The food and beverage industry is constantly changing and the Covid has forced businesses to make these changes quickly. Customer preferences have skewed towards online ordering and rightly so with people exercising more caution during the pandemic.
The global health crisis has forced people to opt for contactless delivery and dining out has become a thing of the past. And this is just why cloud kitchens are so appealing. Setting up, creating a delivery network, marketing- the entire process is much simpler than setting up a brick-and-mortar restaurant. Moreover, cloud kitchens see much higher rates of growth.
Given that a cloud kitchen doesn’t have any in-person interaction with its customers, it’s important to go out of your way to carve your brand identity through effective marketing and attract more customers. In this article, we’re going to look at the best practices to adopt if you want to scale up quickly and increase profits.
User-Friendly Website and App
Your cloud kitchen needs to have a highly optimised website as well as an app that bring about higher customer engagement. Get in touch with professionals in graphic design and app creation who can build a website that is designed well and offers a user-friendly interface. Make sure you include an “About Us” page that talks about your restaurant’s story, a blog page where customers can read about the different happenings in your industry or find out about new menu items and deals. You also need to have a dedicated section for customer support that is super responsive and addresses all customer issues effectively.
Once you have a website in place, stay updated about the latest search trends in your area. Tools like Google Search Trends and Google Keywords Planner can be game-changers if you’d like to bring about more website visits. Your “Google My Business” page needs to be updated from time to time as well. Make sure you monitor all reviews and respond to them frequently.
While attracting new customers is crucial for any business, it is equally important to focus on retaining your existing customers. In the long run, loyal customers can lead to higher profits but they can also help spread the word about your restaurant and service to their contacts.
So, the most effective way of ensuring repeat visits is by creating loyalty programs. These programs are based on a reward system. They provide a form of incentive to customers to place an order. They help you grow customer engagement and increase the average order size. And there’s a lot of room for creativity with loyalty programs. You could offer a free beverage with every 10th order, or a 30% discount once a month. The possibilities are endless.
Attractive Online Ordering
When it comes to cloud kitchens, all orders are received online. This could be through a website or an online ordering mobile application. Also, another important point is to optimise your online ordering platform. For starters, your website or app needs to be easy to use and have a proper aesthetic that matches your brand logo. Next, you need to ensure that there are no lags and the loading time is quick. Menu engineering and beautiful images of food are also great ways to create a more effective menu. You can also look into upselling based on customers’ order history with the aim of bringing about a larger order value. Lastly, contactless delivery is now enabled on most order online platforms giving the customer and the delivery partner more safety.
Promos and Deals
Promos and deals are timeless marketing tools to attract new customers as well as bring back old customers. When a customer is placing their very first order, you can ask them if they’d like to receive notifications on their email address or phone number. If the customer agrees, take the opportunity to send various incentives to them. This includes personalised discounts inspired by their past orders, reward points, referral programs, or just weekly specials and combos. It also helps to customise the deals you offer based on a guest’s profile.
Partner with Food Aggregator Services
Online marketplaces such as third-party food aggregators are among the most highly viewed platforms. If your cloud kitchen is relatively new and you need some help to find customers, promoting your business on such a platform is your best bet. You can offer online ordering on apps such as Zomato and Swiggy which have tons of users scrolling on them every second of the day. A listing on one of these apps alone could bring about a lot of customer engagement. However, this might not a feasible option in the long run. These apps charge an exorbitantly high percentage of revenue received per order and can eat away your profits.
Social Media for the Win
If you want your cloud kitchen to be successful, you need to create a powerful online presence for it. This includes having profiles on every social media platform- Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and so on.
This way, you have more and more platforms to engage with customers. Over time, this can lead to higher sales as well. Post mouth-watering pictures of your best dishes, put up videos of the process of creating a certain beverage you offer, and conduct polls on your stories. Based on the timing where you see most customer activity, you could also schedule future posts and stories.
Inviting user-generated content from customers is a great option to interact with people through your social media and increase visibility.
Marketing is extremely important for cloud kitchens, given that there isn’t a lot of scope for interacting with customers face to face. Keep customer engagement high and feel free to experiment with what works for your restaurant. The marketing tips we’ve provided you with are among the most effective strategies today but it’s important to do your research before settling on your final marketing strategy.