Helping restaurants through COVID-19 | Part 3: Marketing your restaurant's website
In reaction to COVID-19, I assessed my two restaurants’ financials to see which costs I had control over, and adapted very quickly to minimise reliance on external delivery companies, pay less commission and make online ordering profitable for my business.
I quickly set up my online ordering platform and now I have my own delivery drivers that can deliver my orders to my customers. What do I do now?
Marketing your online ordering system
There is a common misconception in relation to a venue having its own online order system. Many business owners think that once their online ordering system is set up, that they can simply sit back and let the orders roll in.
It’s just not that simple.
It’s extremely important for venue owners to consider how they plan to raise awareness and attract the attention of their local market or their customers, to let them know about their new online ordering system and home delivery service.
You will not convert all of your external delivery orders to your own online orders overnight. The goal is to slowly over time be able to take as many of your customers who are ordering through external delivery platforms and get them to order directly with you on your website. If you were to move 50% of orders from external providers over to your own platform, you would have a lot more money in your bank account.
Incentivise your customers
The reality is that there will always be customers who order on Uber eats and Deliveroo, for convenience reasons. However if you provide enough value to your customers by giving them a special offer or an incentive to order directly with you on your website, then you will significantly increase your orders through that channel, and reduce commissions as a result. Paying less commissions on these orders allows you to offer specials or discounts to your customers while still driving more profit.
You can also offer free gifts with purchase for orders over a certain amount, or offer free delivery. There are many marketing tactics that can be utilised to attract customers to order with you directly.
Social media and community groups
Social media will play a big role in driving a lot of the awareness of your online ordering and educating customers on now being able to use your website to order directly with your venue.
I have also experimented with a number of community group style promotions where I have reached out to targeted groups in my local community and offered some value to each group by giving them their own specific coupon code. This then entitles them to some special discount as being part of that community. This has helped raise awareness of our online order platform and has driven immediate sales directly through our website.
Search Engine Optimisation
It is imperative for any business owner to consider how to generate more traffic of relevant customers to their website and to be able to convert this traffic into customers who then place an order online.
SEO or search engine optimisation should be a part of every business owner’s marketing plan. When a customer is looking for something to eat for either pick up or home delivery, they begin their process of searching for what they want to eat in their local area.
What would you normally do in this scenario? 98% of people would immediately go to Google and search for things like:
“Best pizza in town”
“Best burger delivered to me”
“Thai food near me”
“Best Mexican food delivered”
If your website is not optimised for Google search in mind, by specifically targeting keywords that are designed to generate a flow of relevant customers who are looking to buy from a business like yours; then you are missing out on a huge revenue opportunity.
The ranking of your website on Google search results for keywords that relate to your business is the difference between having customers order directly from you every day or having no customers at all.
Check out KeyPay's COVID-19 Hub for the latest legislation updates and how to manage COVID-19 related processes in KeyPay.