CRAVE Content Series: 5 Restaurant Guest Segments To Build Today

Jun 17, 2020
min read
Written by
In the CRAVE Content Series, we’ll explore:
Restaurant guest segments and successful customer retention strategies
Marketing automations that put essential outreach on autopilot
Value growth over time, and experience = omnichannel

eople increasingly want to hear from their favorite brands, we know because they said so. But, if you’re blasting the same email to every customer, when those customers have different preferences, patterns, and levels of engagement, it could very well result in ignored emails and ineffective campaigns.

Wisely’s data shows that restaurant brands using personalized marketing (vs. mass) see a 32% increase in guest frequency.

With restaurant customer segmentation, brands can tackle a myriad of strategic objectives: win new customers, see them more often, boost online ordering, keep regulars engaged, and more.

5 Restaurant Guest Segments to Set Up Today

Jumpstart your restaurant marketing plan by building these five guest segments, which will enable you to personalize omni-channel communications and maximize customer lifetime value.

1. High-Value Guests

Segmenting by high check average is a foundational step toward targeted restaurant marketing. A good baseline is between the top 10%-1% of spenders. Why? Guests who spend more at your restaurants once are likely to have a high check average again, and therefore should make up a larger portion of where you invest your marketing dollars. 

2. Loyal Fans

If a high value segment is foundational, a segment of guests who are highly engaged is the second layer in that foundation. A loyal customer with a slightly lower check average may prove to have a higher customer lifetime value in the end, and is certainly likely to be brand loyal if the content shared with them speaks to their preferences. This segment is made up of customers who come in regularly, order online often, and open most of your emails.

3. Churn Risks

It is proven to be more expensive to acquire new customers than it is to retain existing ones, so it’s worth putting time and resources into retaining lapsed visitors. When creating this segment, consider setting up filters to capture restaurant guests who used to visit or order regularly, but haven't in the past 6+ months (depending on your guest frequency averages).

4. Online Orderers

Delivery and curbside are essential for business health now, and will continue to grow in the future. A segment of online orderers allows brands to suggest high value take-out items to interested diners, but also market in-restaurant experiences to increase on premise sales.

5. Daypart Devotees

There are many ways to slice, dice and cook-up strategies to leverage daypart segments. One approach worth testing is using a segment of current daypart devotees to target lookalikes—meaning guests who mirror those already visiting regularly during your slower shifts. Want to drive business on Monday or Tuesday night? Targeting lookalikes of customers who have proven to be weeknight warriors in the past is a great place to start a paid search or social effort.

Restaurant Marketing Ideas

Restaurant customer segmentation is only the beginning. The real fun (for marketers at least) starts when those segments are put to work through personalized communications geared towards each segment’s preferences and purchase behavior.

Online Orders Campaign | Restaurant Email Marketing

Goal: Boost Online Order Frequency with a Triggered “Inside Scoop” Email Campaign

Guests who have ordered online, but haven’t ordered within the last month

It has been 30 days since last online order

Campaign: Personalized email campaign promoting special take-out only menu offerings. “Hey, Naomi! We want to let you in on a sweet secret. *Whispers* Did you know we have a s’mores kit that is only available to-go?” 

Win New Customers | Social Media Marketing for Restaurants

Goal: Attract Customers to a New Location by Targeting Lookalikes with a Lead Magnet

Segments: Top 1% most frequent visitors and/or top 10% most valuable guests

Lead Magnet: $20 towards your first meal (with qualifying minimum spend)

A social media campaign promoting your grand-opening and the first week of specials targeted to lookalikes of your current regulars who live nearby your new location. For added effectiveness, require guests to first share their email to access the $20 gift card (aka ‘email gate’) to jump start collecting actionable guest contact info.

Boost Brunch Business | Multi-Channel Restaurant Marketing Plan

Goal: Drive Brunch Sales with a Multi-Channel Campaign Promoting New Menu Offerings

Saturday and Sunday Regulars who visit between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Campaign: Send a personalized email campaign promoting your brunch cocktail menu on Tuesday, then launch a re-targeted social media campaign to the same segment featuring your signature cinnamon roll on Friday to keep brunch top-of-mind as guests head into the weekend.  

Keep reading our CRAVE content series:

Segments are just the beginning of a personalized restaurant marketing strategy—once built, you can start to track their growth, frequency, and check average. Check out 5 Customer Retention Strategies that Actually Work.

Photo Credit Dan Gold