Featured Tools

10 Digital Marketing Tools for Restaurants You Might Have Missed

You know about and use the “obvious” digital marketing tools.

Email. Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Maybe SMS. Maybe Pinterest.

But are you using tools to measure your success on those networks? Are you leveraging software that will help you post to multiple networks easily?

Can you say that “this” post, or “that” coupon in the paper, or “this” email drove in X visitors? Too many digital tools give you great analytics that’s it time to take a look at few options.

1. Privy

Privy’s pretty cool. From one dashboard you can: Create an LTO. Decide who’s eligible. Select where you’ll publicize (via a widget on your website, on social networks, within emails). And view all of these offers visually on a promotions calendar.

Privy - getprivy.com

Privy’s demo Campaigns screen above.

Privy - getprivy.com

A sectional screenshot of Privy’s Results dashboard.

You can also track the status of redemptions by number and by guest. Yes, you can actually see the faces, names, and email addresses of guests who claimed the offer. Awesome.

There’s more to Privy than that, but that’s a pretty good start.

2. ChowNow

As with Privy, there are several creative things you can do with ChowNow’s service. The first item on the list: allowing guests to order for pickup right from your Facebook page. Here’s a real-world example:

ChowNow - chownow.com

Ground Round’s order page on Facebook, powered by ChowNow.

ChowNow also builds custom mobile apps and provides a dashboard for you to build email marketing campaigns and Facebook ads, with full analytics.

3. Qwikon

Qwikon does one thing very easily and well: SMS marketing. You acquire SMS subscribers. Create LTOs and specials quickly. Push them out to your entire list or segments of it. Get full analytics. Boom.

Qwikon - qwikon.com

Qwikon’s demo screen. Actual customer screen may be slightly different.

4. Drinkboard

Make it super easy for your guests to buy gift cards for other guests. That’s really leveraging the social network effect.

Guests can “send” food or drinks to their friends. They don’t even have to be in-location to do it. More people learn about your location, talk about your location, and invite friends to your location.

You ride that wave by creating customized packages — birthday gifts, holiday specials, you get the idea. They’re still in beta but get on their list now to jump in on the mobile gifting trend.

Drinkboard - drinkboard.com

Drinkboard allows consumers to prepay for food and drinks for their friends.

5. Sprout Social

There are a couple/few outstanding tools out there that for posting and analyzing engagement on multiple social networks. None better than Sprout Social. Snapshot below is of their analytics screen. This is stuff you absolutely want to know about your restaurant guests.

Sprout Social - sproutsocial.com

The Sprout Social analytics dashboard. Pretty amazing stuff. Click to enlarge.

6. Woobox

Run professional promotions, sweepstakes, photo contests, instant wins, polls, prize claims, and other fan-only rewards on your Facebook page.

Read:  How to Find the Perfect Name for Your Restaurant

You can even use custom, unique redemption codes so you can track in-store success of your promotions. There are some really cool things you can do with Woobox to drive engagement online, and turn it into in-store traffic and sales.

Woobox - woobox.com

An example of Woobox’s coupon app. There are 17 different promotions you can run.

7. Venuseen

Consumers are sharing that they are in your location. Fact. They’re sharing photos of your food. Fact.

Do you know this where they don’t specifically reference your social account names?

Venueseen gives you that insight. Seriously important feature. One dashboard to see who’s snapping those photos and what they’re saying…and then interact if that’s appropriate.

A new Venueseen feature is the ability to layer campaigns/contests on those efforts as well. Good stuff.

Venueseen - venueseen.com

A real-world example of the Venuseen dashboard. Would take an awful lot of searching to get this info any other way.

8. Snipp

Snipp does everything from mobile receipt processing to custom mobile websites. If you want a mobile campaign — but want to lure in non-smartphone owners as well — these are the guys to use.

Let’s say you want people to run a sweepstakes requiring guests to send in a copy of their receipt from a visit to your restaurant last week. Snipp provides the technology to accept that receipt via mobile phone picture that is then texted in. Fraud detection built-in. No app necessary.

Snipp - snipp.com/

A pic of Snipp’s Taco Bell/ESPN campaign.

Sweepstakes. Rebates. Loyalty programs. Or fun, engaging content that differentiates your brand. Snipp is this quiet little company that few know about, but who has run some really cool mobile campaigns. Check them out.

9. Posiq

We love what these guys are doing. If your current POS provider isn’t compatible with their system, get them going with it.

In short, their software overlays your current POS provider’s. You then adjust your staff’s behavior just a little (yes, we know, easier said than done…but it’s well worth it here) and you’ll get unbelievable insight into your transactions AND your promotions.

Posiq - posiq.net

A quick look at the executive screen of the Posiq dashboard.

Posiq has true integration with multiple POS systems. Not workaround-integration, true integration. The reporting screens for promotions are, seriously, unreal. Solid offering here.

10. eGood

Okay, this is absolutely something you likely missed. They just launched. And only in Los Angeles. For now.

A loyalty program unlike any other, eGood encourages consumers to seek out restaurants (and other businesses) who give back. When consumers shop at these destinations, a small percentage of their transaction goes to specific charities.

As a restaurant, you can choose your charity, hop onto an existing one that partners with eGood, or work in an adhoc way with local organizations in need of fundraisers. It’s up to you.

You benefit by attracting cause-oriented consumers. You get unbelievable analytics — and employees can see some of that data in real-time. You get publicity via social networks for all the right reasons. And you donate only a small percentage of sales.

eGood - egood.com

A quick glance at the real-time screen an employee can see with a participating guest. Click to enlarge.

It’s a loyalty program, yeah. But unlike any other. Really, really great concept they’re on to.


Mobile marketing, loyalty and rewards programs, online ordering, mobile gifting and payments, social media marketing and monitoring, analytics. It’s all here.

Got some other providers you think are truly next-generation? Add them in the comments or via Twitter with the hashtag #nextrestaurants. We’ll post more in the future.

About the author

Brandon Hull

Brandon is the original founder of NextRestaurants.com. He has helped thousands of restaurants implement innovative marketing strategies, campaigns, and tactics by incorporating new technology, in order to attract loyal guests.