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The do’s and don’ts of mobile marketing for restaurants

The do’s and don’ts of mobile marketing for restaurants

Smartphones are becoming increasingly popular, and more traffic to your website is coming from these mobile devices. It’s extremely important to keep up with the ways your customers are acquiring their information so you don’t get lost in the shuffle. Here are some of the best (and worst) ways to implement those necessary mobile marketing strategies for your restaurant.


Create a Separate Mobile Website from your Desktop Website:
There are currently more than one million Smartphone users in America and 30 percent of all the traffic to your website will be from a mobile device. Every single one of these users wants to easily view your website from their mobile devices. The best mobile websites have quick loading speeds, large text, important information that is easy-to-find, images optimized for mobile devices and mobile-friendly features like click-to-call.



List Your Restaurant in Local Search Engine Listings:
Thirty percent of all restaurant searches are done from a mobile device and 55 percent of traveling diners search for local restaurants on their mobile phones; which is why it’s so important to have your restaurant listed. Create a listing, or claim one already created, for your restaurant on local mobile search engines like Google Maps, White Pages, Yellow Pages, Yelp, Foursquare, Yahoo, Bing, Facebook and Urban Spoon. This will make sure your restaurant shows up higher in search engine listings as well as give your restaurant more credibility.

List Your Restaurant in Review Sites such as Yelp and Foursquare:
Improve your restaurant’s reputation by encouraging reviews and check-ins. More content on your review site means more traffic, which means more customers. Reward those loyal customers who are the “Mayor” or “Best Customer” on Foursquare with exclusive coupons or free product. The happier you keep your customers, the better the reviews.

Provide a Mobile-Friendly Menu:
Thirty eight percent of Smartphone users look at a restaurant’s menu before deciding where to dine. Beat out your competitors and generate more take-out orders by offering a mobile-friendly menu on your mobile website. Things to think about when creating a mobile-friendly menu include accessibility, length and layout. Keep your menu accessible by having the link to the menu at the top of the webpage. Keep your menu short and sweet with the most popular dishes and house specials. Lastly, organize your menu into sections that allow your customers to easily surf for their intended dish.

Use Opt-In Email and Text Coupons:
Coupons are back—in fact 42 percent of customers want to receive specials and coupons sent to their phones through email or text messages. The best way to create a mobile email and text marketing list is to display a QR code on table tents, print ads in the store and on menus that direct them to your sign-up page. Short codes, such as “text ABC to 123,” will enable any mobile device to receive these deals—even if the consumer has a feature phone instead of a Smartphone. These alerts will only increase traffic to your restaurant.



Use Flash Player:
Websites that use Flash Player load slowly. If a website takes too long to load, your customer will more than likely grow impatient and go to another website.

Ignore Feedback from Any Customer:
If customers don’t have wonderful experiences at your restaurant and they share those experiences—you have an opportunity and an obligation to your business and customers to redeem yourself. Respond to these negative reviews, apologize for the poor experience, take measures to fix the issues and invite them back. If you can provide an incentive, that customer will more than likely recant their review. Don’t neglect the positive reviews, either. Thank them for their patronage and review, and invite them back.

Waste your customer’s time:
Your customers are impatient. They want information now. Don’t infuriate your customers with slow loading speeds, small text on your website or make them dig for the information they want like your phone number, menu or address. The easier you make it for your customers to access your restaurant on their mobile devices, the more likely they are to become patrons.

Sara Petersen is the Content and Marketing Manager for Punch Mobile Marketing. Her public relations background and devotion to technology, social media and the foodie movement makes her an expert in mobile marketing for restaurants. Visit to read more of Sara's articles about mobile marketing for restaurants.

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