3 Restaurant Marketing Strategies to Help Avoid the Winter Slump

Customer Engagement to Avoid Winter Slump

As the first snowflakes of winter begin to fall outside our windows we are reminded: Winter is Coming. And we all know what that means. Winter weather can have a major impact on foot traffic and revenue.

With fewer people venturing out in the cold and more people using delivery service or hunkering down to Netflix and chill, restaurant owners and operators need to engage customers right now to drive foot traffic.

In this post, we’ll share 3 strategic customer engagement strategies you can use to drive foot traffic when the snow and winter weather hit hard.

Tap into your customer database

To engage customers, you need to know who they are. While many merchants think they know their customer base, research suggests otherwise. Eighty percent of consumers say the average merchant doesn’t understand them as an individual.

When you begin to see big-picture data like customers’ average check size, visit frequency, and lifetime value and also more granular data like what a customer buys, when, and where, it provides you a very clear picture of exactly who your customers are and what they want.

Customer Attributes in Thanx

Now’s the time to tap into that data to understand who your best customers are and get them to come in. Your best customers drive the lion’s share of your revenue (Sixty-six percent of sales come from just 25% of your customers) and they visit and spend the most so getting them to come in again is a lot easier than trying to get Kenzo, who only visits once a year to come back when it’s 20 below zero.

Once you know who your best customers are, you can offer hyper-personalized experiences and messages that not only keep them engaged but keep them coming back for more. Personalization backed by data gives you the power to take an active role in fueling customer engagement and loyalty, rather than just wishing for it.

Send hyper-targeted customer engagement campaigns

Using the power of your automated customer engagement platform you can reach all your customers via email, texts, or push notifications to have a broad reach, or you can hyper-target specific segments of your customers with personalized offers.

Thanx Campaigns Everyone

Forty-four percent of consumers say they will likely visit and purchase again after a personalized experience.

Engaged customers represent a 23 percent premium in terms of wallet share, profitability, revenue, and relationship growth.  But to succeed at customer engagement you need to offer a highly personalized customer experience. And, despite the massive upside, 70 percent of merchants fail to personalize their marketing campaigns.

Segmented messages make it easy to deliver the right messages to the right customer at the right time—and they’re effective. Targeted communications that are relevant and useful can create lasting customer loyalty and drive revenue growth of 10 to 30 percent.

During the winter slump, you can send targeted campaigns to segments of your customer base to keep them coming in. You can marry these campaigns with things like LTOs (limited-time offers) to create a sense of urgency and get people in the door. Create a campaign targeted for your dessert lovers for a seasonal dessert that feels nostalgic like a tabletop smores experience or a platter of holiday-themed cookies with spiked hot chocolate or boozy coffee.

You can easily select from a variety of pre-built segments and quickly create a campaign in just minutes. Say, for example, the snow is dumping – hard. Like power outage hard but your restaurant is still open and showing the big game that everyone is dying to watch. You can send out a quick email and or text to folks that live near your location (with or without an offer for a discount on an appetizer or their first beer on the house).

Thanx Campaigns Taregeted customer engagement

“My favorite feature about Thanx is how easy it is. Thanx brings data to life. I love the targeted campaigns because I’m empowered at the click of a button to do a campaign in real time. Sometimes we find out about initiatives last minute, so I’m able to deploy immediately and see actionable results.” – Joanna Luter, Brand Strategist, Brandtailers for The Rock Wood Fired Pizza

Use automated campaigns to do the work for you

Automated customer engagement platforms spot trends in customer data and can automatically send appropriate messages and offers to customers on your behalf. Essentially, the work is done for you. There are a variety of campaign types to meet your business goals and objectives ranging from bounceback and winback to the well-known birthday campaigns that many merchants use today.

Thanx Automated Campaigns

You may not be as familiar with bounceback and winback campaigns. With a bounce-back campaign, an automated offer can be sent to someone who recently visited your business. This helps to ensure first-time customers become repeat business. Imagine how useful this can be if someone comes in early in the winter season and makes their first purchase. You now have data about this customer to use to get her to come back again. For instance, Amber comes in in late October with her co-workers for an after-work happy hour. Based on the data you have you know that Amber ordered a seasonal pumpkin spice martini. You could then send her a bounceback offer to come back for dinner with a complimentary eggnog martini.

Wrap up

In this post, we’ve shared three customer engagement strategies to drive foot traffic when winter hits hard. From tapping your database to sending targeted campaigns to segments of your customers and using automated campaigns to do the work for you, we hope these strategies keep your customers coming back again and again.