Restaurant Week… Getting them back

Buffalo, NY has been named America’s Favorite City  in 2016 according to Travel and Leisure Magazine. A large part of this theory is the resurgence of restaurants that has happened over the last few years. Just a search for restaurants on Yelp near Buffalo turns up over 3411 results. According to Neilson, Buffalo, NY has a DMA of 585,350. Population according to New Census Bureau  estimates,  the population of the Buffalo metro area, which includes Erie and Niagara counties, is 1,135,230 as of last July 1. How do each of those 3411 restaurants, reach the people in their city and get them in the door?

This week is Restaurant week in Buffalo, NY. 218 local restaurants are feverishly participating to attract new customers and show their stuff. They all feature a fixed menu at a few different price points and are listed by area on the local restaurant week website. It is estimated that there is an 8 million dollar impact on the local economy during that week. That is incredible!

But what about after that?

The most efficient way to reach these customers again is by offering them the option to get VIP text alerts. The customers opt in by text message after being invited by the server taking their food order and a  small tasteful handout with the info. Everyone at the table joins in return for an enter to win or money off now incentive. They text a vanity keyword for the particular business to a shortcode, which enters them instantly into a database, from which the owner has a dashboard and can send them out on the spot offers, events, birthday/anniversary offers directly by text. the customer can opt out any time, simply by replying stop. But they won’t, if they love that business.

Why haven’t ALL restaurants implemented this as their main mobile marketing strategy?

  1. They don’t know how easy and inexpensive it is.
  2. They think customers won’t sign up.
  3. They rely too heavily on social media likes and views, which don’t necessarily convert to sales.

Not only can they retain more regular customers this way and reward them for their loyalty and extra visits bringing friends, they can use this method in all of their media assets. For example, all current outbound  advertising to capture new mobile subscribers, saving the need to spend on advertising as much down the road.

“Customer acquisition cost is anywhere from 5 to 25 times more than retaining an existing one. The study also states that the customer retention rate can increase profits by 25-95%. Another statistic indicates the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% as compared to the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%.” The  Restaurant Times

Just capturing 10%  of that 8 million dollar impact can result in millions over the rest of the year. $800,000 times just 2 visits is  $1.6 million. How many of those restaurants used text marketing. Maybe 5 that I could find.

So, if you are a restaurant owner, it’s to late to get started with this now for Local  Restaurant Week, but imagine if you can start as soon as in two weeks capturing each and every customer who enters your doorway, attends your food festival, receives your takeout and catering? Even if you only capture 10% the stats above greatly increase your chance of securing loyalty, visits and your customers bringing their friends back to your business again and again.

This is the results of signups of just one local Buffalo client the last three months. They are blowing away their organic facebook reach of 10% already.


For more information on pricing and how it works, click here and get educated about the easiest way, the #1 fastest way on the planet to reach customers and get more visits.

Shannon Panaro

Regional Partner, National Sales Development