If there’s one thing 2020 has taught restaurateurs is that they have to understand how to leverage online features to successfully compete against business rivals. When it comes to restaurant marketing, 2020 has taught the industry a few valuable lessons. Kerbside takeout and contactless delivery have now become ingrained in all of us. But let’s really go into detail with the lessons that we can take into the future. 

Educate your patrons 

Before the pandemic, people would order takeaways for their own convenience but in 2020, they had no other choice. With these new distribution methods came new processes, and when something is a new-found idea, you have to inform people about it. You can’t just expect them to know what to do. 

You need to put effort into your interactions with customers. In 2020, many restaurants had to communicate with customers through social media channels, mailers and email, explaining such things as when the restaurant was open for sit-down meals, the procedure for delivery and how often the establishment was cleaned and sanitised. 

This sort of communication should not fall away and must be maintained. Your customers want to be informed – and the best way to do this is digitally. 

A shift to digital advertising 

Digital marketing is already a top priority for restaurants because they had to shift to off-premise services in 2020. The advantage of digital marketing is that no matter where your patrons are, you can get the right message to them at the right time.  With digital marketing, restaurateurs are able to more easily track conversions from online visibility to online orders – which is a valuable insight to have.

Get more insights into your patrons’ behaviour 

It’s all good and well to do a quick Google search to discover what patrons like these days, but that information is too broad. It has to be more specific to your own restaurant for you to better understand your customers. 

This is where technologies such as social media and websites (Google analytics) come in. But what’s even better is a PoS system because it can provide insights on upcoming trends and changes in consumer demand to maximise your profits.

Pilot Software has a genius cloud-based analytics and reporting tool in the form of PilotLive. It’s especially valuable for restaurant owners who have to oversee multiple outlets. It feeds you real-time metrics about transactions, inventory and productivity.

In an industry as rapidly changing as this sector, it’s important to make strategic restaurant marketing decisions to drive your establishment forward – just one wrong decision or period of slow growth can become a serious obstacle. Read our guide, Secret Ingredients to a Successful Restaurant, to help you make those informed decisions.

Author : Rudi Badenhorst