Thursday, October 2, 2014

Restaurants turning to Technology for New Customers

Finding new customers for your restaurant has never been easy.  While every restaurant measures year over year same stores sales as a barometer of success.  Today, as newspaper ads disappoint, loyalty punch cards go mobile, restaurateurs are turning to data-driven marketing playbooks.

Here is one recent example in an article in Hospitality Technology Edge I found online.  “A 150 unit casual chain added $4.5M in sales — the equivalent of a new store — by optimizing a triggered birthday email.”
What goes around comes around data-driven marketing grew out of the direct mail and catalog industries of the ’60’s and ’70’s.  Today, that means companies the ilk of EBay, Alibaba, and Amazon.

Here is how it works nothing new except the speed in which technology process the data: “identify who your customers are, segment them by value or demographic characteristics, execute tailored marketing to these segments, and measure the results. Then use those results to refine and improve marketing tactics.”

Restaurants can adopt some of ecommerce’s best practices using four key IT elements:
1.       A system to close the loop at the guest level on promotional offers. It’s not enough to have a POS discount key for “Father’s Day promo” anymore. You need to know which dad (or mom!) responded to that offer, what they bought, and who they brought in with them.

2.       The ability (either directly or through your credit card processor) to access payment data in order to identify individual guests when they return. This data set is essential – it’s the lifeblood of ecommerce. Fortunately, the ecommerce players have pioneered safe, secure ways to get at data without compromising PCI safeguards.

3.       A guest-centric data warehouse to store all the key data sets — check level POS data, payment data, marketing data, loyalty program data if available, reservations, online ordering, guest responses, and third party data such as Prizm or Mosaic.

4.       An analytics layer. The requirements here go way beyond static or standardized reporting. Marketing needs to be able to cut data in an ever-changing variety of ways to identify key patterns and segments.

Today, restaurant marketing departments must work in tandem with IT departments to identify and qualify new vendors to provide a look at what’s possible and how to expand customer relevance while building top line sales and bottom line profits selling Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food.

Are you trapped doing what you have always done and doing it the same way?  Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions 5P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization?  Email us at: or visit: for more information. 

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