How to Build a Sales Funnel for a Restaurant Business
As a restaurant owner, your goal is likely to keep your spot filled with customers. A well-rounded marketing plan is the key to achieving this. By consistently attracting new customers and getting them to return, you’ll enjoy business growth and success well into the future.
A quality restaurant sales funnel is a great way to find new customers and ensure existing ones come back. The best part? It’s not that hard to create one. Below we’ll dive into some tactics across each phase of the restaurant sales funnel to ensure your customers stay engaged.
How to attract new clientele
All quality funnel builders will tell you that the first step in any sales funnel is to build brand awareness. Everyone is a potential customer of your restaurant; you need to introduce them to your brand and work towards brand recognition. Getting in front of customers once isn’t enough. Consider implementing one or more of the following strategies:
- Social Media Ads
Various social media channels are an easy and affordable way to introduce your brand to new customers. For example, geotargeted ads can quickly reach people living and working near your business. Your organic posts can also be beneficial, and don’t have to take up heaps of time thanks to software like TikTok scheduling tools.
- Local Content Features
Locals and travelers are always looking for something new. Target your specific area by approaching relevant blogs and social media influencers to collaborate with you on promotional posts. Invite profiles with a platform to your restaurant in exchange for having them share their experience with their community.
Geofencing places virtual boundaries around a neighborhood to present display ads to anyone within the vicinity. This method is an efficient way to target potential customers that are nearby.
- Local SEO
Local SEO is a form of search engine optimization that makes it more likely for your restaurant to appear in searches for terms related to your business, for example, ‘best restaurant in Brooklyn.’ This strategy is one of the primary ways to increase restaurant website traffic.
Capturing customers’ attention
There are plenty of inbound marketing examples you should consider to help reach an audience, but some proactive outbound efforts need to be thrown into the mix as well. When you have an interested audience, you’ll want to capture their contact information. Ensure a mutual exchange where customers also feel like they are getting a benefit. Two proven methods to achieve this include:
Run a contest via your social channels that invites your audience to win a free dinner or gift card if they enter their contact information.
A coupon offer is a great way to get a customer’s contact information while also encouraging their next visit. Put an expiry date on them to create a sense of urgency.
In business, a contact list can be a powerful thing, but it is important that you do not abuse it. Avoid spamming your audience, and be sure to offer value in your messaging. The last thing you want after working to build your list is people hitting the unsubscribe button.
Making the sale
Once you have gathered all of the contact information, incentivize these leads to visit your restaurant. Keep in mind that all of these people have shown interest in your brand, so it shouldn’t take much to get them through the door.
- Offers via Text
Text deals and offers that are time-sensitive to your contact list, creating a sense of urgency. Be sure to include links to order online (if available).
- Email Marketing
Leverage your contact list by emailing deals and discounts, including your reservations page as a CTA (Call to Action). You may also want to consider a regular newsletter with interesting news and content to keep your audience engaged. Include a newsletter referral program in this newsletter to encourage more business as well.
- Retargeting Ads
Retargeting is a cost-effective way to target audiences who have already engaged with your brand. This could be on social media or via your website, email, or text marketing lists. Digital retargeting puts your messaging back in front of people who need a touch more incentive to visit your business.
Encouraging repeat business
A good marketing strategy keeps customers within your restaurant sales funnel. It is important to stay in touch with your consumers to encourage repeat business, positive reviews, and even word-of-mouth.
- Loyalty Programs
Loyalty programs are very effective at encouraging repeat business as they give consumers an opportunity to earn discounts and other benefits the more they shop with you. Develop a plan that encourages the initial sign-up, then offer coupons and deals or points towards these things with every visit.
A remarketing strategy that uses customer data to create personalized offers is a good idea. Create customer profiles based on purchase habits and tailor specials that will suit the desires of that particular audience. Note: If engaging in this strategy through email, ensure you have a good provider; there are excellent Apple Mail replacement options available right now.
You may hit some roadblocks while you try to build positive word-of-mouth about your restaurant business. Did you know that, in some cases, you can remove negative Yelp reviews that may be hurting your restaurant’s reputation? The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) is in place to protect business owners in certain situations.
Build your restaurant sales funnel and reap the benefits
As you can see, a restaurant sales funnel can be of significant benefit, and it doesn’t take a marketing genius to create or manage it. In fact, you can automate the funnel through online campaigns. Plan a sales funnel that suits your business, then keep customers coming in (and within the funnel) with minimal effort, thanks to automation.
To simplify your online payment processing (for digital orders), be sure to learn more about how Core Commerce can help your business today.