The last 18 months have completely changed how businesses do business. A lot of new practices have become popular, while some have become obsolete. One major trend that most businesses have started following is the digitization of services.
With the fear of the pandemic, many businesses have started focusing more on the safety of their clients and hence they went digital in as many areas as possible. An online presence may seem like a broad concept that's hard to define, but it's a crucial component of any restaurant's marketing plan.
In the food industry, the trend that emerged in recent times is an increase in ghost restaurants. As per a recent study, the numbers are expected to increase further. The global ghost (also known as the cloud) kitchen market is expected to reach $2.63 billion at a CAGR of 17.2% by 2026. The popularity of ghost kitchens (or cloud kitchens) is rising, and it's one of the best ways to have a meal delivered. In fact, even legendary chef Guy Fieri launched his own ghost-kitchen restaurant chain namely Flavortown Kitchens. The new restaurant now has outlets in 24 states.
Digital marketing should be a key part of the customer experience well before they walk through your door. 2021 is by and large the best year to focus on your digital presence. In order for restaurants to stand out from the crowd today, they must have strong digital presences.
Having a strong digital presence is the need of the hour and not an option for businesses. To create a strong digital presence, you can do the following -
Now that your potential customers are mostly ordering food online, you will have to reach out to them through digital mediums. You need to have a very interactive and user-friendly interface for your customers when they come to your site to order food. Creating a great-looking website won’t cut it unless it tells a deeper story about your brand’s origin, the people behind the curtain, and the philosophy of the food.
One important thing most ghost kitchens miss to do is interact with customers, regularly. You need to interact with your customers via social media - create regular posts, interact with them via posts and comment sections. It is a great way to create an impression on customers that they know you and your business. With ghost kitchens, you may probably never interact with your customers directly but your social media posts and profile become your face.
Some effective ways to reach your customers and leave an impact -
One of the biggest challenges of running ghost kitchens is that there is no interaction with customers. When you plan to create a digital presence, you make sure you can provide your customers some customer experience when they order from your ghost kitchen. Use appealing visuals of your dishes to entice customers to place an order, and high-quality images or videos showcasing your brand’s character. Consider which dishes travel best and are the most efficient to produce. The condition of food is vital in ghost kitchens, and every second counts.
Going digital not only means you create a digital presence while customers order food. It has to go a step further. When a customer orders food through your platform, you can provide them real-time data about the status of their food - order accepted, preparing, prepared, and out for delivery. You can go a step further, and through sensors, let your customers know where exactly their orders are and in how much time it will reach them.
A good website gives your potential customers a good impression of how you operate your cloud kitchen. Your food should be visually appealing, and your menu should be clearly presented. Add more buttons to your website, such as 'Order Now' or 'Get Special Offer' to help draw in customers. Therefore, you should invest in a quality website if you want to succeed online.
Later, you can take the review or feedback on their experience of ordering food, receiving food, and the quality of food. When you go digital, you have to cover it from all sides.
Retaining a customer is much cheaper in terms of marketing costs than getting a new customer. For the same reason, it is very important when a customer orders food, you make them come back to you again. In a dine-in restaurant, there are a lot of ways to retain the customer. When you are running a ghost kitchen, there are limited options - but there definitely are a few.
Marketing strategies for restaurants are increasingly relying on influencers. It can boost the visibility and exposure of your digital restaurant to new client segments as well as to your target market. Engaging your target audience successfully can be accomplished with them.
The best example of this is MrBeast, who with his 20 million subscribers announced his new burger chain called "MrBeast Burgers."
Twenty million people, in this case, have shown a strong interest in trying a burger from a restaurant chain that had never had burgers before. Over 300 locations opened overnight, within range of many fans. Additionally, they worked with a number of influencers.
You can also make use of email marketing to send out a regular newsletter. A return on investment of up to 3800% can be generated by email marketing, according to the digital marketing experts at HubSpot.
The way forward for cloud kitchens is to become more tech-enabled and go digital using it. Initially creating a digital presence may look like a lot of effort but once the process is set up, running a ghost kitchen becomes easy for you. Digital gives you the power to do more in less - both in terms of time and money.