Best Practices

3 ways to stand out from your competitors and win guests

Stay on top of shifting consumer expectations with smart strategies and the right technology.

The restaurant industry remains fiercely competitive, with no signs of easing up in the new year. According to the National Restaurant Association’s latest study, 45% of operators anticipate even greater competition ahead.

In this ever-changing landscape, restaurants must continually innovate to attract guests and drive revenue growth. We’re here to help with three data-backed strategies guaranteed to set your restaurant apart. Plus, we'll explore the best technology solutions that are easy to implement in your restaurant. Ready to grow your restaurant's success? Let's dive in.

Serve up a digitally enhanced experience

In the era of Instagram, Facebook, and all things digital, providing an exceptional online experience is essential for restaurants to attract and retain customers. According to our Restaurant Trends to Watch report, over half (52%) of consumers are more likely to visit a restaurant that offers a digitally enhanced experience. 

One key aspect of this enhancement is through dynamic menus. These menus not only improve a restaurant’s website ranking on Google, but also provide a more engaging browsing experience for customers. By including dish photos, customer reviews, and direct online ordering options, restaurants can stand out in a crowded online marketplace.

Moreover, investing in first-party online ordering is crucial for restaurants looking to differentiate themselves. In addition to the benefits of dynamic menus, first-party ordering can often save diners money compared to third-party platforms, making it an attractive option for both restaurant owners and customers alike.

Impactful marketing, done effortlessly    

Effective marketing can make all the difference for a restaurant, and personalized communication is key to capturing customers' attention. While crafting individualized messages may seem daunting, automated emails offer a simple solution with impressive results.

By tracking customers' actions on your website, automated email tools can send timely messages tailored to each guest. Whether it's a birthday greeting, a request for feedback after an online order, or a gentle reminder to place another order, these personalized emails keep your brand top-of-mind in a way that resonates with customers.

Florida favorite, Libby’s Neighborhood Brasserie, offered guests a $20 discount in an email prompting them to place an online order. The restaurant generated over $30,000 in online ordering revenue from the offer. In other words, the right message, at the right time can drive real revenue results. 

Be smart with artificial intelligence 

In a high-turnover industry like restaurants, maintaining a consistent guest experience can be challenging. With the labor market becoming increasingly competitive, it's essential to find ways to streamline operations without overburdening staff. That's where artificial intelligence (AI) comes in.

One way AI can create a consistent experience for guests is by answering the phones. It can pick out keywords from guest inquiries, like “online ordering” or “hours”, and reply with a pre-written response or redirect to the restaurant if the guest requires a high-touch experience. By automating phone lines, staff are freed up to focus on in-person customers, ensuring that every guest receives the best possible experience.

In addition to improving customer service, AI phone answering can drive sales for restaurants by sending guests a link to place an online order or make a reservation when they ask about those topics. For example, in their first 90 days with Popmenu AI Answering, Locals Pub & Pizzeria saw online sales increase by 132%. Their story underscores the value AI brings to restaurants in its ability to promote restaurant growth.

Another way AI helps restaurants stand out is through marketing content creation. It can write copy for emails, social posts, and text messages, giving restaurant operators more time to focus on marketing strategy and running their business. Plus, consistent marketing is a great way to drive business for a restaurant. Take House of Pizza, for example, who tripled their marketing impressions in the first month with Popmenu AI Marketing and grew their online sales by 32% in the first two months.

Some AI Marketing tools can identify when your restaurant is running a promotion or hosting an event, and fill out a month of marketing content specific to your business. Shameless plug, Popmenu has a tool that can do this! Interested to see how tools like AI Marketing and AI Answering can help your restaurant standout from the crowd? Schedule a demo with one of our experts to learn more!

Front of the House Resource

2024 Restaurant Trends Report

Are you up-to-date on 2024's hottest restaurant trends? From AI in restaurants to beverage menu promotions, Popmenu's 2024 Restaurant Trends Report covers all the changes that are shaping the restaurant industry.

Download Now


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