Restaurant traffic has shown as pandemic restrictions are lifted, consumers are ready to do business with restaurants, even though it may look a little different in “the new normal.”
Did you know?
More than half (53%) of consumers surveyed in a new report from Acosta are dining in restaurants less, but that doesn’t mean they’re cooking all their meals at home. In fact:
- 27% of consumers are ordering carry-out more.
- 23% of consumers are eating drive-thru more.
And they are looking for variety and new things to try. A Coca-Cola survey revealed that
- 82% of consumers are looking for restaurants that offer a wide variety of menu items.
- 82% of consumers are interested in trying new items when eating out.
- 81% of consumers often choose items that are on special when eating out.
Now is the time to remix your restaurant marketing recipe to attract diners of all types—take-out, curbside, drive-thru, or dine-in—and promote your offerings to increase loyalty and average ticket sales.
Give the people what they want—variety!
Engage these hungry consumers with a marketing strategy that communicates the variety of dining experiences and menu offerings your restaurant can provide. Consider highlighting
- New menu offerings as well as daily & weekly specials
- Add-on menu items such as appetizers, desserts, or family value meals
- Curbside, delivery, and takeout options, as well as in-restaurant dining availability
Give them a reason to come back for more
Encourage repeat visits and keep customers coming back by rewarding their loyalty: Recognizing and celebrating key milestones (such as their 20th visit, visiting during a new daypart, referring a friend to join, program anniversary, etc.), elevating customers with a premier-tier membership experience, giving top members input and early access to new products or rewards, to name just a few.
Research shows that loyalty programs lead customers to spend more: over 57% of users said they would spend more with a loyalty program, according to a Patronix and PYMNTS 2020 Delivering on Restaurant Rewards study.
- QSR customers have been ramping up their usage of these loyalty programs since October, with 41.6% saying they use at least one loyalty program as of the end of April 2021 compared to 36.2% in October 2020.
Nearly 40% of QSR customers don’t use loyalty programs because their preferred restaurant doesn’t offer one as of April 2021, according to Paytronix. That leaves plenty of opportunities for QSRs to capture even more returning customers and keep them coming back.
National restaurant brands have had success recently in utilizing direct mail as an onramp to digital adoption – both in app and online. The valuable first-party data it provides is the key to building loyalty and developing long-term customer relationships.
Stay connected and drive results
A multi-channel restaurant marketing strategy that stays connected with more diners and communicates these core messages is key to boosting average ticket sales and driving repeat visits.
Mspark’s solutions target diners—both current and potential customers—combining the proven effectiveness of direct mail advertisements with the additional reach of digital ads to lift response rates by up to 118% and conversion rates by up to 28%.
Just how powerful an impact can direct mail make on your restaurant marketing strategy?
- 62% of restaurant or take-out customers responded to an ad/coupon in the mailbox in the past 12 months.
- A 2020 Awareness-to-Action Study found that 46% of consumers were encouraged to go online and seek out more information about a brand due to an ad they received in the mail.
- The same study found that more than one-third (34%) of participants said they spend more time now engaging with direct mail ads than before the pandemic.
When you add direct mail as part of a multi-channel campaign, it does more than simply engage consumers; it drives activation and purchase intent.
- Print drives 11% purchase intent compared to only 4% with digital alone—that’s a 175% increase in purchase intent when anchoring your digital campaign with print!
- Consumers say that when they see an ad both in print and digital media, they are more likely to remember the message (52%) and notice the ad (52%).
- 60% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase after seeing an ad in offline and online.
See how restaurant and pizza marketers have benefitted from partnering with Mspark. Read more restaurant marketing insights on our resource page or reach out today to plan your strategy!
Sources: Acosta consumer dining report/PR Newswire; Coca-cola consumer dining survey/QSR Magazine; Paytronix and PYMNTS 2020 Delivering on Restaurant Rewards study; AdMall AudienceSCAN; Valassis Awareness to Action Study; Millward Brown Print Campaign Analysis; Simplifi; valassis.com
See how restaurant and pizza marketers have benefitted from partnering with Mspark in our case studies.
National Fast Casual Chain
A national fast casual restaurant chain wanted to increase foot traffic to its locations.
- Analyzed customer data to identify key ZIP codes with historically high redemption, within a 20-minute drive time, casual dining propensities, and number of competitors
- Utilized the Impact Postcard with strong offers and variable coupon codes to track redemptions at the household level
Of the households mailed redeemed coupons
Million total revenue generated
In sales for every $1 spent on advertising
Fast Casual Asian Restaurant
A local Asian restaurant with 4 locations in Texas needed a cost-effective marketing program that would increase average ticket sales and drive customer traffic.
- Identified & targeted key ZIP Codes surrounding 2 locations
- Utilized a targeted insert to engage 39,000+ households
- Created an effective ad with attractive offers to drive response
- $3 OFF with purchase of $15
- $5 OFF with purchase of $25
- $6 Student Meals
- $20 OFF Catering of $100 or More
- Kids Eat Free Every Thursday
sales increase for one location
sales increase during the first week for the second location
additional stores began using the mailbox to drive traffic
National Pizza Chain
A national pizza chain customer wanted to enhance their current print program by combining loyalty and acquisition messaging in the same mailing to save money and increase return on investment. They were also looking to increase year-over-year sales and drive more customers to their stores.
- Targeted full ZIP codes within delivery area around each location
- Created multiple consumer segments: Current Customers & Loyal Customers based on online ordering frequency, New Customers, and Potential Customers
- Varied messages with different offers to each group utilizing the Variable Messaging Impact Postcard
- Established a mailing frequency to maintain customer attention and stay top-of-mind
sales increase compared to the previous month & 2,713 additional orders
sales increase compared to the same promotional period the previous year & 59% increase in orders
Objective: Increase Monthly ROI & Average Ticket Sales
- Utilized a Targeted Insert to reach 40,000 households at the ZIP code level with strong offers:
- $5.99 all you can eat Sunday buffet
- $16 pizza and wings
- $5.99 2 medium/2 topping pizzas
- $10.99 large/1 topping/stuffed crust
- $10 dinner box
Coupons were redeemed in one week, in-store and online
Redemption rate over a three-week period