Foodservice Updates is designed to help foodservice operators keep on top of all the industry news and provides tips for keeping business running smooth. We endeavor to provide the latest tips and solutions to keep you in the know.
Play the long game with influencer marketing
Thinking of tapping into social media influencers to help with your marketing efforts? It helps to be patient and flexible. The return on investment can be difficult to trace directly, and because influencer marketing is fairly new, you may be unclear about how to set mutually beneficial agreements with influencers. That said, if you cater to a niche audience and you follow social media influencers who have developed large and/or loyal followings in your space, your efforts to partner with them may help give your social media marketing exponential power. A report from CIO Coverage indicated that when the restaurant brand All Bar One partnered with 10 micro-influencers with a combined following of 200,000, they were able to increase their brunch sales by 28 percent across their 50 restaurants and bars. If you’re thinking about giving influencer marketing a try, it’s important to approach the right partners – ideally, people who consistently post content that is relevant to your brand, generate positive attention in the form of likes and comments, and engage professionally and responsively with their audience when that happens. In a recent interview with Expedite, Jennifer Bell, the CMO of the Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, said their company has been working with influencers to extend their brand in new ways. She says: “I love the idea of us not telling you why you should come to the restaurants, but an influencer showing you why. That is a much more powerful message and a more powerful way to connect with customers.”
Loyalty, your way
In uncertain economic times, your loyalty program gives you an opportunity to solidify bonds with your best guests and transform more transactional relationships into loyal, engaged connections. What’s exciting about these programs is that while they are plentiful, they are also diverse – restaurants can (and should) develop their own loyalty playbook as an extension of their brand. The offers and experiences you promote should reflect your brand values. There is always room to refine your program and ensure it is effectively building your business. In a recent interview with Forbes, Savneet Singh, CEO and President of PAR Technology, suggests a range of actions restaurant operators can take to test the effectiveness of their loyalty program. Among them: Measure your program’s return on investment – for both you and the guest. Track how your roster of members is growing, as well as how engaged they are. Monitor your average transaction values so you can ensure program membership leads to more spending – and take action to make improvements if it isn’t. Use surveys to gather feedback from guests to ensure they are satisfied with the program. This may also help you gather a continuous stream of new ideas to help you keep your program fresh.
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