Sunday, January 9, 2022

Restaurants Need Hyper Localization in 2022


What does hyper localization mean to a local restaurant?  Have you ever heard someone call a McDonald’s “MY McDonald’s? I bet you have. How does McDonald’s get customers to think it’s “My McDonalds”?   Local branded messaging; things like interior of a store that has the color or theme of a local (NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA) sport team or college team. However, more and more today that includes digital marketing messaging one-on-one from the store to the customer.

According to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® one-on-one digital marketing can be found in the palm of your customer’s hand.  Customer relevance is personalized, when the customer allows you to put your App on their phone or ‘push’ notifications to them while they are looking at their phone.

Today, localization means digitization of your restaurants. Kind of think of it this way.  The smart phone is the modern version of bringing a bottle of wine or a tray of cookies to a party is sending your friends and family treats ordered online.

In a Battle for Share of Stomach

What Who is Helping you Win? 

Any day now we will be living in a 5 G digital world and that will make any restaurant a digital marketing powerhouse. Give your brand the opportunity to be found first, fast, with digital messaging. Don’t limit your sales to those who may walk in your front door.  Become a proactive 5G marketing messaging branded powerhouse.

What can you be selling to everyone, not just those who walk buy or walk-in?  Have you considered that branded food gifts are the ultimate in sharing experiences rather than things for your customers and their friend?  

Keep in mind that Gen Z and Millennials are digital natives on line messaging has great relevance for them. So, consider which of these branded food selling strategies make sense for your restaurant to add to your online messaging collection.

1.       Gift card collections. Gift cards are a classic restaurant holiday gift. Several platforms make it easy for gifters to choose among restaurants and send funds electronically — no plastic waste, no shipping and immediate fulfillment. Open Table has created a collection of egift cards for local restaurants, and the Gift Card Mall makes it easy to find your favorite big brands. 

2.       Text gifting. The giftya website makes receiving a restaurant gift card even more frictionless. Recipients receive a text with funds that includes a personalized message and picture from the giver. Funds are tied directly to a recipient’s existing debit or credit card, and are transferred automatically when the recipient spends at the designated restaurant. 

3.       First-party egift cards. Want to support your local restaurant directly and ensure no fees are lost between your purchase and the restaurant’s fulfillment of the gift?  Innovated by Starbucks, online ordering systems like Toast now make this functionality available to every restaurant — like local restaurant Barley Swine (in Austin, Texas). The Lettuce Entertain You group of restaurants in Chicago also makes gifting across their portfolio of brands easy through a platform called Cashstar. Both of these are great examples of the “saasification” of restaurant technology. Functionality that used to be available only to large chains who invested heavily in custom solutions is now available to all through monthly subscriptions and percentage fees.

4.       Food subscriptions. Want your recipient to think of you once a month for a year? Food subscriptions deliver high-quality food to help your recipient live their “Food as Identity.” ButcherBox delivers grass-fed beef, free-range chicken and wild-caught seafood to the environmentalist on your list. Daily Harvest delivers “organic, nourishing and clean” plant-based frozen foods to the vegetarian on your list. Purple Carrot makes healthy-eating meal-planning easy, with plant-based meal kits for the vegan on your list.

5.       Specialty foods marketplace. Goldbelly enables gifters to send iconic local restaurants’ foods to friends who’ve moved away. Know the recipient on your list misses Chicago-style pizza? Gifters can remind their loved ones of home.

6.       First-party product gifting. Those wanting to directly support restaurants can order from restaurants’ own websites. The MahZeDahr Bakery in New York City has quite possibly the most beautiful website and giftable items online. Recipients will feel the indulgence and care from the gifter just through the beautiful packaging that encourages “unboxing” videos and instagram photos. Graeter’s has made their incredible ice cream available online for nationwide shipping. These businesses have invested in their first-party online ordering experiences, creating websites that rival online retail.

7.       Delivery platformsNot sure what your recipient likes? DoorDashGrubHub and UberEats all sell giftcards that can be redeemed for delivery from any restaurant on the platform.

8.       Specialty wine. Rules loosened during the pandemic for restaurants selling alcohol off-premise. Many states have extended the relaxed laws to allow restaurants to deliver alcohol or offer it for pickup. Playground DTSA offers a wine club in which fans can buy selections of wine curated by its sommelier. Using the Toast interface, gifters can reserve a 4-pack of hard-to-find wines for pickup.

9.       Online cooking classes. Cozymeal offers cooking classes with trained chefs in the comfort of your own home. Put together a virtual holiday party for work-from-home coworkers or send the most challenged home-cook on your list a class to get them started cooking. 

You need to understand that the digitization of the restaurant industry has made it easier than ever for consumers to support local restaurants. Looking a customer ahead can be as simple as texting anyone that walks by or drives by your restaurants.  How are you messaging your customers this year?

Foodservice Solutions® team is here to help you drive top line sales and bottom-line profits. Are you looking a customer ahead? Visit for more information or contact: Remember success does leave clues and we just may the clue you need to propel your continued success.

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