Meet consumer needs with WhatsApp Business for restaurants
Going to restaurants is becoming more and more a part of our weekly routine. As much as 9 in 10 American consumers enjoy going to restaurants multiple times a week and even half of US consumers asked consider restaurants to be an essential part of their lifestyle.
And in Europe restaurants are just as popular. Even though it’s not always about dining-out. The pandemic definitely put ordering food and dining-in into the next gear.
As restaurateurs know all too well, if restaurants want to keep nurturing their revenue they need to continuously adjust to the always changing consumer needs. Especially with 86% of restaurants reported having lower profit margins compared to pre-pandemic levels.
So how can restaurants make sure that people keep coming through the doors, or keep ordering online?
The answer: WhatsApp Business for restaurants. By adding the popular channel to customer communication flows restaurants can service and cater to consumers to the best of their abilities. At every point of customer contact.
Let’s quickly run through why your restaurant needs WhatsApp Business.
Why WhatsApp Business is a great fit for the restaurant business
You want customers to keep coming through the doors. Or to order from your website, or via the food order app that they use. But there are so many choices for consumers. Once they’ve gone through the process of picking whether they want to eat Mexican, Japanese, Indian… they still need to pick a restaurant.
But if you want consumers to pick you over and over again your customer communication and service has to be top notch. So how to offer your customers the best service before they come to your restaurant, while they’re there and afterwards? For great customer communication there is WhatsApp Business for restaurants.
4 ways to help you make sure consumers will pick you
For every stage of customer contact, WhatsApp Business can help you. So let us show you how.
Before people come to your restaurant or order from you
- Online reservations
54% of guests say that the online reservation feature is the most important for restaurant apps or websites to have. Calling a restaurant to reserve a table, although not hard, is a bit more of an effort than just clicking a couple of buttons and receiving your reservation instantly.
With WhatsApp Business you can add a flowbot to your website. One that is able to ask for how many people and at what time your guest would like to reserve a table. It’s an automated process. Which will only the help of one of your employees if it can’t answer the question itself. Afterwards the customer can choose to receive their reservation via WhatsApp, email or any other channel that you offer. And that suits them.
Is there a cancellation? No worry. Via the WhatsApp Business app you can update the waiting list via the status feature. So whenever you receive a cancellation that causes an opening in the schedule you can send everyone a quick status update. This way you’ll fill the gaps in your agenda proactively!
Plus: do you have more than one restaurant? With a flowbot you can also add the location finder. So customers reserve their seat at the right restaurant.
- Online orders
Want to give online orders a push? Send a message to a big list of contacts in one go! WhatsApp Broadcast can be extremely helpful to send order updates, but also to send for instance your seasonal discount code.
Each of your customers will receive your broadcast message as a private message. So this will make for a personal experience. And with the WhatsApp open rate of 98%, there is a very high chance that your customers will return to your website and put in their order!
Read up on how to send Broadcast messages here.
While customers are at your restaurant
- Online ordering
QR code on all tables? You see it more and more. And it makes sense, because it’s really useful that customers can order themselves when your servers are busy.
You can send them to your website, and make sure they order there. Or you can send them to WhatsApp and offer them choices via the flowbot. Easy.
This is a proven way to success, as 92% of top-performing restaurants offer mobile order-ahead. And also a great solution for the biggest challenge in the restaurant industry: staffing. With a lack of employees you really want to make sure that customers are always able to order. And via the QR-code and that all orders end up in the ordering system. If you use the WhatsApp Business API it will allow for more than four devices to connect. So your entire wait, kitchen staff and yourself can stay connected.
After customers have been to your restaurant
- Automated follow-up
The three biggest industry challenges revolve around staffing, training staff and retaining staff. So keeping the workload of off your staff is extremely important. But making sure your customers leave with a great experience after visiting the restaurant is too.
You want to follow up with them, send them a survey about their experience and offer them an incentive to come back. You can easily send customers individually an automated message via WhatsApp asking for a rating.
Or perhaps you want to update a group of customers about changes to the menu, or events happening at the restaurant. It’s possible to send WhatsApp business newsletters. And if you link your newsletter to your reservation flowbot, you’ll have them coming back in no time!
- Gifts card program
We mentioned sending incentives via WhatsApp. And this seems to work as 92% of all top-performing restaurants offered loyalty rewards programs. WhatsApp can be a great way to make sure your customers come back.
WhatsApp is the most popular channel worldwide and has an open rate of 98%. This makes it highly likely for customers to interact with you via this channel. So sending them a message about the times they’ve been to your restaurant, and how often they still need to come to score a big discount can make the difference.
Or perhaps you want to interact with them by sending out a challenge or competition including prizes or discounts. Again, you can send this to big groups of customers with the WhatsApp Business Broadcast feature. With WhatsApp you can up your customer interaction and really increase customer loyalty.
Want to use WhatsApp Business for restaurants? Here’s what to do
Want to use WhatsApp business for restaurants? For your online reservations, use the flowbot feature, or perhaps set up a loyalty program and send WhatsApp Broadcast messages?
To unlock all these great features you need a Business Solution Provider that will set up a connection with the WhatsApp business API.
Via the API connection to your existing systems you can start servicing your customers before, while and after they’ve interacted with your restaurant. Making sure customers will become familiar with your business and won’t hesitate to come back.
Want some real-time insights into WhatsApp Business?
Join the first edition of our WhatsApp Commerce event!