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Restaurant Marketing: How To Collect Your Customers Data to Increase Traffic and Sales

Your probability of selling to an existing customer is higher than selling to a new customer

When it comes to restaurant marketing techniques, the proof is in the patrons. Now more than ever the dining and hospitality industry is discovering the much-needed boost for marketing initiatives to implement for their business to reach true recovery from these challenging times. Are people coming to your establishment? Are they converting to repeat customers? Are they referring family and friends? Do they have positive reviews? That’s the test of ROI.  

Whether it’s the cuisine, the atmosphere, specialty cocktails or the overall vibe, marketing is the only way to get customers excited to get social again! 

Enter Matt Plapp, Restaurant Marketing Specialist and Business Coach

Matt Plapp knows this business better than anyone. As a consultant, best-selling author, and an entrepreneur certified with America’s Best Restaurants stamp of approval, his new book mirrors his titled sentiment, “Restaurant Marketing That Works: Back to Basics: Before, During & After The Pandemic,” as a guest on our trending podcast, “The Profitable Table” (fed by Woolco foods). This conversation is guaranteed to help owners learn how to use the right, cost-effective marketing tools to their advantage while finding more frequent customers. 

Matt Plapp is dedicated to the business and lifestyle of the hospitality industry, so he brings the ideas which bring value for restaurants to enhance their marketing capabilities from within. He discusses his methods of ‘attract, build, retain’, breaking down exactly how to execute and digest the data being tracked. If a restaurant isn’t benefiting or promoting the basics correctly, then they will never reach full potential in marketing. It’s important to maximize what is already accessible to you through innovations and only then will results increase. Of course, tactics may have had to evolve due to the result of the pandemic, but understanding the basics will always be the foundation for marketing. The restaurant space is competitive and so is the technology space of how to find them, but people are still making these decisions every single day to trust in your restaurant and it’s up to the business to figure out how to keep them coming back.  

“Advertising is easy, marketing is hard.”

As Matt’s go-to mantra, he believes it’s easy to write a check to a publication, commercialize through radio/tv, or boost a social media post, but it is what you put behind it that’s the hard part. Every message needs to have a call-to-action or goal to create a connection. All channels need to be used correctly and to the absolute best of their reach, otherwise it’s a waste of time, money, and effort. 

Why would you want to join Tik Tok, if you are not great at Facebook? Then, you are just going to be doing a poor job in two avenues of marketing vs. one. Restaurants no longer have the luxury to ignore the fact that they haven’t mastered what is available to them. Matt’s new book covers the principles that will leverage marketing to get the proper attention and information to retarget to them. Afterall, restaurants survive on frequent customers, not infrequent customers. 

The second part is once you have the information of a specific demographic, use it correctly! For instance, consumers who may have participated in online ordering need to be marketed and enticed to come in—without being so repetitive and overmarketing the things that don’t matter. It is best to engage them, not just sell to them. The way to do this is with segmented conversations and messaging for a variety of audiences. 

A common trap is for businesses to only speak about how great they are rather than constructing a dialogue which allows a business owner to learn more about the perspective or existing customer. Learning more about your customers will help you to determine and dictate the best form of communication moving forward. Being present in one’s attention, especially on a consistent basis, you don’t always need to be pushing or selling. This is the most common mistake that business owners make when it comes to marketing. 

The nature of the relationship between the customer and the restaurant is dependent on sharing their experiences. Every business has a story and so does every consumer. Building memories in an establishment will only help to facilitate an ongoing relationship. 

During these unprecedented times, when people were forced to stay in, and businesses suffered, people really started to think about the restaurants and businesses that stood out, ones that meant something to them, and that’s who earned their long-term business. 

‘The Profitable Table’ frequently has repeat expert guests like Matt to continue these conversations and act as a resource for restaurants who are seeking a blueprint for marketing. In this recent episode, Matt Plapp and Woolco’s CEO, Steven Toboroff discuss acquiring new customers, but also remarketing to past customers to bring them back to your restaurant. Listen to The Profitable Table podcast and enjoy stories, advice and beyond with our long list of featured guest interviews.