When you’re managing a virtual kitchen, online marketing is a great way to get in touch with your customers. Make sure your brand is present on different social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. Marketing your brand and creating traction will get you on track for success.
1. Social media presence
Instagram is the perfect channel to showcase visual content to tease customers into trying out your food. Your Instagram content can create a stronger connection between your brand and your customers. You can include product photos, playful videos, behind-the-scenes photos and so on. Don’t forget to keep it dynamic: share content of your loyal customers and highlight news and special features in your stories.
Still one of the biggest social media channels today, Facebook can pull in customers as well by making them aware of certain promotions or special offers. Make sure that your posts engage people into taking action by adding call to actions. Make it possible for them to order your food or download content (or discount codes) with one click.
Twitter is another social media platform and an excellent medium to talk to your customers or send out a Tweet relaying your point of view. If you own a vegan restaurant for example, you could write about your social engagement to decrease pollution by supporting a charity, using reusable products etc.
When you own any kind of business, your aim is to build a strong relationship with your customer. This is also called customer relationship management. From the moment a customer has ordered their first meal, you are left with information like their email address and/or phone number. You can use these channels to let your customers know you have a new menu, a holiday offer or any other news that will be of interest to them.
3. Online referrals
Try to create as many positive referrals as possible on different platforms. This allows your business to get found more quickly online. Google reviews, Facebook reviews, Instagram referrals and so on: they all get your company brand out there.
4. Online advertising
Online advertising is a good way to build traffic to your website when you’ve just set up your company. Getting paid advertisements on sites like Facebook, Instagram, Google… is another great way to make customers notice your brand and click through to your website.
5. Managing reviews
Repeat after us: reviews are the way to go! It’s important to keep your customers happy and reviews can give you immediate feedback. Some of your reviews will be immediately actionable: if a customer is unhappy because the food was cold when he got it, you might want to do something about your packaging. If someone commented they thought the salad had too much dressing, you may want to consider putting your condiments in a separate compartment.
What your customers say about you online matters to your potential customers. Therefore, it’s important to reply to your reviews – especially if it’s a bad one. Replying the customer, explaining what went wrong or just letting them know you’ll do your best to do better next time, can really let your (potential) customers know your business really cares about its clients.
Once you’ve obtained your customer’s email address, you can email them on a weekly or monthly basis to keep them updated about new offers or meals on your menu. This can help to remind them to order again or to get them engaged with a special offer, to name just a few of the possibilities.
Your website gives your (potential) customers an overall picture of your restaurant. It’s crucial to offer a lot of appealing visuals of your meals and pictures or videos showcasing the restaurant’s ambience. This will really help to draw more customers in.
Include buttons such as ‘order now’ or ‘get special offer’ to make customers take action.
Investing in a good website is crucial to your (online) success. Visuals, page loading time, quality content and mobile device friendliness are all aspects you should consider. We recommend hiring a professional to set up and maintain your website. It’s is your online sales window so it should be impeccable!
8. Food ordering app
You can either build your own food ordering app or set up an account on delivery platforms such as Deliveroo, Uber Eats, Takeaway.com… . Your customers will order mainly through mobile devices, which have overtaken desktop.
Moving forward with your business is all about really getting to know your customers. Are they from a certain area? What’s your customer’s average age and what are they interested in? Once you find out who your customers are, you can target them with the right information through the right communication channel. This will help you retain customers and engage with new customers.
Getting your brand out there is very important. You can have the best food in the world – if nobody knows about it, it won’t sell. Make sure you take all of these aspects into account when setting up your dark kitchen.
September 2, 2019by Isabelle Hanet
Events marketer at Deliverect and proud vegetarian