Consumer Behavior is Changing with COVID
COVID has changed consumer behaviors. Per information that Toast makes public, online order volume is more than 2x what it was before COVID.
As the weather changes in certain parts of the country as well as with the potential for the a "second wave" of COVID and the corresponding regulatory reactions, online ordering may continue to creep back towards the levels we saw immediately after the outbreak of the pandemic where they represented about 70% of orders.
Customer behaviors are tough to break. Therefore, finding ways to lean into new habits can help accelerate sales.
Own Your Commission Cost
While it is difficult to fight the trend to more online ordering, you can help make sure you make a larger profit on online orders. By leveraging a commission free online ordering provider like BentoBox, ChowNow, or Say2Eat, you will stop paying large commissions to third party ordering systems. Further you will collect your customer information to begin to remarket to them across social, email, and other channels in order to drive repeat orders.
Rev Ciancio, a hospitality marketing consultant who helps restaurants set up their first party ordering ecosystems shares, "We exist in a world where the customer journey for a restaurant guest starts and ends online and third-party ordering apps control a lot of journey. For a restaurant to be successful, they need to have a friction-less native ordering system so they aren't paying high commissions and can take control of their guest's data."
Skip the Search!
A search for pizza on Grubhub in Austin, TX brought back over 50 results! Just look at the GIF to the right. It can feel like you've won the lottery when you get a customer from third party services. And then, once you've won the lottery, you will need to pay a larger tax to the third party ordering app since the customer "discovered" you through their service.
Google can be similar. Take a second to search "Pizza near me" and see how many results come back! The same thing happens for nearly every cuisine.
Additionally, the third party aggregators can afford to buy google keywords against your brand. When prospects search for you, the ads bought by the aggregators can actually show up above your own website.
Listing yourselves on the various third party ordering apps and filling out your Google My Business to prepare yourself for search is good practice, but you are not in control of your own destiny with these practices.
Use Facebook Ads
Facebook and Instagram ads reach prospects where they spend most of their time. 1.79 Billion (with a B!) people log onto Facebook daily. On average, users access Facebook 8 times each day. Mobile app users spend 57 minutes per day on Facebook. Long story, short: With so many people spending so much time on Facebook and Instagram, running ads can be powerful for your business because they can help you get in front of the right people at the right time who are in close proximity to your restaurant.
You can also make sure that when customers click on an ad, they go directly to your preferred ordering pages where you pay the least commissions. If you run a commission free online ordering platform, then use ads to drive your orders to those pages so you don't pay large commissions and you capture ownership of your customers.
Targetable Can Help!
Facebook and Instagram ads can take a lot of time or money to do right. You'll either spend hours each week perfecting your ads or you will pay a third party thousands of dollars per month to do so.
Targetable automates all of this for you for $149 per store per month. You'll execute effective Facebook & Instagram advertising in just 5 minutes per week.
As shown in the image below, Targetable will provided a fully drafted campaign that includes:
- The content of the ad: The image and copy that is specific to your restaurant
- The strategy: A suggestion of who to target, how much to spend, and how much to budget
Targetable will look at your ad performance and double down on what is working while stopping the ads that do not work. If you'd like to learn more, then please schedule a demo below.