Using Third Party Apps to Promote Your Restaurant

This week, we’ll look at using third-party food and dining, rating, discount, locator, and social media apps to promote your restaurant. Apps like Yelp, Foodspotting, Hoppit, Pizza Compass, Groupon, and Keyring are some of the most popular apps used by tech-savvy potential customers, but these apps just begin to scratch the surface of the many apps available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

One of the most basic services provided by many apps, is a location-based search. For example, many customers use apps like Yelp, Foodspotting, UrbanSpoon, and Zagat to locate restaurants in their area. Just having your restaurant listed, and in the correct categories, is key to appearing in a customer’s search. You may also want to take the time to look at the reviews you’ve received via these apps. Are they favorable? Will they help drive customers to your establishment? Or, will potential customers simply scroll past your restaurant in a local search because your rating is so terrible? Businesses can respond to reviews added to services like Yelp, but its imperative that the response be professional and constructive. Offer an unhappy customer a discounted or free entree to get them back in your door, or apologize for poor service. This shows other potential customers that you truly care for your business, its image, and the customers it serves.

Once customers have discovered your restaurant, they may want to know more about it. Creating and managing multiple social media sites is a time consuming task. Focus on the most popular social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Set up your profile and use it to generate followers who can see your posts about food specials, events, and deals that you may be running. Request your followers “Like” your posts, because every “Like” is shared with your followers’ friends, further increasing your reach.

You can also generate more traffic at your restaurant by creating Groupons or by adding coupons or deals to apps like Keyring. Groupon allows companies to create deals that will appear in a local search from the customer’s Groupon mobile app, or be emailed to customers who have joined the Groupon mailing list. A Groupon deal could be as simple as $15 for $30 worth of food and drinks, but bring in customers who may have never otherwise set foot in your business. Typically these customers spend more than the actual deal is for, and if satisfied, return for subsequent visits. Keyring allows you to create coupons or deals that customers can redeem from their phone, but with less restriction than the Groupon model.

Restaurateurs have many options when it comes to using customer facing technologies to their advantage, from the most simple profile or location-based services, to social media pages and mobile discounts; choosing and implementing the right mix is crucial to growing your business with the aid of today’s ever-changing technologies.


App icon images compiled from the iTunes Store


Written by Teresa Glasgow, Technical Writing Specialist, Future POS, Inc.