nyone who’s worked in a restaurant, let alone run one, will tell you a healthy amount of paranoia is required to do the job well. Sure, each shift begins with a similar set of to-dos, but it’s what’s NOT on the checklist or in the steps of service that will catapult a good guest experience to a great one.
Stopping to answer the question “What am I not thinking about, seeing, or feeling that I could be?” applies to restaurant marketers just as much as it does operators.
So, marketers—when is the last time you audited your efforts with the above question in mind (that’s often reserved for operators)? And, how are you scoring the brand experience curated on every channel as if you were a guest?
Carving out time within your never-ending cadence of communication to let a little bit of healthy paranoia sink in is one way to avoid these three pitfalls of omni-channel marketing.
Do you have the data to make guests feel like everybody knows their name?
It feels so damn good to walk into a restaurant, coffee shop, or bar where somebody knows you by name (or at least remembers your drink order). So good, in fact, one of the most successful sitcom jingles of all time was based on this premise alone. The same principle applies to every level of guest communication and campaign touchpoint.
So what’s the potential pitfall you can encounter when trying to personalize the omni-channel guest experience? Not having the data to do so.
Whether they join the waitlist, place an online order, or post about their meal on social media—each digital interaction brings the opportunity to learn more about, and connect with, every guest. And, with a restaurant CRM that consolidates data from every source, it is possible to start building a relationship with guests from their first visit, and keep them coming back.
Is your content tailor made for each channel? (Hot Tip: Useless content is a waste of everyone’s time)
Good servers don’t spiel a table of regulars their scripted introduction to the restaurant concept. Why? The answer seems obvious in the context of an in-restaurant experience, but outside the four walls, really useful communication also depends on being acutely aware of what guests want and when.
Marketers must match the right information sharing to the right platform. Your customers probably aren’t looking to ‘Get Directions’ to a nearby location when your image gallery of popular dishes appears as a boosted social post. Entice them to ‘Book Now’ or click to see if you have any upcoming events.
By starting with what your customer wants to hear, not what you want to say, you’ll avoid this easily missed best practice. Your messaging, your brand voice, your calls to action should all be tailored to the way guests engage each platform.
Are their obvious gaps in your brand experience that could be more cohesive (and even creative)?
Ops is able to continually refine the in-restaurant customer experience because they get constant and immediate feedback. Hosts, servers, and floor managers are side-by-side with customers while they wait, sit, order, eat, pay...
Marketers though, may be missing key opportunities to bring a brand promise to life if strategies are left to marketing models and templates cooked up in the home office alone.
The fix? Make time to eat a meal or two in the seat of the customer. Then consider, are you missing branding moments that would make the guest experience even better? Pay careful attention to moments that mattered and how a little quippy branded message or some marketing TLC could have filled in any gaps.
Put it all together: push past multi-channel
Creating a great omni-channel guest experience goes way beyond just using multiple marketing channels. It means carefully tuning your customers’ experience to exactly what they want and need at that moment—whether they’re at home, on their phone, in the parking lot, or in the restaurant.
Photo Credit: Jinsoo Choi