Digital Marketing for Independent Restaurants: After Your Guests Leave

Mike Harris, Sales Representative

With my sales background, I have a lot of experience in direct revenue generation for companies.  Consequently, I tend to think about the entire customer experience and the opportunities for revenue.  When I talk with my independent restaurant clients, they tend to emphasize the importance of the dining experience as a mean of getting repeat visits from guests.  And it’s true that great food and excellent service are essential to getting guests back into your restaurant.  But I’ve noticed that my clients don’t think too much about the post-dining experience of their guests.  It’s a given that your customer base will be hungry again; this is one of the great opportunities for restaurant operators!  So what should they think about?

Take a look at this research data from our partner Coca-Cola[i].  In a consumer study, they found that guests use digital technologies in unique ways before, during and after the restaurant occasion:



It’s interesting to see how technology is used during the different dining periods.  Since we’re focused on the post dining experience in this post,  note that the savvy digital guests are using online channels to do the following:

  • Share the experience
  • Post opinions, reviews, and recommendations
  • Look for offers and coupons

This data is a great set of tips for the restaurant marketer!  What you want to think about is how to create a consistentmarketing strategy for the post-dining experience that leverages what your guests are doing.  With a calculated approach, you can capture your audience’s attention, keep that attention, and garner more money from these guests.

There’s a secret though.  It’s in that bolded word above – consistent.  To really maximize the results from  your guests’ post-dining opportunity, you need a focused marketing plan.  A lot of independent restaurants don’t have a dedicated digital marketing manager to plan, set up, execute, measure, and optimize this experience.  Whether you hire someone who can do this or use a dedicated marketing expert, like those from Fishbowl’s SM3 services team, it’s critical to have a strategy. If you can reach me and get my attention when I’m not in your restaurant, then I am that much more likely to be the next call-in to make a reservation.  Therein lies the beauty of consistent, well executed, digital marketing.

[i] Coca-Cola Digital Guest Research, December 2012


Get In Touch X

Please contact us for general questions or to request a free demo.