How Can Restaurant Franchise Owners Manage their Digital Marketing?

Earlier in August, I got a phone call from a business owner who manages a franchise for a Pizza place & she asked, “How can Restaurant Franchise Owners Manage their Digital Marketing to attract more customers through the door?”.

The Business Situation On the Ground

I offered to come in for a discussion the same evening & learned a few things about the business –

  1. Fixed Price – The Franchise was targeted towards the price conscious college going crowd & they had a single Eat All You Can offer throughout the day. They offered a full course meal from Salads to Soups to Desserts at a easy on pocket price.
  2. Excellent Location – The franchise was located in the heart of the city with easy access to college students
  3. Pizza was their product – I mean, Who does not love a Pizza? The franchise was in the business of selling Pizza to their patrons, along with the soups and salads.
  4. No Possibility of Promotion – Since the product was already being sold at a fixed price & there was a lot on offer, there was little room to provide promotional offers really.

The primary challenge they had was that with an increasing competition in terms of food options available in the vicinity, it was getting increasingly difficult to get patrons in through the door.

The only thing they probably did was, send out a couple of their in-store staff with some advertising hand bills to try and entice the passers by into the restaurant.

5 Tips to Manage a Franchise’ Digital Marketing

So, After a long meeting and understanding their challenges, I presented them 5 tips on how they could manage their Digital and Offline Marketing in general. These tips can work for any restaurant franchise in general.

  1. Google My Business & Vertical Search Engine – Every Restaurant Franchise should get themselves registered on Google My Business. It will even further beneficial to name their business with a nomenclature that is like – “Franchise Name <Locality>” The Locality is important because as the smartphone penetration increases and people search using voice, The search will most likely will be like – “Tell me some good Pizza Places near me OR in this locality”. In addition, they should also register themselves on a search engine specific to their industry. In this case, it could be a Zomato or a Yelp.
  2. Facebook & Instagram Strategy – When food is your product, excellent food photography & in-restaurant videography is what you do to maintain a basic Facebook and Instagram presence. With Facebook being used widely on a day to day basis & Instagram adoption seeing a meteoric rise, these two channels promise to give good results.
  3. Manage your Patrons Online – A happy patron leaves excellent reviews either on Facebook, Google or on Yelp/Zomato. A Restaurant Franchise owner should thank the happy patrons & pay special attention towards the angry ones. Make sure you respond to each of the comments on social media. Diffuse unwanted tensions, always.
  4. Recruit an Excellent Floor Manager – An excellent Floor Manager will play a great host in the restaurant. When the restaurant is busy, She will manage the crowd’s expectations well. When the load is lesser, She can gather valuable feedback from the patrons. The experience that your floor manager will provide will reflect back on your social media.
  5. Create a Feedback Loop – If you are working with your Social Media team, keep providing them valuable feedback from the patrons on a regular basis. A smart Social Media team will use this feedback fruitfully into the restaurant’s content strategy. Ultimately, a feedback loop will be completed.

How do you like the above suggestions? If you run a franchise, I would love to speak with you and discuss your thoughts. Alternately, you can email me on tejas@innovatorsdigital.com.

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