It's no surprise that major restaurant chains in the U.S. were lobbying the NFL and the NFL Players Association to end the lockout that threatened the football season this fall and winter. Restaurants popular with the football clientele were anticipating same month sales to be off a minimum of 10% to 15%. Some were predicting as high as 40%.
But with the season starting this month, it's time for restaurants to gear up to attract the football crowd, and remind customers that ordering online through NetWaiter means a minimum of time away from their big screen television.
You can do this a number of ways:
- Work with your employees and start a narrative with customers. Football fans love to talk about game day plans. Make sure they get the message from the wait staff that NetWaiter can make their pickup or delivery that much easier.
- Brag about your online ordering site in signage and other point-of-purchase opportunities – table tents, signage at the cash register, your website, and even in the restrooms. Make sure that everywhere your customers are, they know about your online ordering site.
- Promote online ordering specials. What are the offerings you have that are especially suited for football viewing? Hot chicken wings, stuffed potato peels and pizza are all popular this time of year. Can you offer a complimentary appetizer with each order of $40 or more? Get creative!
- Update your advertising. Do you run regular ads? Do you have a billboard around the corner? How about radio spots during football programing or sports shows? Make sure all these messages include online ordering for the football season.
Football season is a great business opportunity for many restaurants, and also a time to increase customer awareness about online ordering. Long after the season is over, customers will still be bringing in extra sales with the click of their mouse and your NetWaiter site.
You can download a copy of a study on electronic food ordering from Cornell University, by Sheryl E. Kimes Ph.D., at no charge. Among other tidbits of info: "The chief reason for electronic ordering given by those have ordered (users) is that they gain convenience and control. The major factor that inhibits those who have not ordered via an electronic channel (non-users) is a desire for interaction (although technology anxiety is also a factor). Check it out at http://ow.ly/4WE3K
How can NetWaiter help your restaurant grow? View it as a consistent marketing tool.
Established restaurants invariably develop a loyal clientele. This clientele is important. You'll often find that up to 80% of a restaurant’s receipts come from this core group of customers.
The key to growth - to continue building this core group of customers - is getting new faces in the door. The best way to do this is through word of mouth. However - in order to get people to spread the word, you have to give them something to talk about.
This is where NetWaiter comes in. NetWaiter offers a unique package of services that can get people talking. The ability to order online is an attention-getter - but NetWaiter also offers other services. Facebook ordering, the ability to order from a Smartphone, and an instant link to your restaurant using your unique QR code are some great examples.
As you and your employees interact with customers, use these NetWaiter features to start a conversation. Impress them with your custom QR code. Get them to save your mobile NetWaiter site on their Smartphone. You might even run a special - a gift card or discount for every customer who shares your restaurant on Facebook or Twitter (they can email you proof).
There are likely customers within a certain geographical area of your restaurant that are prime targets for your restaurant's online ordering capabilities.
This topic surfaced again during a conversation with the General Manager of a NetWaiter client based in the Seattle, WA area.
"We are right next door to the new Amazon.com offices," said the Manager. "That's huge for business. Those are the kind of customers (office based technology employees) that really use online ordering most."
Okay, so maybe you aren't right next to offices like Amazon.com. Only a few restaurants can be that lucky. But, the fact still remains - you can successfully capitalize on almost any nearby business that has employees “trapped” at their computers and hungry during lunch. Locate the office parks, high-rise buildings, hospitals, and universities in your area. These are target-rich environments, full of employees and students that spend major amounts of time in front of a computer screen each day.
Inexpensive flyers or business cards can be distributed office-by-office, or left on car windshields. You can even include a QR-Code (Quick Response Code) on the flyer for customers to scan with their smartphones. The QR-Code can direct customers to your mobile NetWaiter site for them to view your online menu and easily place orders. Feel free to contact NetWaiter with any questions about targeting ideal customers or setting up a Quick Response Code for your restaurant.
Blue Moon Burgers in Seattle, WA, combines online ordering with social media--Twitter and Facebook. The result is a 100% increase in business in the South Lake Union store in eight months.
Blue Moon using NetWaiter.pdf (160.19 kb)