Cloud Kitchen Marketing Ideas to Grow Your Online Sales

Shipping containers instead of a dining room and delivery fleet on their mopeds instead of actual diners.

We’re talking about cloud kitchens – a restaurant model free from a typical front-of-house, and serving the food-delivery market.

But why are cloud kitchens (or delivery) on the forefront for all restaurants trends? The long and short of it is this – massive growth.

Investment bank UBS forecasts that delivery sales could rise an annual average of more than 20% to $365 billion worldwide by 2030, from $35 billion.

So if you have a cloud kitchen or are planning to open one, get ready to make the best of this hyper-growth.

This begins with a focused marketing plan.

The ease of operating delivery models also brings with itself a lot of competition. You need to stand out for your customers. Find a way to attract new customers and retain existing ones, turning everyone who visits your restaurant into a lifelong brand ambassador.

In this post, you’ll find:

  •  Different marketing channels for your cloud kitchen.
  • The marketing planning process.
  • Tips to get optimized results.

Let’s get started!

Marketing Channels: Choosing from an assortment

Social Media

As per the National Restaurant Association, 90% of the restaurants believe that their success is largely dependent on their social media marketing style. Social media possesses an undeniable power to influence people’s choices and decisions.

On Pinterest for example, food is the most browsed and pinned. Using social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter, you can attract thousands of potential customers.

Here are a few social media posts from your fellow cloud kitchens for inspiration:

Freshmenu's social media posts
loyalty offers
loyalty offers
SEO & Adwords

It is important to increase your restaurant’s online visibility by creating and optimizing your website for search engines. It will help in gaining more organic traffic. If you’re looking to get a head start, consider testing Adwords to:

  • Drive traffic to your online ordering site
  • See which keywords people are searching for to reach your site
  • Appear in results across multiple locations

Google’s ad costs depend on the keyword you’re bidding on. Some keywords, like restaurants near me, could cost hundreds of dollars per click because of the many people searching.

However other hyper-targeted keywords could be very cost effective. Google will allow you to set the budget for your ads so that you don’t overspend.

Talk to an Ads Expert if you want to try this out. Check out Digital & Social Media marketing tailored for restaurants.

Sponsorships & Events

Charity and event sponsorship are some of the most popular forms of restaurant marketing.

As you select from various events and sponsorship opportunities, ask the organizers for the average number of attendees and take information about their previous events. It’s important to think about how well the event fits your target demographic.

Here’s @enokidelivery marketing their presence at the popular Grub Fest in India:

Enoki cloud kitchen's post

For the complete checklist of participating in a food festival and similar events go here.

Influencer Marketing

This marketing method involves using influential personalities or entities to market your restaurant. They can be chefs, cooking show hosts or noted food bloggers.

There are two kinds of influencer marketing:

Earned Influencer marketing – covers a pre-defined relationship with the influencer and involves their personal growth too.

Paid Influencer marketing – can take shape in sponsorships, testimonial messages and videos, which you have to pay for according to the decided arrangement.

Search a list of influencers relevant to your cloud kitchen model. There’s everyone from a wine taster to an Italian food connoisseur that you can find online.

Email/SMS

Once you have access to customer information – SMS and email campaigns on your marketing automation tool are a great way to engage your audience.

Different mediums for sending campaigns

They are cost saving, instant and secure modes that can be used complementary to each other. You can share daily updates like new discount menu additions to your cloud kitchen through them. For these campaigns to convert your messaging needs to be personalized and offers need to be topical.

Video

YouTube reaches more 18-49-year-olds than any other cable network. Video posts catch more attention than still images.

We’re aware of all these facts. To put them into action you can either do the work with editing and shooting apps like Quik/ Filmic Pro or you can hire a freelancer or agency to quickly churn one for you.

Marketing Planning: In 4 simple steps

Situational analysis

Conduct a SWOT analysis of your cloud kitchen business. Determine the strong points you want to showcase to your customers. Study about the places you may lack and need external help with. Also, study your competition and market conditions you’re building for.

Create your customer personas

Evaluate the people you intend to serve. Customer research is an essential aspect of marketing. These steps will help you to choose the appropriate marketing ideas:

  1. Make a brief profile of your target customers.
  2. Understand their food choices and study statistics of their average incomes, age group, and lifestyle choices.
  3. Gauge roughly the frequency with which they will order from your cloud kitchen in a given time frame.
  4. Consider the geographical locations of the customers so that you can decide the area under your coverage.
  5. Keep in mind how tech-savvy your prospective customers are.
Select the right marketing tactics

Outline the marketing methods and channels that you want to prioritize. To determine the best marketing mix, identify the platforms your customers access the most.

Set a marketing budget

It is important to streamline your marketing expenses. Due to the variety of advertising options available, it’s possible to go overboard. Have an internal person monitor the budget and discuss it regularly with your agency.

5 surefire tips to ace your cloud kitchen marketing

✓ Reward your loyal customers

Focusing on customer retention is a cost-effective way to increase online orders. One way to reward loyal customers and big spenders are through a customer loyalty program.

Loyalty programs give customers extra incentive to place an order and they keep your brand on their top-of-mind through automated reminders.

Here are more ideas on how to promote your loyalty program.

✓ Social listening and monitoring

Social listening is an excellent way to gauge public sentiment about your restaurant. Sentiment analysis provides you with details of what aspects of your business is doing well and what isn’t.
When any negative social post or any social media trend comes up, with effective social listening tools, you can be quick to address it.

Faasos marketing example
How Faasos leveraged from an ongoing social media trend with this post
✓ Talk visually

There’s nothing better than visually tasty food. Take your restaurant’s food photography very seriously. Here are some ideas from Pinterest that you can follow.

✓ Make your website upsell

Since all your orders are placed online, it’s important to think about strategies to increase your average order value. This is easier to do on your own platform rather than rigid third-party websites.

Here are two tips to keep in mind while adding upsell customizations:

  • Make sure your upsell products are related to the original product.
  • Be sensitive to the anticipated price range of your customer and offer options to support it.

Here’s how Crepe Fe does it:

Crepe Fe Upselling
✓ Leverage customer-generated content

Your customers can be your top brand advocates. Encourage them to share their experience with your brand online. Whether it’s on aggregator sites, your own website or any social media platform. And when they do so, make the most of the opportunity by re-posting, sharing and appreciating them for generous feedback.

You’re all set!

Well, looks like you’re all set to make a killer marketing plan for your cloud kitchen. Use our tips to deliver massively hit campaigns. We’d love to know what worked for you and what didn’t.

For more reading on restaurant marketing, go here.

Cloud Kitchen Marketing Ideas to Grow Your Online Sales
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Niharika Maggo

Niharika Maggo

Niharika is a Content Marketer at LimeTray. When she’s not busy wearing down the keys on her keyboard, she's found listening to podcasts, reading or drinking tea. She can be reached at marketing@limetray.com.