Touching tables is an absolute must in the restaurant industry. It’s your chance to connect with your customers and build loyalty and you should try to touch at least a few tables every time you walk the floor. It’s an effective practice to be sure, but one that has a single noticeable flaw.
You can only connect with your customers once they're in your restaurant. You need them to give you a table to touch, so to speak.
What if there were a way to reach these customers before they even stepped inside your restaurant?
Expanding your options with automated messaging
By the time you visit with customers in your restaurant, that particular sale has already been made. While touching tables can help you set up future sales or improve on your business’s services, its ability to impact their decision-making before they walk in your doors is limited.
Automated email messaging, however, can bridge the gap by letting you reach out to would-be customers without them stopping in … yet.
To make the most of your automated emails, keep these tips in mind.
Run some A/B testing
Before you invest too heavily in your automated email campaign, it behooves you to see what types of emails appeal to your customers the most.
Does your customer base respond best to deals and promotions or helpful content and green news? Feel free to test out several options here to see which types of emails get the best reception rate with your customers.
Just like your table touch, your emails should be a brief, customer-focused interaction. The longer your email, the more likely it won’t be read. Keep your emails brief and always read through them again before setting them up in the campaign.
Would you read the email if you were a customer? If the answer is yes, then your email is good to go.
Establish a familiar cadence
Touch a table once and your guests will appreciate it. Touch a table over and over again and they’ll tell you to go away and stop badgering them.
Keep your email pace consistent and unobtrusive. One email a week is a good benchmark, but you can send fewer. Just make sure you have quality content to include in your email and readers will be happy to open each one.
Seek professional help
You're involved in the restaurant business because you’re passionate about food service, and no one can blame you for not having the same passion about automated email campaigns.
If this sounds familiar to you, it’s OK. Don’t force yourself to try to learn how to set an automated email campaign overnight. Instead, consult a third-party vendor that can help you launch your email campaign. They’ll help you write and manage your emails and preserve the cadence.
And all of that will free you up so you can go back to touching those tables.