Use these tips and tools to make your business outreach more effective than ever.

As a restaurant owner, you may be baffled about how to leverage mobile to get more traffic through your doors. You may have read the statistics showing steadily rising mobile phone and tablet use amongst consumers.

This is a point of great interest, and you still can’t quite wrap your head around the logistics. Here, we will discuss six ways you can reach your customers on the go:

1. Test Your Website for Mobile Responsiveness

Mobile marketing isn’t limited to text messaging and apps; it actually begins with your digital centerpiece—your restaurant website. Users who find you online will more often than not be viewing your site from a mobile device.

It’s your duty to provide great service through a mobile-ready experience on your main website before patrons ever enter your doors. You need to test the responsiveness of your website. This means that you are making sure your images and content translate as well on desktop as they do on cell phone and tablet viewing.

Responsive websites automatically resize images and text, providing seamless viewing across all devices. There are many ways to test for responsiveness, including the“Mobile-Friendly Test” tool from Google.

2. Use QR Codes in Your Offline Materials

You’ve seen those square-shaped black and white matrix barcodes around, yet you may not be sure what they are or how to use them. These little tools are called quick response (QR) codes. They contain information that can be accessed from mobile devices. Use them to engage customers and passersby from nearly anywhere.  

Place QR codes in your menu to link to more information about a promoted dish. Use them in newspaper ads to link to promotional codes. You can print a QR code on the side of a food truck that sends people to a subscription form. The uses are unlimited, and your patrons will love this form of digital engagement. 

3. Create a Branded Mobile App

If you want to keep your regular customers engaged, a branded mobile app could be just the trick. There are many software systems setup specifically for restaurants to help you create a way for patrons to stay connected. Alternatively, you can hire a developer to create a customized app just for you, serving several helpful purposes.

Via an app, you can offer customers an easy-to-read menu, mobile ordering options, push notifications for real-time promotions, edutainment, and more. Include a map to your location(s) for the easiest access and automatic driving directions with incentives for ordering.

Link your app to your social media profiles to get customers connected everywhere, or host branded games. You set your own limits. 

4. Accept Mobile Payments

Convenient payment systems are key to the success of your business. You already know this, or you wouldn’t have a credit and debit system in place. But, have you forgotten those who might prefer to pay via mobile?

It isn’t likely that your in-house customers are going to choose a mobile payment option, but what if someone wants to order online via your website or app. Wouldn’t it be best to allow them to pay in whichever way is most convenient?

PayPal is a popular option, but consider adding Square and Apple Wallet, also known as ApplePay. The more payment options you can provide, the better.

5. Advertise on Mobile

If you’re already advertising online, then you’re familiar with tools like Google AdWords. Online advertising is a trusted method for digital promotions, and you should continue employing systems that work. In addition, you should look at new ways to get the word out to the masses.

Mobile advertising provides a disruptive way to show your promotions to the masses. Instead of appearing in Google searches, with mobile advertising, your promotions will show up in related mobile apps and mobile versions of web pages based on geographic targeting.

6. Leverage Promotional Text Messaging

Text messaging may be one of the most misunderstood ways to reach your leads and customers. To some, SMS it is considered too personal, and even invasive, but the truth is that text messaging is one of the most efficient ways to reach consumers.

You can take advantage of SMS automation solutions that allow you to integrate subscription forms, segment lists, schedule and automate messages, access incoming messages from a user dashboard, share the work with your teammates, and view helpful analytics.

One case study from a restaurant in the United Kingdom showcases how promotional text messaging improved customer service by providing a new way to reach customers at all stages of their dining journey.

You can use text messaging together with mobile ads or mobile apps or any other method mentioned above to build strong mobile presence for your restaurant business. Try out which ways work best for you and continue testing new strategies to stay competitive in the restaurant market.

Expert Takes, Feature, Marketing & Promotions