Our entire world revolves around technology and data. Everything requires a login and a password. Everything has an agreement on “terms and conditions.” Everything asks you if you are okay with “cookies” –which is a pretty good name choice in my opinion, I mean who isn’t okay with cookies?
In all seriousness, the current tech environment is amazing! It is a whole world of opportunity and in this world, data is king. In this article, we are going to walk you through 3 ways you can use big data to help your restaurant.
The type of data you should be most interested in is your customers’ data. Your customers are what keeps your business alive. Without them, without understanding them, and without being able to reach them, your restaurant can fall behind and become lost in the masses.
Ok, so you want to collect customer data, but what does that really mean? What kind of data are you collecting?
Ultimately, you want to build a database of unique customer-identifiers and points of contact. The three that we are going to focus on are email, phone number, and Facebook Messenger Subscription.
You can use each of these data points to help your restaurant in 3 major ways:
1. Cost effective re-marketing
2. Competitive advantage
3. Creating a personal connection with your customers
Before we jump in, I want to preface this by saying that you don’t need to sell your customers’ data in order for it to be a profitable asset for your business. These are your customers and you should treat them well. Selling their data and filling their inboxes with spam isn’t going to help you grow in the long term.
Let’s start with how you gather this information.
There are several ways to get customers to offer up their contact info, and it’s actually easier that you may think!
The easiest and most passive collection tactic is to take advantage of your POS system. Most systems have built in features that can prompt guests to enter their information. This is an easy way to collect email addresses. Your POS system may even automatically collect several useful data points!
Phone numbers prove to be a bit harder to collect. However, we’ve found that customers are much more likely to share their phone number if they are met with an offer–free fries or a drink, for example–on their next visit. Phone numbers are often seen as a more personal piece of information and given out less often. Proposing an incentive helps to bring down that guard.
The third data point you want to collect is a Facebook Messenger Subscription. You can collect this data directly though Facebook by creating ads on Facebook Ads Manager with the “send message” objective. An attractive offer, high quality food picture, or an announcement about a special event are great ways to entice social media users to engage with you through Facebook Messenger. Pop-ups on your website or in-store QR scan codes that request access to Facebook Messenger are also effective ways to gain subscribers, especially when they offer an incentive similar to the ones mentioned above.
So now you have data. What do you do with it?
As mentioned before, there are 3 simple, but essential ways in which you can help your business grow using big data.
1. Cost Effective Re-marketing
Advertising, especially when acquiring new customers, comes at a price. However, when remarketing to your existing database, you are able to reach your list of subscribers for a negligible cost if not for free. Not only are you able to reach an audience who is already interested in your restaurant, but you can reach them for a maximum of $0.01/per person.
2. Competitive Advantage
Re-marketing is largely neglected in the restaurant industry. Most restaurants rely on “good food and good service” to bring guests back time and time again. While those two components are absolutely essential, they aren’t unique. Any restaurant that a customer would even consider returning to has a quality experience. By reaching out to your database, you have the power to stay in front of your customers so you are the place they think of when it’s time to eat next.
3. Creating a personal relationship
A database audience allows you to reach out to customers in a 1-on-1 fashion. Although you may be messaging thousands of customers with a single campaign, you have the ability to personalize messages using collected data points, like their name or their birthday. While this may seem insignificant, these small details strengthen the personal association your customers have with your restaurant.
The benefits of big data are not limited to e-commerce and tech companies. We have larger access to more data than ever before, and it should not be ignored. If you have not yet started to build a database for your customers, it is not too late to start! Don’t be afraid to be creative and get excited to grow!
Interested in creating a database for your restaurant that grows itself?
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