Restaurant management

How ‘phygital’ marketing improves customer engagement for restaurants | modern restaurant management

One of the most effective ways to target your audience is location-based marketing. Nine out of 10 people who own a smartphone use it to get information about their location, giving providers access to relevant and timely data in a non-intrusive way.

Customer engagement is guaranteed to increase as customers interact with your restaurant through a dedicated mobile app or QR code system. Mobile apps and QR codes deliver targeted messages and unique promotions to customers, which helps build brand awareness and make your restaurant a household name.

This is “phygital” marketing: the mix of a physical presence and a digital engagement. Phygital marketing is a hybrid channel offering an immediate and immersive experience to make brands memorable and convert them.

As phygital interactions deliver increasingly targeted customer experiences in the future, here are three ways phygital marketing can improve customer engagement for restaurants.

Promote online orders and reservations

Online menus are one of the best ways to use technology in a restaurant. Using QR codes on tables, counters or even doors provides a contactless alternative to physical menus, minimizing the need for direct interaction with servers and encouraging quick ordering. Customers only need a mobile phone to scan the QR code to quickly and easily access the menu on their own without reporting a restaurant staff member.

This is “phygital” marketing: the mix of a physical presence and a digital engagement.

Restaurants can also offer customers a pre-order option during the reservation process. The ability to pre-order food online makes it easier for all parties involved. Food arrives at the table shortly after the customer arrives, eliminating stress on servers and limiting time pressure.

In-app order promotion is another way to incorporate phygital marketing strategies. In addition to placing their food order in the app, allowing customers to book their table in your app frees them from calling the restaurant. This option offers ease of use that has a remarkable impact on the number of people who make reservations.

Include online payments with multiple fulfillment options

The more you can personalize your ordering and browsing experience, the happier you will make your customers. One way to personalize a restaurant app is to provide multiple payment options. In 2020, 87% of shoppers preferred contactless self-checkout and checkout options. With businesses rapidly shifting to contactless payments due to the strong preference for these features, no channel is better suited to meet demand than phygital.

Customers should have the option to pay in-app either by card or Apple Pay, PayPal, or Google Pay when placing an order or reserving a table with pre-ordered food. Online payments complement QR code menus by minimizing contact and providing an efficient payment experience for customers.

Send targeted promotions with push notifications

One of the biggest benefits of phygital marketing is the ability to target customers with personalized promotional materials via location-based push notifications and QR codes. A restaurant’s app can offer promotions, specials, and discounts to nearby customers via push notifications.

Phygital marketing fosters a deep connection between consumers and a brand when executed correctly.

Restaurants can leverage phygital marketing, particularly geolocation, to personalize restaurant promotions based on factors such as weather. For example, a restaurant might promote lemonade or cold drinks on a hot day and promote hot chocolate on a cold day, depending on the weather at a customer’s location. People will be more interested in promotions specific to their current experience. Restaurants must therefore ensure that promotions are personalized to drive engagement.

QR codes and push notifications work well to encourage customers to rate and review their dining experience. App notifications prompt customers to tag the restaurant in a review or share the photo on social media. QR codes allow seamless access to platforms, such as Facebook or Yelp, for customers to leave a review.

Phygital marketing fosters a deep connection between consumers and a brand when executed correctly. Phygital marketing enables better customer interactions and enables brands to measure their customer experience with data. As restaurants look for ways to optimize and streamline the dining experience, phygital marketing will be the natural next step to increasing customer engagement.