In a 2018 report titled ‘Is the Kitchen Dead?’, investment bank UBS predicted that by 2030 most meals would be ordered online and delivered. 80% of restaurant growth in the next five years will be spurred on by off-premise spending, according to the investment group Cowen and Company.
On one hand, there’s a tremendous opportunity for success of delivery-only restaurant businesses, On the other, there will be brutal competition as more and more companies fight to steal a slice of the action.
Brands that stay on top of their game with creative solutions will not only survive but thrive in this environment. Social media allows delivery-only restaurants to squeeze their creative juices to the full and influence customers in new and exciting ways. If you need some inspiration, we’ve got a list of top tips lined up.
Quick and convenient—that’s the least customers today expect from restaurant deliveries. This on-demand economy has led restaurants to offer online ordering services across verticals including social media. 247 million Americans are using social media to connect, engage, stay informed and entertained and to make various purchases. So it makes sense to go where the customers are already teeming instead of waiting for them to come to your brand. Besides a website and a mobile app, allowing orders through social media makes the process much simpler, thus attracting more customers.
While speaking about social media marketing, many people tend to look past YouTube. This is a grave mistake, considering that 73% of adults in the U.S. use YouTube which is even more than Facebook and almost twice as much as Instagram. One way to harness the immense power of this video platform is to collaborate with other popular YouTube personalities in your region, with the same target demographic, to create engaging content. You can partner with home cooks food bloggers and travel vloggers from your city. Fitness experts and nutritionists are other potential collaborations.
Want unwavering engagement on your social media posts? Try meme marketing. Memes are funny, relatable and have high shareability, allowing for massive brand exposure opportunities, especially among the younger audience. Take the example of the American food processing company, Heinz, who partnered with Memes.com for a campaign with a target of receiving one million impressions and finally ended up with four million impressions instead. But memes can be a tricky affair. Restaurants should know what’s trending in order to post the right meme. Depending on the execution, it can either be a big hit or a disastrous miss.
If you’re looking to capture a younger demographic, Snapchat is perhaps the best social media platform for that. Snapchat has almost 100 million users in the US with 73% of them between the ages of 18–24 and 47% between 25–30. A lot of experts recommend that highlighting your restaurant staff and telling their stories is a good way to build an emotional connection with the audience. So why not let the younger employees, whether kitchen or delivery staff, take over Snapchat from time to time. They’ll know best how to curate brand stories for this platform, helping you cement relationships with younger generations of customers. This also works with Instagram stories.
As a delivery-only restaurant, you have very little chance to have a personal interaction with your customers. But it’s always nice to put a face to a brand. Why not host a live Q&A on Facebook and Instagram to do this? The Q&A can be about many aspects of your brand, like where you source your ingredients from, how do you ensure safe packaging and delivery, new features you’ve introduced on apps, websites, social media ordering, any social causes you’re involved in, answering queries and complaints, etc. You could even have a live cooking session and videos of easy food hacks.
Introduce some weekly specials on the menu and promote them widely on social media channels. For example, if you’re a Greek restaurant and you have a weekly special deal on souvlaki every Saturday, then you can post scrumptious photos of the dish throughout the week reminding customers of the deal. Use catchy hashtags like #SaovlakiSaturday. Not only that but you can also promote side dishes and beverages from the menu that pair well with the souvlaki. This way you increase your chances of increasing the average order.
Use social media platforms to push real-time offers, like a free beverage or a dessert or a free delivery if a customer orders within the next four hours. The prospect of instant gratification will act as a strong incentive for the customer. There is also a sense of excitement about getting your hands on something that’s fleeting. Such real-time campaigns will gain a great deal of traction during special events, say for instance during the Super Bowl, when social media, especially, Twitter are already buzzing with the on-going game. Use trending hashtags and topics to push your own promotion and increase visibility.
These fun, engaging ways will help you make your delivery only restaurant stand out and reach the right set of audience.