If you are struggling to keep up with rising costs at your restaurant, now is the time to execute a plan to stay competitive without passing too much of the costs on to your guests.
For restaurant operators, wage rates have increased by about 13% over the past year, causing a decrease in profit margins. Add to this the rising food costs and it all leads to the inevitable need to raise menu prices.
In fact, full-service menu prices have risen 8.9% over the past year as overall inflation rose at its highest rate since 1981.
The question for restaurateurs now becomes whether raising their menu prices is pushing guests away. And if so, how can they identify those guests and lure them back? Do they have an effective way to survey their guests and discover their true customer sentiment?
Effective marketing is key to maintaining guest loyalty and finding new guests to continue growing your restaurant business.
Here are some low-cost ways to manage guest loyalty and satisfaction in the face of soaring costs.
Collecting Guest Data
The first step in managing guest loyalty and satisfaction is to know who your guests are, how they behave both online and offline, and what their spending habits look like.
Without this data, marketers are basing their strategies on speculation, and that is a very dangerous approach in uncertain times.
A restaurant customer data platform (CDP) is a relatively inexpensive tool used to gather guest data from multiple sources to get a full 360-degree view of who your guests are and how they behave across all of your platforms and at your physical locations.
Using this data, you can create targeted automated restaurant marketing campaigns, saving you time and driving a much higher return on investment than simple mass marketing campaigns.
Data is collected automatically from various sources, such as online ordering and reservation systems, WiFi logins, website engagement, POS systems, and social media platforms.
The data is stored in the centralized CDP where you can quickly and easily see how your guests behave. The platform also automatically creates individual guest profiles which show:
- Contact data such as name, email, and phone number.
- Demographics such as age, gender, and postal code.
- Behavior data such as visit days, dwell times, and repeat rates.
- Engagement metrics such as ratings and reviews given or offers redeemed.
By having this type of detailed data about your guests, you can execute and measure marketing with reliable data-based information. It allows restaurant marketers to discover, visualize, and segment detailed guest insights for more effective marketing.
Customer Segmentation for Improved ROI
It is also possible to break down your guests in the CDP into smaller groups. This is known as customer segmentation. For instance, you can create a list of all women to send a marketing message, or a list of all men. Then you can tailor the message to appeal to each specific group.
Segmented, targeted marketing is much more effective in terms of engagement and ROI. Here are some examples:
- An article from CMO.com stated that targeted advertisements are, on average, almost twice as effective as non-targeted ads.
- eConsultancy.com reported that 74% of marketers say targeted personalization increases guest engagement.
- In a study by The Direct Marketing Association, segmented and targeted emails generate 58% of all marketing revenue. And 77% of ROI comes from segmented, targeted, and triggered campaigns.
With a CDP like Bloom Intelligence, you can send email messages to your guests or to your guest segments. This is a great money-saving feature because email marketing is one of the cheapest forms of marketing today, and it is highly effective when comparing to other methods.
Plus, you can automate the entire process, sending out messages based on behavioral or demographic triggers. This will save you time to concentrate on other ways of growing your business.
Bringing Back Lost Guests
Being able to identify guests who are no longer loyal to your business can be a true game-changer. Most restaurateurs, however, have no way to distinguish who those guests are.
Bloom Intelligence uses machine learning algorithms to monitor guest visit patterns. After three visits, the CDP begins to predict when a guest might be returning based on all of their previous visits.
If the predicted date is reached without the guest returning, they are flagged in the database as being at risk of churning.
When a guest is flagged, a personalized automated message can be sent to the guest to remind them of your business and lure them back to re-establish their loyalty.
Saving your churning guests is a very powerful way to maintain guest loyalty and significantly increase revenue.
Bloom users are seeing up to 37% of their churning guests return for another visit, improving customer lifetime values and keeping their revenue stream healthy.
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Discover True Sentiment with Guest Surveys
Using a CDP, you can also survey your guests, asking them any question you want to ask, including how they feel about your menu prices.
First, you create a message which includes a place for the guest to rate their experience from one to five stars. Then, you configure the system to automatically send the message a certain amount of time after a guest leaves your place of business.
After configuration, all you have to do is monitor the campaign results and adjust over time based on tangible guest sentiment.
Effective Marketing Strategy to Drive Down Costs
Restaurant menu prices are on the rise across the entire industry, and consumers are looking for ways to save money however they can.
With rising costs and looming recession, raising menu prices is necessary for restaurants to remain competitive and in business.
With a solid marketing strategy using a CDP, it becomes possible to save costs and improve your revenue stream. By saving churning guests and discovering who they are and what their sentiment is toward your business and pricing structure, you can pivot your strategy and remain competitive.
Finding new guests and keeping them coming back all comes down to having solid customer data and a way to monitor and measure guest behavior and sentiment. It improves customer lifetime values and saves you time and money.
Implementing a CDP is an important step in creating a successful marketing strategy that will save you time and money while improving your guests’ experience. To learn more about Bloom Intelligence and how we can help you implement a CDP at your restaurant, contact us today.
Bloom Intelligence Customer Data Platform
If you are ready to start building your own powerful restaurant customer data platform and collecting guest data from all of your channels, take a look at Bloom Intelligence.
By building your own restaurant customer data platform you will take control of your own first-party guest data, and unlock guest insights that will improve the success of your business.
Then, combine this with our unified WiFi marketing automation and reputation management to save time with automation, and money with the consolidation of services into one unified platform, increasing your guest lifetime values.
In today’s competitive environment, Bloom can give you the competitive edge for success!
If you’d like to see the Bloom restaurant marketing platform in action, and discover how you can grow your business through guest intelligence and marketing automation, schedule a free demo or call 727-877-8181.