Having an optimized marketing funnel built for your business can be the lifeblood of your revenue.
And having one for a restaurant is just as crucial if not more necessary compared to other businesses. As a restaurant owner, you’ll be faced with the feast and famine, at time’s your place will be packed full and at others, you won’t even be able to fill all of the seats.
That combined with the high overhead cost of having a restaurant can be the end of your business.
Creating a sales funnel and predictable sales process for your restaurant will alleviate those issues. But how do you create the perfect restaurant sales funnel?
Creating the perfect restaurant sales funnel can be broken down into the following 4 steps:
- Brand Awareness – Help visitors become aware of who you are as a brand, why you have a restaurant, tell your story.
- Desire – Create an irresistible offer that your competitors don’t without de-valuing the cost of your other products.
- Action – Provide with outstanding food and service, as this will increase retention rates and chances of them leaving reviews online.
- Loyalty – Use a loyalty program to promote returning visitors
Throughout this blog post, you’ll learn the steps that you’ll need to take to create a sales funnel for your restaurant and the importance of having one.
Related Post: What Are The 6 Stages Of A Sales Funnel?
What Is A Sales Funnel?
As explained by Entrepreneur.com, A sales funnel is one of the core concepts when it comes to digital marketing.
And getting this single concept right could take your business from a virtually non-existent money pit to a multi-million dollar machine.
If you look at a real-world funnel as an example, the substance poured through the top will flow through to the bottom, while decreasing in size at the bottom of the funnel.
The representation can be the same for your online sales process, as the number of customers who come in through the top of your sales funnel and begin your sales journey will be ample.
But as you start getting towards the bottom of the funnel, fewer customers will have gone through the process to reach that point.
However, the benefits of having a funnel are that as you get farther down in the funnel, you’re not only increasing the value provided to your potential customers.
But your also gaining the ability increase the ROI for each one that goes through the process.
A common question that most people ask when they start becoming intrigued in digital marketing, and how it could help their business is:
Can A Sales Funnel Work For Me?
And the answer is, only if your business needs more customers.
Related Post: Why You Need A Sales Funnel Today!
The Restaurant Sales Funnel
While the process of a sales funnel is virtually the same throughout every business.
Actually creating one can be challenging depending on which industry you’re in and what types of products or services you are able to offer.
Being someone who’s in the digital marketing industry might have an easier time defining what types of products to package together compared to someone who’s primarily cooking delicious food.
Below is a video from someone in the restaurant industry who has benefited from having a sales funnel.
He also has a beautiful infographic that you can download so you can get a visual representation of everything talked about throughout his video as well as some of the things that I’ll be touching on in this blog post.
Let us jump into the 4 different stages of the sales funnel and what you can do to implement these stages into your own business.
People don’t need to become aware that you own a restaurant, or that you have a building that sells food.
They need to know your story, who you are, why you do it, and the ability to become a part of your environment.
Social eating is very important to mental and social health, and as a study done by Oxford University.
The more meals the people share with others the chances of them feeling satisfied and happy in their own lives increase.
As a restaurant owner, your providing an environment where people are able to share memories with one another, meals, and connect.
Making the experience of eating at your restaurant feel more personal will greatly increase your brand awareness, as it is in a sense an intimate experience.
In this section of your sales funnel, using video to pre-frame your potential customers can be very effective at creating an offer that separates you from your competitors.
Things To Focus On It This Stage Of Your Funnel
- Helping potential customers become aware of who you are, and why you do it.
- Standing out from your competitors, offering something different or that has more perceive value that anyone else is offering in your area.
- Build trust with your audience and prompt your existing customers to leave reviews on your website or funnels.
People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it and how it will make them feel.
Think of a sports bar, they’ve clearly identified that the dream customers that they want to come through the door are people that are interested in sports.
A restaurant isn’t different and this step can be very effective at creating a persona for your brand and mission statement that resonates with your ideal customers.
Once your potential customers have engaged with you, it is a matter of creating an irresistible offer to get them into the door.
This has to be done in a way that it doesn’t decrease the value of your main products as that’ll be bad for future visits.
But you’ll need to offer free incentives or additional bonuses that will prompt people to come into your restaurant or even begin the process of going through your sales funnel.
Below is a list of offers that you could use to prompt people to actually coming in and dining at your restaurant
- Offer a free adult beverage combined with the purchase of a meal.
- Free meal if spent over X amount spent
- Free meal in return for a video testimonial
- Discounted price if visitors come in groups
- Date night deals – couples eat for the price of one
- Kids eat free
While I know some of these offers might seem irrational, or at times you could potentially even be losing profit by doing these types of promotions.
And to be frank, it is very rare the at the beginning of the sales funnel you’re able to be profitable. The core focus of this section is actually getting people in the door.
Not only will you be able to increase the lifetime value of each person that comes through the door, but you can also up-sell on other products once they’re already dining in.
Getting your customers to this section to the sales funnel and doing it poorly will result in the rest of your sales process going to waste.
You can have everything else optimized for your funnel and the best promotions in the world.
But if your service is poor, or if the food isn’t good people will not continue to come to eat at your restaurant or refer it to their friends.
On this other side of the spectrum, if done correctly this stage of the funnel will result in long-term success and a very high retention rate of the visitors that come through.
Things To Focus On In This Section
- That your services and food is at optimum level, this could even mean thinning out the amount of employees you have or reducing the items on your menu to increase the quality.
- Prompt customers to give you feedback that you need to improve on and make those changes.
- Ensure that the quality of your restaurant is contained, as the loss of one repeat customer could result in a loss of ample business. As everything has the capability to be shared everywhere online and the outreach is more readily available.
- Offer incentives or prompt your customers who rate you highly or are frequent visitors to leave reviews on your Websites, social media, or any other platforms that you’re a part of.
Some of these focus points might seem like common sense to some, however even if you feel as if you’re doing everything at optimum level just remember even the most incremental changes can make a massive shift over prolonged periods of time.
The last section of your sales funnel is where you’re going to turn those random visitors into die hard fans/raving customers.
You know that 90 year old couple who’s been coming to the diner every Sunday for the last 20 years?
Think about the lifetime value of those 2 visitors compared to that free introductory offer to get them into the door.
The real return on investment is in the back end of the sales funnel, and this is where you profit margins will live if done correctly.
Statistics show that if a customer visits your restaurant a 3rd time the chances of them continuing to come over and over again are over 70%.
At the beginning of your funnel, you need to be marketing multiple visits as this should be the overall goal, and you ultimately want to create lifetime customers or people who are loyal to your restaurant or service.
Most businesses ‘ revenue is generated from repeat business and being in the food industry isn’t any different.
Things To Focus On In This Stage
- Create a loyalty program that offers incentives for repeat business
- Could even go as far as a subscription-based service, where if the customer pays X amount a month they would be provided X amount of meals throughout the month.
- Provide exceptional service to repeat customers, not that you should neglect your new clients, but repeat visitors are likely to spend more money and it will actually cost you less money to acquire them.
Check Out This Post: 5 Reasons Why Repeat Customers Are Better Than New Customers
While creating a sales funnel can seem like a daunting process for a business owner or someone who’s completely new to the concepts of digital marketing.
The tools readily available now days are built in a way that with very little knowledge of digital marketing or having any technical skills you can still create professional-looking websites and sales funnels.
While the exact way your funnel should look and what types of things you should offer will vary depending on your location, I would highly recommend looking at competitors or restaurants that are where you’d like to be.
Then mock your sales process and offers to be similar to theirs or better.
The 4 Steps Of The Restaurant Sales Funnel
- Brand Awareness – Build your brand, have a story, create a resonating message that you’re able to convey to visitors.
- Desire – Encourage people to desire dining in at your restaurant by having irresistible offers and something that no one else is offering.
- Action – Provide the best service possible and serve the highest quality of food. Would be more beneficial to have fewer employees and a smaller menu that was of higher quality vs high volume poor customer experience.
- Loyalty – Do everything you can to promote repeat business and create life long customers. Have a loyalty program and provide serious incentives to people who continue to come to your restaurant.
Related Post: How To Build A Sales Funnel For Lead Generation
- Entrepreneur.com | What Is a Sales Funnel? The Guide to Building an Automated Selling Machine
- Endeavorcreative.com | Design Your First Value Ladder
- Vimaco.com.au | Restaurant Sales Funnel
- ox.ac.uk | Social Eating Connects Communities
- Constantcontact.com | Why Repeat Business Is Better Than New Customers