(UPDATE) Restaurant Technologies That Work…….Revisited.
About ten months ago we published a LIST of four restaurant technologies other than our own that we believed were having or were going to have a meaningful impact on restaurant operations. From private party lead generation, to targeted advertising, graphic design, and gift giving, here are our thoughts on our previous post as well as one newcomer that we think you will enjoy.
Opentable Private Dining Leads
This service is like the Derek Jeter of private dining lead generation. Consistency. You know what you’re going to get with OT Private Dining Leads, which is a steady stream of base hits to all fields, not too much to handle, and just enough to make it a meaningful revenue stream.
We continue to like Facebook Ads more and more. Recently, geo-targeting cell phone users within a quarter mile of the restaurants (we hope they’re not driving and reading their FB feeds) during happy hour with happy hour ads has worked quite well. We can’t wait to see what they have up their sleeves next for even further targeting.
Canva is one of those technologies that as more and more people talked about it, you had to wonder if their incredibly easy to use and incredibly easy to use for free model would remain that way. So far, they have remained true to their original pricing models, which we believe has created a level of trust with their users (including us) that actually makes them more likely to splurge on that perfect image and pay for it. We’ve done it several times. Quick hint: Canva has a Facebook Ad sized template that is perfect for creating your correctly sized Facebook Ad.
We were pretty sure that this idea had solid legs. Gifting a beer or a bottle of champagne over mobile devices to a friend, family member, or business colleague when you can’t be physically present makes sense, right? Maybe the idea has traction in other markets, but, in the Denver market the idea has not really gained much traction per our own results and through discussing Gratafy with other restaurants on the platform. We hope the concept takes off as we could see ourselves gifting friends a beer while we work late, but then that begs to ask the question, why haven’t we yet? Maybe that’s the problem.
Zenreach (formally Wifast) is an emailing platform that acquires email addresses in your restaurant by installing their own router. While collecting email addresses for customers to be able to access your free wifi isn’t a new concept, the information Zenreach acquires while doing so is. When acquiring the email address provided, ZR is also acquiring the ID information of your hardware mobile device you are using to connect and then linking the two. The net result? A new analytics metric: WTR (Walk Through Rate).
ZR knows when and which email addresses are walking back in the restaurant after the email address has been collected due to recognizing the hardware as the customer walks back through the door. If a customer hasn’t been back in a while, custom messages with offers are set up on the back end to automatically email the customer with the special offer enticing them to return. If the message(s) work, you have easy access to reports of how many “lost”, “loyal”, or “new” customers return through your doors.
Although this platform has a couple of kinks to work out (we would really like to stop sending “loyal” special offer deals to our employees due to their consistent return to the restaurant), the idea is a good one and we recommend checking them out.