The Mobile App That’s Re-Activating Restaurant Internal Marketing

When it comes to marketing, there are a lot of mediums that stress the importance of relevant targeting, but few that actually get it right. One industry in the midst of a complete overhaul is the Restaurant industry. Challenged by the introduction of several new players in an already saturated market, restaurant owners, investors as well as brands looking to connect with restaurant patrons have been left wondering which way to turn.

After activating a hyper-local expansion of the NextME app here in Chicago, we’ve been able to gain key insight into some of the questions that restaurant professionals have and built a product to address them. Here is what we learned.

Restaurants are a viable target for both Brands and Ad Agencies to target. Restaurants can also find great success through internal marketing methodology.

There is often a gap, however, between intention and execution. Although the intention of a scheduled promotion or brand initiative may be sound, focused, and otherwise fool-proof, we found that many promotions underperform based on an overestimation of the “incentive vs. required work”. This means that we’ve observed several campaigns overestimate the value of their offered incentive vs. the work required to receive it. Consumers don’t like to be low-balled, especially when it concerns their food and they don’t want to do tons of work or opt into spam in order to receive it.

There is an important correlation between “Restaurant classification” and viable internal marketing campaigns.

For example, a Fast Casual Restaurant wouldn’t seem like the best surface level target for a luxury watch line, but if we consider factors like the type of food, the price point, and brand focus, we might find enough of a correlation to develop a fruitful strategy. I say all this to explain that there is too often a lack of proper research done on both sides before activating internal marketing and cross-marketing campaigns.

The best time to target Restaurant Patrons is while they are waiting in Line.

Although wait times differ across categories like restaurant size, location, classification and more, at no other time is an individual more concerned with a restaurant, its food offerings and it’s associated partners.

So, in response to these findings, we positioned NextME to solve the wait-list debacle and subsequently re-align internal marketing for our entire restaurant inventory. NextME avoids traditional barriers by requiring no consumer download. When patrons enter a restaurant, a host places them onto the app’s wait-list using their name, phone number and other relevant information.

NextME then uses SMS messaging which allows the app to communicate with patrons cell-phones directly to share a customized link via text to their personal wait-list page that not only contains their wait time but menus, specials, partnered ads and more. We call this page the mobile marketing page and we’re currently getting an average of over 30 minutes of engagement from each patron.

We’ve gone through great lengths to simplify our platform so that restaurants can easily activate internal marketing campaigns and reach their patrons. We’ve also spent considerable time segmenting our existing restaurant inventory in a way that allows brands and agencies to pursue relevant targeting within restaurants themselves.

We are interested in having conversations about advertising within NextME’s restaurant inventory. Feel free to contact us via e-mail at [email protected] with any questions, comments, or opportunities that you are interested in discussing. We are also porting the app to new industries. If you have appointments and walk-ins, we have the app to address your need for wait-list management and structured internal marketing. Learn more on our website.


How NextME Can Help Your Restaurant Improve Customer Retention

The restaurant industry is highly saturated, and with whatever initiatives you start, it’s essential to keep them going and supported. Many businesses start programs and never maintain them long enough for anyone to reap the rewards. This means that instead of running a ton of programs all at once, try to focus on one or two with flawless execution.

  • If you’re doing a rewards program, set a time length and stick to it (if not indefinitely).
  • Make sure your rewards are worthwhile (if you’re not sure what that is, list a few options and run a survey). With that said, regular surveys are a great way to learn how your customers feel about your restaurant in general. Best practice is making your surveys hyper-focused on one or two categories at a time so that they aren’t too long. You can even administer to customers at your restaurant with the receipt in exchange for a small discount. Not many people would turn that down.
  • Social media and online visibility tactics are important. Use tools like NextME that help with ops as well as increase customer engagement via social media to build the community alongside your brand.

NextME not only manages wait-lists (allowing your hosts to hold reservations in-app with only a cell phone number) but also can drive customer engagement with your restaurant earning you a lot more money. Here’s how . . .

1.) When someone visits your restaurant on a busy day, they speak with a host who adds them on the waitlist.

2.) The NextME app will send the patron a text message with a clickable link that will take them to a custom page that shows their position in line (The quoted wait time is entered by the host/ess). We call this page the mobile marketing page

3.) This page will be styled and branded based on what the restaurant wants to drive traffic to. Host your menus, drink specials, social media profiles and more. On average we are getting 30 minutes of consistent engagement from each customer which means people are staying on this page interacting with the digital assets we place on it. That’s an extremely healthy amount of time when it comes to advertisements and engagement.

4.) Because the app uses SMS messaging, patrons are free to leave the restaurant to shop, or other activities while they wait (opening up opportunities for you to cross advertise using the mobile marketing page) and leverage other businesses to market your restaurant.

When its close to the time they should be seated, a text will prompt them to confirm if they want to keep the reservation with a reply of “1” or cancel it with a reply of “2”.

We’re currently in hundreds of restaurants and growing fast. Here’s why...

Customers DO NOT have to download the app. The app interacts with customers cell phones and mobile browsers.

You can add people to the wait-list who do not have a cell-phone.Hosts love us, because it significantly reduces the chance of error and resulting fallout from seating the wrong party at the wrong time.

Hosts love us, because it significantly reduces the chance of error and resulting fallout from seating the wrong party at the wrong time.

Built in Table Tracking

Managers and Owners love us because of the fine-tuned data we produce that help them make high level decisions.

We are inexpensive with a low price point. Our most popular plan is $59.99 a month but we have plans as low as $19.99 a month. View NextME Pricing.

Ready to introduce NextME to your business? Call us at 408.909.6398 or schedule a demo from us HERE!


Latest Tactics in Restaurant Marketing

We have seen a lot of new trends in the restaurant industry over the past year or so. Most of them revolve around visibility tactics to let people know A.) You’re here, and B.) You’re serving great food that people want to eat. At a base level, this is restaurant marketing. Different platforms work best for different restaurants, but there are several factors which contribute to that.

Do you have a dedicated social media staff member, or are you dedicating a host/hostess to throwing up some posts in their free time? Are you giving your patrons incentive to share posts about you and give solid reviews? Before you even answer all that, are you maintaining an updated social media presence with which your patrons can connect with and reach you?

The latest tactics shouldn’t revolve solely around the newest craze in social media, but rather what we have established as functional and fruitful. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are those core platforms. LinkedIn is also viable and depending on the size and classification of your restaurant, you will be able to source some great talent from the site as well. The main thing here is not overloading yourself with work you cannot handle and letting your social media profiles go long periods without updates.

Incentivize your patrons to leave reviews on your Facebook page (it goes a long way). Host giveaways in exchange for page likes and post shares.
Use Instagram to share HQ images of your restaurant and feed them directly to the Twitter profile.

Focus on improving internal operations and find the right tools to do it. Get rid of the pen and paper waitlist and switch to NextME , the only digital waitlist app that diners themselves won’t need to download and the only one that lets you advertise internally.

NextME allows diners to use their cell phone number to hold their place in line. The app sends out text notifications to confirm they’ve been added to the list, and sends out a direct link to a countdown page which lets them know their place in line. The countdown page allows restaurants to host their menu in digital form but also links to the restaurants social media profiles, and other partnered ads which all help to increase restaurant visibility, table turns and patron satisfaction.

Ready To Introduce A Digital Waitlist App To Your Restaurant Employees?

Have any questions or curious as to what benefits a digital waitlist app like NextME can do for your restaurant? Comment below or reach out to us!

It’s time to say goodbye to outdated pager systems! Try a 14-day FREE trial of NextME and replace your expensive pager system with SMS text!

 


Best Mobile pp for FOH Restaurant Staff

Most people are sharing apps that list/rate restaurants or tie into food delivery. The NextME app is quite different. The NextME app is one of the greatest apps a diner/patron will never have to download to use. Now, that might sound a little crazy without understanding exactly what NextME is.

NextME is a digital waitlist app that allows people to utilize their cell-phone number to hold their place in line. While there are other similar platforms on the market, most require downloads and sign-ins on the consumers’ end which can be a bit frustrating if the app isn’t something you use on a daily basis. NextME allows you to simply walk in and leave your info. When that information is put into the app, you are sent a text message through the app with a special link (that works on your phone’s mobile web browser) which will show a real time countdown of your position in line. NextME also sends you a text to let you know the host is ready to seat you, and you are prompted to reply to the app via text if you still want your table.

Restaurants love us because on that countdown page for each person on the waitlist, we can place digital menus, videos, partner ads and anything else you want your patron’s eyes on. With that said, the ability to browse the menu in digital form speeds up table turnover, and increases peak hours because diners know what they want and are instantly able to prompt the host.

Diners love us because they shouldn’t have to learn a new system/app every time they want to go out to eat. A cell phone is a device that most, if not all diners have. It just makes sense to build an app around their number.

Ready To Introduce A Digital Waitlist App To Your Restaurant Employees?
Have any questions or curious as to what benefits a digital waitlist app like NextME can do for your restaurant? Comment below or reach out to us!

It’s time to say goodbye to outdated pager systems! Try a 14-day FREE trial of NextME and replace your expensive pager system with SMS text!