12 Tactics to Build a Restaurant Sales Funnel That’s Always Full

By Raubi Perilli

      Oct 19, 2021     Solutions    

To keep your restaurant filled with customers, you need a well-rounded marketing plan that reaches customers at every stage of the sales funnel. You must be consistently attracting new customers, capturing their information, driving them to buy, and getting them to return.

You need a magnetic restaurant sales funnel that brings new customers in and existing customers back.  

Here’s how you can create one. Employ at least one of these tactics in each phase of the restaurant sales funnel to keep your business busy and your customers engaged.

Phase One: Attract

The first step in building a magnetic restaurant sales funnel is building brand awareness. You need to get customers who don’t know about you to meet and recognize your brand. Keep in mind that it usually isn’t enough to get your brand in front of customers once for them to take notice of you. You may need to employ more than one tactic at a time.

#1) Social Media Ads

Social media is a great place for restaurants to introduce their brand to new customers. Run ads that use geotargeting to reach customers who live and work near your business.

#2) Local Content

Put your brand in front of local customers and travelers looking for something new in a specific area by getting featured on local blogs and social media profiles. Invite local influencers to visit your restaurant and share their experience with their followers, and get featured on the Local Area Site in your community.  

Learn More: How PDQ Got 39X More Local Brand Awareness For Dozens of Locations

#3) Geofencing

Target new customers where they are using geofencing for restaurants. Geofencing places virtual boundaries around specific areas (such as a neighborhood or a business) and presents display ads to people when they enter or leave the boundary. It’s a great way to target customers when they visit your community or one of your nearby competitors.

#4) Local SEO

Get in front of nearby customers when they search for a restaurant like you using local SEO. Local SEO is a type of search engine optimization that sets your brand up so you are more likely to appear in searches when nearby customers search for terms related to your business.

Phase Two: Capture

Once you attract interested audiences to your brand, you want to form a connection with them so you can stay in touch. Capture their contact information in a way that is mutually beneficial so customers feel like they get something out of connecting with your brand.

#5) Contests

Social media contests are a proven way to turn interested audiences into leads. Rather than simply running an ad for your brand on social media, run a contest that invites audiences to enter their contact information for a chance to win a prize (like a free dinner or $50 gift card).  

Learn More: How a Steakhouse Used Contests to Drive 6X ROI and 1,405 New Leads

#6) Coupons

Another incentive that can drive opt-ins is a simple coupon offer. Invite new audiences to enter their phone number or email address to instantly receive a desirable coupon they can use on their next visit. (This tactic drives both lead generation and sales as customers are often quick to use their coupons.)  

Learn More: Restaurants Need To Focus More on Lead Generation. Here's How.

Phase Three: Sell

After an interested audience has shared their contact information, it’s time to give them incentives to visit your restaurant. When you have a list of customers who intentionally signed up to connect with your brand, you have a hot list of leads who just need a small push to visit you.

#7) Text Marketing

Send your audience texts with deals and offers. Make your offers time-sensitive to create a sense of urgency, and share direct call-to-actions with links to order online to drive immediate sales.  

Learn More: How to Launch the Best Text Message Marketing Campaigns

#8) Email Marketing

Email marketing for restaurants is another powerful way to leverage your contact list to drive sales. Share deals and discounts, and lead audiences toward your online ordering or book a reservations page. (Also, use your emails to share any valuable or interesting news to build brand affinity and keep your audience engaged.)  

Learn More: 6 Ways Restaurants Can Increase Online Food Orders (and Revenue)

#9) Limited-Time Offers

Drive customers into your restaurants by developing limited-time offers that customers need to try before it’s too late. Promote limited-time offers through your email and text marketing as well as through social media posts.

#10) Retargeting Ads

Retargeting ads target audiences who have engaged with your brand on social media, have visited your website, or are on your email or text marketing lists. Use digital retargeting to put your offer or messaging back in front of audiences who may need one final incentive to visit your restaurant.

Phase Four: Bring Customers Back

Once someone visits or buys from your restaurant, don’t let them leave your restaurant sales funnel. Stay in touch with them so they can find another reason to visit or order online.

#11) Customer Loyalty Programs

Make customers feel special and help them earn discounts by creating a customer loyalty plan. Develop a plan that invites customers to sign up to begin to receive coupons and deals each time they visit.

#12) Remarketing

Employ remarketing tactics that use customer data to create personalized offers, incentives, and messages. Use your restaurant POS or CRM to create customer profiles and send email and text messages that match the customer's previous purchase habits.  

Learn More: How Multi-Location Restaurants Can Use Data to Increase Revenue & Improve Operations

Want to Build a Better Restaurant Sales Funnel? Remember This.

As you begin to build your restaurant sales funnel, remember that many of these tactics can be automated.

Through restaurant marketing automation, you can set up campaigns in your sales funnel that run automatically.  

Think about your sales funnel by first building automated tasks that keep customers coming in and going back into the sales funnel. Add it to your restaurant marketing plan that includes other one-time marketing campaigns and promotions that will boost brand awareness, lead generation, and sales even more.  

Need help with any of these tactics? Let’s talk. Contact MyArea Network to see how our team has already created automated sales funnels like this for single and multi-location restaurants and how we can do the same for you.

Get more out of your restaurant sales funnel. Contact us today to schedule your free intro call.