Connecting with Your Customers in a Socially Distant World
When you think back to your childhood, what was your favourite food place? Pretty sure your mind went to a place where the food always tasted amazing, the servers new all your names, and you got a special treat on your birthday?
Family Restaurant Joys
That’s the textbook definition of a family restaurant – one for families by families: cozy, amazing food, every customer is a friend. While we appreciate them for their consistency, tasty food, and nostalgic reasons in general, they’re not necessarily known for their digital-forward approach. But why not?
Every day we use apps to order coffee and food from coffee giants, but almost never from a single-location café, and the probable conclusion is: technology has become an attribute of chain restaurants.
That's why cookie-cutter online ordering tools were not deemed to be useful – or feasible – for a small enterprise. The reason? Besides the fact that app development used to be expensive and inaccessible, technology seemed to destroy the personal experience each family restaurant aims at creating: an atmosphere that says, “We care about our branding and want to build unique experiences for our friends.” Thus, being reluctant to adopt technology used to be typical and on brand for family restaurants.
Another thing that made the tech gap even bigger are delivery platforms. Adding this element to the interaction between restaurant owners and customers deprived the former of the opportunity of getting to know the “real people” who order from them. Instead, the restaurant's customer would turn into mere user – a no-go for the family-focused concept.
As a result, many restaurant owners were worried that they couldn't access their guests through an app, engage with them, or create a loyal customer base, without which a restaurant brand is doomed to fail.
Holding on to the best of both worlds
Here's the good news for family restaurant owners: modern restaurant apps like Craver’s are neither unattainably expensive nor are they killing the personal note. On the contrary: modern technology offers tools that were developed to personalize the service for every individual customer and we’re here to tell you that those fears are unfounded. In fact, during the pandemic, digital or distanced interactions have become so normalized for everyone that family restaurants embrace handheld devices as much as handheld food (we stand by that wordplay).
Here are a few steps you can take to create an engaging digital presence and personalize interactions with your customers:
- Web Presence. Everything you do online matters. Having a good website can help you overcome numerous challenges, but building a great one will go further and attract new customers. A visually appealing website where you can interact with your visitors will provide you with tons of insights about them, too, and that helps you serve them better.
- Be Active on Social Media. It's a part of your web presence, but let's pay special attention to it for a second. Choose the platforms where your target audience spends most of their time and post. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter? All of them? Yes! Be there for them to answer questions and tell stories. Social media is about sharing, so go for it, and show your care.
- A custom Mobile App. The idea behind developing a mobile app is not to make people order from you. Of course, an app makes the process easier for them since most orders are placed from a mobile device these days. What really makes an app work for you are features like rewards and loyalty programs. It's a great touch when, e.g., on your birthday, you get a push notification from your favourite coffee shop saying, "Congratulations on your big day! Please enjoy a free drink on us!"
- Involve Your Customers. You’ve already adapted to the new reality, so keep this flexibility and show your customers you’re listening to them by reading their reviews, replying to their comments, and implementing necessary changes. Encourage clients to order directly from you and leave a #RavingReview for your brand.
In the end, it all helps you and your customer service – and that’s what we call a personal connection.
Curious to learn more or get on board? The Craver Team can make it all happen for you and your family restaurant (we have families, too, and you can guess where we take them on the weekend). Talk to us today to discuss how a tailor-made mobile app can enhance your business.