Are you struggling to make the most of your Restaurant CRM?

Why have a CRM tool? Yes, let’s start here. Why do you need one?

To send emails and text messages (SMS). But why?

To keep customers engaged. Why keep customers engaged?

Because engaged customers are likely to come back to you. Why care?

Because it costs much less to sell to existing customers than to get new ones. Here’s proof.

And this is where it gets really interesting.

According to Marketing Profs,

The first purchase is a necessary step, but the second purchase is really the key to driving long-term value for your company. On average, only 20% of first-time online buyers will ever make a second purchase. Unfortunately, that means you spend a ton of time and effort to acquire buyers who may never engage with your brand again.

The good news is that if you manage to drive a second purchase, your customer is more than twice as likely to buy a third time, and even more likely to buy a fourth time. First, though, you have to get past the hurdle of the second purchase.

Don’t get us wrong. Acquiring new customers is also a very important part of your restaurant’s growth. We are saying that customer retention also deserves equal (if not more) focus.

And this is why you need a CRM tool. Because you want to get repeat orders. Straightforward.

Restaurant CRM tools have been around for a while. But like any tool they need to be used consistently, to get results. No one-hit wonders here.

The trouble is, how do you use your CRM tool so that it delivers? What are the steps to creating high-performing CRM campaigns?

7 tips for undeniable CRM campaigns

Start by defining your objective

Your CRM campaigns will be more effective when you define your campaign objective, sharply. Each campaign should have a goal. A thought you want your audience to be left with or an action you want them to take.

Here’s a list of common CRM goals to help you get started:

  1. Brand Recall – You would want to register your brand name in your audience’s mind. So that next time they think of ordering food or visiting a restaurant, they think of you.
  2. Promoting an offer, event, or a new dish on the menu – Grab your audience’s attention with something new that is happening at your restaurant
  3. Piggyback on a popular topic, theme or day – Sometimes people need an occasion to indulge themselves. And food is a great way to celebrate something. Cash-in on any special days or something in the news (Example: Your country wins a soccer match).  
  4. Bringing back dormant customers – There will always be customers who haven’t ordered from you in a while. With a little manual effort, your CRM tool can help you figure out who your dormant customers are (ours does it automatically). Once you know who they are, you can entice them with a laser-sharp offer. We’ve seen this work very well for a lot of our clients. More on targeting customers later.
  5. Increasing Loyalty – The success of your loyalty program depends on how much it gets used. And your CRM is a good vehicle to send reminders and usage updates to your customers. You can also tier your loyalty program to promote usage.
  6. Increasing the average basket size or order value – Up-selling to your existing customers so that they order more each time is one of the most effective goals for a CRM campaign to have. You can design specific offers like the classic “Order 2 get 1 free” or “Order 2 and get X discount”.

Target the right audience

Now that you have your CRM campaign goals in place, you can start targeting campaigns. But who to? Marketing campaigns begin and end with your audience. You will only be able to influence a customer action by being relevant to them. And to be relevant you need insights on your customer.

This is an advantage of a CRM tool. It gives you those insights and the ability to organize your customers into target segments (groups really). Ours does it automatically depending on their behavior.

Some common ways of segmenting online ordering customers are:

  • By order frequency – repeat customers
  • By order activity – active and dormant customers
  • By the time of order – Weekday and weekend
  • By size of order – Avg. basket size

Target repeat customers with additional offers and get them to participate in your loyalty programme. Entice dormant customers with tailor-made offers. Target customers basis their historical order time, i.e. when they are likely to order again. Analyze trends to find out if your customers order more on weekends or weekdays. You could also craft CRM campaigns to target customers who have a large order size. Suggest add-ons or make good recommendations for sides. Remember, it is easier to sell to existing customers than to go after new ones.

Time it right

Timeliness is truly the secret sauce of effective CRM campaigning. Imagine you are on your way back home from work thinking about ordering in for dinner. And you get an SMS from a restaurant talking about a new dish on their menu that is all the rage. VS. when you are at the gym and you get a message about fried chicken. Being aware of your customer’s context can make or break your CRM campaign.

Make the most of 160 characters

If you run SMS campaigns (we recommend this strongly), you would have to be mindful of the 160 character limit. The message must have your brand name, ordering link, a call-to-action (an action you want your customer to take) and the offer you’re promoting. This leaves you with 35-40 characters to include a witty line, a bit of humor, or the main idea behind the campaign.

Here are some examples:

“Can’t fix the match but can fix your Hunger!”

“Plan your weekend party, food is on us!”

“Don’t bother cooking, just order & chill.”

“Kiki, do you love meals?”

“Seek Kebabs, not attention.”


Emails that cut through

Emails are personal. So your messaging needs feel personal too. A good rule of thumb to follow is to focus every email on a specific announcement, reminder, offer or general message. You can have more in an email, but be sure to connect everything to one main idea. This way you will have a better chance of sticking to your customer. Adopt a conversational tone in your emails and break up any long paragraphs into shorter sentences. Use images that help communicate your idea (but remember that a lot of email services switch off these images by default). So your email body needs to communicate even without images.

Analysis paralysis?

The greatest benefit of modern CRM tools is the ability to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns, figure out what’s working and to double down on that. These days, CRM tools throw out all sorts of data points to help you do this. But there is such a thing as too much data. And sometimes it can be hard to make sense of (short of being a data scientist yourself). Our CRM tool gives you handy reports and dashboards that look at all your CRM data and only shows what’s relevant to you and your campaigns. We don’t show you a single data point that you can’t take action on.

LimeTray's CRM analytics report
LimeTray’s CRM shows you only actionable insights
LimeTray's CRM reports
So that you can make better decisions

Let’s be regular

Remember that your customers are constantly being drowned in messages from all directions. Your messages are competing with thousands of others for the same customer’s attention. That’s why staying top-of-mind helps you break the ice with your customer. Your customers are more likely to respond to a brand they feel they know. Set-up a campaign cycle for your CRM. You could follow the pre-launch, launch, and sustenance format. Send messages out at least twice every week. And this does not include the topical messages.

To sum it up, remember…

O – Objective

A – Audience

T – Timing

M – Make the most of 160 characters

E- Emails that cut through

A- Analysis (not paralysis)

L- Let’s be regular


Bon appetit!

Souradeep Datta

Souradeep Datta

Souradeep is a content marketer at LimeTray. His roots are in advertising, digital marketing, and design. Loves food, music, simple things and making things simple. Prefers writing about himself in the first person. But he knows he can't always have what he wants. Reach him on: Twitter @deepsour Instagram @deep_sour