Industry Marketing News

Restaurant Marketing News and Ideas 3/4/2014

Restaurant Marketing News | NextRestaurants

I read an article last week talking about a new company taking aim at Instagram. That company’s app is available on iPad as well as iPhone.

Let’s set aside for a minute the fact that the author suggests that the “whole lo-fi filter scene was starting to show some wear and tear” and how ridiculous it is that we think companies and product features are tired and boring after existing for, like, two years. Are we that impatient and ready for the next thing?

What I immediately imagined — or, tried to imagine — was people moving beyond the overuse of iPhones in taking photos of their food in restaurants, to overuse of full-sized iPads in taking photos of their food in restaurants.

I didn’t like what I imagined.

So let’s move on to this week’s round up of restaurant marketing news and ideas:

  • Buzztime shares 8 ideas of restaurant pictures to post on your social media sites. Huge proponent of #7 and #8 on their list: Customers’ pictures and customers enjoying themselves, respectively. People go to restaurants to eat. But they also go to get away from things; to relax or to have a ton of fun (depending on the place they’ve chosen); to enjoy time with someone else or a group of others. Photos that reflect these experiences make your restaurant stand out.
  • Daily Finance says these three restaurants are leading the digital revolution: Domino’s Pizza, Brinker International (via Chili’s), and Buffalo Wild Wings. The reasons: for Domino’s it’s their digital sales (mobile apps are a huge part of their success). For Chili’s it’s being the first to announce deployment of tablets at all tables for guests to place orders and pay their bills. For Buffalo Wild Wings it’s their take on tableside tablets — “Buffalo Wild Wings plans to include match-day results, sports news, and fantasy sports gaming in its tablets’ contents.”
  • A 1,100-consumer survey has resulted in the conclusion from Loyalogy that “an appealing restaurant rewards program would increase their visit rate to a particular restaurant by an average of 35%.” Do you have one on your radar for 2014?
  • Pizza Hut is testing pay-at-the-table technology (news via Nation’s Restaurant News), but this isn’t part of the wave of tablets you’ve been hearing about. Check out the video at the bottom of this screen for the experience they’re testing. Cool? Totally. Useful? We’ll see. Build your own pizza and play games using the TABLE, not a tablet.
  • Great infographic from Responsys highlighting how to give mobile engagement a push — a good resource if you’ve got or are building your restaurant brand’s own mobile app. A few key takeaways: 68% of all consumers who have downloaded apps for their favorite brands have enabled push notifications for those apps — 76% of consumers 18-34 have done so. 70% or more of consumers find push notifications to be valuable.
  • Have you read The Chipotle Effect? It’s been out awhile but needs greater circulation, in my opinion. Here’s our three-word review: It is awesome. Paul Barron nailed this one. We’ve got a bigger, deeper video review coming soon, but there’s no need to wait for that. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in the Fast Casual segment or not. It doesn’t matter if you hate Chipotle’s food, service model, decor, or approach. It’s not so much about Chipotle as it is about where the restaurant industry is headed. (Do I get paid for encouraging you to read this? No.) Check it out.
Read:  The Future of Restaurant Marketing is Digital, Social, and Hyperlocal

And, as promised above, here’s that Pizza Hut pay-at-the-table concept…

About the author

Brandon Hull

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