiles into Increased Revenue

Knowing who your guests are can make all the difference in the world when it comes to your marketing strategy and results.

By collecting detailed customer profile data, you can create marketing campaigns that will speak much more clearly to each of your audience segments.

This allows you to not only define and differentiate your most valuable guests but to speak to them in an effective way that they will understand and engage with, persuading them to keep coming back.

As you’ll see below, this can make a tremendous difference in your profitability.

You’ll be able to:

  • Identify your ideal guests in terms of value, and market to them effectively
  • Classify other audience groups you may or may not have previously identified
  • Measure ROI and optimize messaging for each audience segment
  • Develop new products, services, menu items, deals, and promotions

As you begin using your customer profile data to segment and effectively message your guests, you’ll see much more success increasing your per-person averages and customer lifetime values, filling your locations with buying guests, and increasing your bottom line.

Multiply Results with Personalized Marketing Messages

With detailed customer profiles gathered through your WiFi marketing hub, personalized campaigns not only become entirely possible, but they’re also easy to set up, maintain and measure.

You can target your messaging by profile information like age, gender, geographic location, visit times, length of stay, and several other demographic and behavior data points with messaging that speaks to that particular segment.

According to Mindfire, Inc., a marketing automation company, in a study of 650 multi-channel marketing campaigns, personalized campaigns consistently and overwhelmingly beat out static campaigns in generating a high response rate from recipients.

And according to The Direct Marketing Association, 77% of ROI comes from segmented, targeted, and triggered campaigns.

In our free guide, The Value of a Customer Profile, we go into detail about the monetary value of customer profiles, showing how a chain of 5 restaurants could increase their customer visits by an additional 480 visits a month.

Then we factor in per-person averages and the cost to acquire a customer and show how just one marketing message per month could bring in an additional $80,000 in annual revenue.

We further explain that increasing customer frequency – of just 10% of their customer profile base – could take that number and increase it dramatically, to an additional $417,600 in annual revenue.

Then we factor in personalized messaging and behavior-driven marketing, and that number increases even more.

You can download the guide here to see all the details. It’s truly an eye-opening read.

Customer Data Success Report

Save on Costs

Not only will customer profiles help you in terms of getting customers to come back more often and spend more, but they can also help save you money in costs as well.

We’ve already talked about the costs of collecting customer profiles using WiFi technology being a fraction of the cost of purchasing data from traditional companies.

You’ll also save money on advertising costs. In an Ayman Farahat and Michael Bailey study conducted on targeted advertising, they found, assuming the cost per 1000 ad impressions (CPM) is $1 USD, that:

  • The marginal cost of a brand-related search resulting from ads is $15.65 per search, but is only $1.69 per search from a targeted campaign.
  • The marginal cost of a click is 72 cents, but only 16 cents from a targeted campaign.

Targeted advertisements, no matter the channel, will typically yield higher results for lower costs, dramatically reducing your cost per guest acquisition.

By collecting customer profile data, and using WiFi analytics, you’ll be able to not only identify your high-traffic days and times, but you’ll also begin to be able to better predict them.

This will allow you to bring on the right amount of staff at the right times, avoiding overstaffing and loss of payroll dollars.

In addition, you’ll be able to make smarter purchasing decisions, keeping your items as fresh as possible and decreasing the likelihood of running out of a product – the dreaded ‘86’.

It’s Time To Get Started

The value of customer profiles can be seen from several different angles. With the emergence of WiFi technology, it has never been easier to passively collect this valuable data and act on it.

Customer profiles can be extremely valuable, giving you a greater understanding of who your best customers are, allowing you to speak to them when, where, and how they want to be spoken to.

This drives engagement, familiarity, and loyalty between you and your customers, driving solid increases in PPA and CLV and saving on costs.

With the amount of competition out there, customer profiling can be one of the easiest methods of gaining a strong competitive advantage and ensuring lasting success.

Discover Bloom Intelligence

If you are ready to start collecting your own first-party guest data, you need to give Bloom Intelligence a look.

Not only will you be able to automate your restaurant email marketing, but you can also use Bloom to unlock valuable guest insights, improve your ratings and reviews, identify and bring back lost guests, and so much more.

You’ll feel confident as you make solid data-driven decisions, drive company growth and build a much larger base of loyal customers.

With the amount of competition out there, Bloom can give you a strong competitive advantage and ensure lasting success.

So, click for a free demo of the Bloom Intelligence platform, or call to schedule today at 727-877-8181.

Restaurant Marketing FAQs

What is Restaurant Marketing?

Restaurant marketing is the process of getting people to visit your restaurants. Restaurant marketing creates loyalty, provides data to research, analytics, and allows restaurants to gain a better understanding of their ideal customer profile. It utilizes all customer channels: guest WiFi, website, social, rating sites, mobile apps, email, text, and advertising.

Learn More About Restaurant Marketing Here

What is WiFi Marketing?

WiFi marketing is a marketing technique that uses guest WiFi to collect & clean customer data such as names, emails, phone numbers, customer behavior, and demographics. This data is used to personalize marketing campaigns to increase customer loyalty, build online reviews, and save at-risk customers. The performance of every campaign can be tracked down to the tangible ROI of a customer walking back in your door.

Learn More About WiFi Marketing Here

What is Restaurant Reputation Management?

Restaurant reputation management is the process for restaurants to manage customer feedback and creating systems to improve customer experiences, passively build positive online reviews, and save at-risk customers. It is a very important aspect of running a successful restaurant business.

Learn More About Restaurant Reputation Management Here

How Does Bloom Identify and Bring Back Lost Customers?

Bloom Intelligence uses machine learning to identify at-risk customers. When one is recognized, the system will send them a message with an incentive to get them to return and re-establish their visit pattern. Bloom users are seeing up to 37% of churning customers return.

Learn More About Saving At-Risk Customers Here

SAVE TIME, INCREASE CUSTOMER LIFETIME VALUES, CREATE NEW CUSTOMERS

What our happy customers
are saying

Austin Eggleston
Bob Cross, Vice President of Operations
Ron Murray
Matt Thompson, Managing Partner
Jacqueline Martin

“I highly recommend restaurants, dental/medical offices, and other businesses look into Bloom Intelligence as 1) their marketing technology is very powerful and 2) their team is AWESOME. As a marketing agency, Bloom has helped several of our clients grow their businesses via building their database and re-targeting them at the right time. Thanks Again!”

Austin Eggleston

“We’re extremely pleased with the wealth of customer data that we’re able to gather, at a very attractive price.  In addition, we’re able to communicate our new product promotions by using  the landing page as a digital billboard.  A “no-brainer” for anyone working with limited Marketing $$.”

Bob Cross, Vice President of Operations

Atlanta Bread Company

“This is an integral part of our local store marketing program. We use the e-mails we collect to tell our existing customers about various promotions, specials and discounts, and the analytics tools are amazing at capturing and displaying smart device activity in and around our store.”

Ron Murray

Atlanta Bread Company

“They have always been attentive through whatever needs and questions we have.

They go above and beyond to make sure our team and customers stay connected while helping us with our marketing efforts.”

Matt Thompson, Managing Partner

Madison Social

“I am currently working with Bloom Intelligence with Matt Ronay and Edward Kennedy. They are great to work with, respond quickly, and provide great support for noth my company and my clients. I have used other WiFi platforms but never received this level of service. I was looking for a service that would make it easy for me to sell WiFi lead generation and analytics to my clients without a lot of problems. They have provided this above and beyond. I highly recommend them to any agency looking to add this type of program to your services.”

Jacqueline Martin

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