The Menu – the latest insights on restaurant technology trends, customer successes, and best practices.

Restaurant Marketing Tips: How Do Customers Want to be Contacted?

Chad Rupert
Solution Manager - Payments

Technology is continuously evolving, giving rise to new social media sites and marketing channels that make it difficult to identify which would be best for effectively contacting customers.

Recently, Oracle Food and Beverage conducted research revealing that restaurant email marketing is not dead, but the question remains: Is it still the best means of communication for restaurant marketing?

According to a sneak preview of our research, here are the most popular ways customers wish to be contacted by restaurants, bars, and coffee shops:

Despite email marketing’s success, research indicates that almost a third of customers provides fake or secondary email addresses when signing up for restaurant loyalty programs. The majority of these customers are millennials (38%) and pre-millennials (37%).

If millennials and pre-millennials are becoming less receptive to email marketing (or at least more particular about who they receive it from), what are some other channels restaurateurs should explore?

Our research identified four other effective channels:

  1. Mobile apps

One way around the problem of false contact information could be mobile apps. They now play a key role in brands' digital growth, helping to engage customers in a personal way (Mintel, 2019). That helps explain why mobile apps are the 2nd-most popular way customers prefer to be contacted after email marketing. They also are the 2nd-most popular avenue among millennials (64%) and pre-millennials (58%), who are the most likely to provide falsified details.

Globally, the greatest concentration of consumers who are most enthusiastic about mobile apps reside in Latin America (68%) and Asia Pacific (59%), followed by Europe (39%). North American consumers (37%) are the least enthused about this option.

  1. Social media

Another extremely popular communication channel, particularly among millennials and pre-millennials, is social media.

Instagram is the most popular channel among younger demographics with 49% of millennials and 46% of pre-millennials saying they wish to be contacted with it.

But with older demographics, Facebook is more preferable with 41% of Generation Xers and 22% of over 55s wishing to be contacted with it. By comparison, 37% of Generation Xers and 16% of over 55s prefer contact by Instagram.

Worldwide, consumers in Latin America lead the way with their openness to new communication channels: 53% say they would like to be contacted via Instagram. They were followed by consumers in Asia Pacific (39%), Europe (25%) and North America (20%).

  1. SMS

Considering that most of us can’t go an hour without using our phones, it isn’t surprising that the

3rd-most popular communication channel is SMS text message. Millennials (48%) are the most enthusiastic about text communication, followed by pre-millennials (45%), Generation Xers (45%) and the over 55s (29%).

SMS communication shakes up the global statistics slightly with Asia Pacific taking the lead as most enthusiastic about this channel (54%). The region was followed by Latin America (44%), Europe (34%) and North America (26%).

  1. Direct mail

In this world of digital communication, millennials (48%) and Generation Xers (43%) still find something appealing about receiving direct mail and hold it in high regard. However, pre-millennials (42%) and over 55s (32%) are the least enthused about this option. Despite the over 55s expressing less interest in direct mail, it remains their 2nd-highest rated channel after email marketing.

Direct mail also is most enthusiastically received in Latin America (52%), followed by Asia Pacific (48%), Europe (34%) and North America (32%).

Email marketing

Despite the expectation that email marketing would eventually go the way of DVDs and other 1990s technology – especially with millennials and pre-millennials gravitating toward social platforms – it

 remains the top marketing outreach and lead-generation tool (Warc, 2019). To learn more about enhancing your email marketing strategy, read our recent blog: Is Email Marketing Dead? 5 Tips for Restaurants.

Keep an eye out for the official release of our research report on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Instagram, and learn more about Oracle Food and Beverage on our website.

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  • Warc (2019) 5 Trends in B2B Email Marketing, ANA Magazine, B2B Marketer.
  • Mintel (2019) Eating Out: The Decision Making Process – July 2019

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