If you walk into The Pickle Barrel, a sandwich shop in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the first thing you notice is all of the employees wearing T-shirts with QR codes printed on the back. When they turn around, the front of the T-shirt reads: “Ask Me About Online Ordering.”
“We’ve been using NetWaiter for online ordering since January and we love it,” said owner Jen O’Brien, who opened the sandwich shop seven years ago in this town of 153,000 people. “We have a lot of fun with it, and it’s convenient for both our customers and us.”
With the arrival of online ordering, O’Brien decided to step up some marketing to build its awareness. She started placing a sign at a random location in the city, and then dropped daily hints on the restaurant’s Facebook site regarding its location. Each person that found the sign and posted a picture of it on The Pickle Barrel Facebook page got entered into a drawing at the end of the week for a $25 gift certificate.
“In just a few days we got fifty new friends on our Facebook site and a ton of orders,” said O’Brien.
O’Brien has been using social media to promote the restaurant for a few years. She readily admits that there is a good deal of experimentation involved. “Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. The nice thing about the NetWaiter Management Console is that I can see right away if a promotion resulted in more online sales. I know what’s working.”
Mobile ordering at restaurants is here and growing rapidly.
If you had any doubts, take into consideration a recent report that Starbucks has processed more than 26 million mobile transactions so far this year. Impressive, especially considering that 2011 was the first year they offered such a service.
Since launching, Starbucks has heavily promoted the ability for customers to pay for their coffee with their Smartphones – all the while – helping to train customers to use their mobile device when interacting with other restaurants. We should all thank Starbucks for this.
Thank you, Starbucks, for making everyone more aware of how convenient a Smartphone can be for customers and its ability to help process payments (or takeout orders at other restaurants).
According to a July 2011 Pew Report, 1 out of every 3 mobile phones is a Smartphone and 25% of those users consider their Smartphone their primary link to the internet.
When NetWaiter launched its own mobile ordering platform, nearly two years ago, we automatically made it part of every restaurant’s ordering system. Within a week, there was a substantial traffic increase, and it continues to grow rapidly.
NetWaiter’s technology is able to determine when a customer accesses a restaurant’s NetWaiter site with their mobile device. The system automatically recognizes the device and displays the appropriate mobile site. Navigation is made simple, ordering is simple, and payment is simple.
NetWaiter also makes unique QR Codes available for each restaurant, allowing takeout customers to scan the code with their Smartphone and immediately access the restaurant’s mobile site. All the work is done by NetWaiter – if your restaurant has a NetWaiter site, you’re automatically provided a mobile site and QR Code, customized for your restaurant.
For more information about NetWaiter’s custom mobile sites and QR Codes, please contact NetWaiter.
NetWaiter, a premier provider of online ordering and marketing capabilities for restaurants, offers another industry first--integrating QR codes into restaurant marketing. NetWaiter has configured a unique QR Code for every restaurant on the NetWaiter Network. When customers scan a restaurant’s QR code, they are immediately directed to the restaurant’s mobile NetWaiter site and menu.
QR Codes for Restaurants.pdf (137.08 kb)
How can NetWaiter help your restaurant grow? View it as a consistent marketing tool.
Established restaurants invariably develop a loyal clientele. This clientele is important. You'll often find that up to 80% of a restaurant’s receipts come from this core group of customers.
The key to growth - to continue building this core group of customers - is getting new faces in the door. The best way to do this is through word of mouth. However - in order to get people to spread the word, you have to give them something to talk about.
This is where NetWaiter comes in. NetWaiter offers a unique package of services that can get people talking. The ability to order online is an attention-getter - but NetWaiter also offers other services. Facebook ordering, the ability to order from a Smartphone, and an instant link to your restaurant using your unique QR code are some great examples.
As you and your employees interact with customers, use these NetWaiter features to start a conversation. Impress them with your custom QR code. Get them to save your mobile NetWaiter site on their Smartphone. You might even run a special - a gift card or discount for every customer who shares your restaurant on Facebook or Twitter (they can email you proof).
Without a doubt, you have probably noticed a new phenomenon in print – those funky squares that look like scrambled crossword puzzles. They are QR Codes (Quick Response Codes).
QR codes are popular with today's mobile culture. They read like bar codes when scanned and return information to the user based on how the QR code is setup. Their use in the U.S. catapulted 1,200% during the last six months of 2010. In Japan, where QR codes were developed, it is estimated that 86% of consumers scan at least four QR codes a month.
The best reason to embrace mobile technology, such as QR codes, is to make it more convenient for customers to do business with you. Many restaurant customers have Smartphones. You probably see them "checking-in" to your restaurant using location-based services such as Foursquare or Facebook. As customers continue to embrace Smartphones, mobile marketing will become increasingly important.
To help restaurants promote their mobile site, NetWaiter has configured a unique QR code for every restaurant on the NetWaiter Network. They can be easily accessed from a restaurant’s NetWaiter Management Console. When customers scan a restaurant’s QR code, they are immediately directed to their mobile NetWaiter site and menu.
TIP: Print some NetWaiter QR codes and post them around your restaurant to promote your mobile site and menu to customers. If your restaurant does not have a NetWaiter account, you can activate your account today, at NO CHARGE, and get immediate access to your restaurant's NetWaiter site and unique QR code.
There are likely customers within a certain geographical area of your restaurant that are prime targets for your restaurant's online ordering capabilities.
This topic surfaced again during a conversation with the General Manager of a NetWaiter client based in the Seattle, WA area.
"We are right next door to the new Amazon.com offices," said the Manager. "That's huge for business. Those are the kind of customers (office based technology employees) that really use online ordering most."
Okay, so maybe you aren't right next to offices like Amazon.com. Only a few restaurants can be that lucky. But, the fact still remains - you can successfully capitalize on almost any nearby business that has employees “trapped” at their computers and hungry during lunch. Locate the office parks, high-rise buildings, hospitals, and universities in your area. These are target-rich environments, full of employees and students that spend major amounts of time in front of a computer screen each day.
Inexpensive flyers or business cards can be distributed office-by-office, or left on car windshields. You can even include a QR-Code (Quick Response Code) on the flyer for customers to scan with their smartphones. The QR-Code can direct customers to your mobile NetWaiter site for them to view your online menu and easily place orders. Feel free to contact NetWaiter with any questions about targeting ideal customers or setting up a Quick Response Code for your restaurant.