How Customers Find Your Restaurant

Hey, what’s up? It’s Matt, Christy’s driving, hopefully we’ll arrive safely because she’s a little bit of a crazy driver, got David on the camera. We are heading down to a new pizza place in Covington, Kentucky. I actually had a friend of mine rave about it a few weeks back, kind of forgotten about it, that’s what happens. And I was looking for something new because we got Luis in town, my sort of [fine 00:00:22] legit friend from Chicago, he loves pizza, and so I went to Yelp. I go there occasionally to see maybe something I don’t know locally. And I’m looking at Covington because that’s in between where he’s at and where we’re at, and I find this pizza place. I’m like, “Oh, The Gruff”. That’s the place my friend said was awesome. We’re going to call down and see if they have seating, called down, and they had a great energetic person answer the phone. And so now we’re heading down to dine in there.

Here’s my question. The restaurant got us there through organic marketing because that’s what stuck out in Yelp was when my friend told me about it. So they did a great job to impress that person who referred me, I found it on Yelp, we’re going down. What a lot of restaurants fail to do though, is capture people like me once we come. Because I might have a great experience, but I’m probably going to forget about it. And I don’t live near, but I can make an effort to go there more often if they invite me.

Sell More Slices, page six, talks about ways to gather people’s information when they come in your restaurant. So, we’re going to drive down there. David will make this camera go really fast, [inaudible 00:01:29], we’ll go down there, and we’re going to have pizza, and we’re going to find out what they do to eliminate hope and pray to get us to come back. We’ll see you down there.

Okay. Look, that was fast. We’re here. We’re at The Gruff. We’re going to go and meet Luis. We’re going to have some pizza. And we’re going to see if they do anything to eliminate the hope and pray of getting us back again. Let’s go.

Okay, we’re here. First step, they’ve got an opportunity, they’ve got QR codes from the table, for the menu, because it [inaudible 00:02:04] order, let’s check it out. So, there’s an opportunity. [inaudible 00:02:09] my info so, we’re getting all our pizza, maybe there’s something else we get this. Okay, we’re back. Number one, pizza’s amazing. Luis?

Certified legit.

That’s my man, Luis, from Chicago. Certified legit. So, excellent reviews, 241, four-star. Facebook, 4.8 out of a bunch of reviews, and then Google, crushing it. 4.5, 808 reviews. Now, I asked the question because you’ll… Where’s everybody at? It’s Friday night, it’s 7:00 we got here, so it’s about 7:30 now. I’d say half the tables are empty. It’s an easy location. It’s a great location [all of 00:03:01] Kentucky. Very clean, very nice atmosphere.

One thing I see as a possible improvement, and this is different from the marketing standpoint, but they make great social media accounts, great picture of pizza, but nine reactions. They’ve got like 4,000 fans, I think, somewhere they were 470? [Look 00:03:21] there’s Tom from our team, he’s a fan. Some great drink pictures, soup, salad got the, sandwich got a great review.

Back early in the year, they were doing some awesome videos. Where was this one video at, there it is. Look at that. That is social media, the bad part is 508 views. They actually have a lot more. So that could lead to maybe why there’s not a lot of people here, but it is also a bad time for you, [Calm me 00:03:48] with COVID, but a lot of restaurants with minimum seating are actually full right now. Like the restaurants where we live in Union, you can’t get a thing. So, let’s wait, we’ll see if there’s a way at the end of the meal that maybe they get our information. If not, we need to get them a copy of Sell More Slices so they can figure out how to gather my information, the customer’s information to create a guarantee revisit. See ya.

Okay. So we just left The Gruff, an amazing restaurant with an amazing view. Look at this, you can see the city of Cincinnati, the Suspension Bridge. We found it from a referral from a friend, I had forgotten about it, this is the recap. Grab the wife, grab Luis, we were going to go to dinner tonight, went on Yelp, was like, “Oh, there’s that Gruff place, it’s supposed to have amazing pizza.” We scoot down here with some Sell More Slices books in hand, have dinner, amazing. Everybody, amazing food?

[Yeah, yeah 00:04:38]

Great pizza, we had pepperoni, we had a cheese, then we had one that was a brisket pizza, and we had their tots with some dipping sauce. The restaurant Friday night, 7:00, 8:00, half full, a great atmosphere, everything was nice. The problem is, they didn’t do anything to get my information to ensure we come back, I’m always talking about restaurants rely on hope and pray marketing, meaning Matt Plapp had a great meal, Matt Plapp might come back again. I’m more of a fan of eliminated hope and pray. They could have did a couple of things in there to get my information, incentivize me to come back, so they have my phone number, my email, maybe my birthday. That’s what you need to do. And if you’re interested in marketing like that, get ahold of me,, (859) 743-2408, my team of 20 plus marketers only work with restaurants nationwide, and of course, we have a lot of pizza places. Let’s go check the city out.

Restaurant App & Loyalty Program Problems

Okay. Let’s talk about restaurant apps, loyalty programs, digital punch cards. What are they missing? Why is yours not running at full speed? I want you to think about this.

What if Matt Plapp gave you an orange Lamborghini, boom, in your garage? Gorgeous. Great. You can take it out. Oh, hold on. There’s only a quarter tank of gas in it. There’s not enough gas in it. What if there’s no wheels, no engine?

That’s what a lot of you have. A lot of you have awesome products that you can use, but they’re not running at full speed. Recently, I was talking to a restaurant owner who has a loyalty program. He’s like, “Matt, it’s awesome. It does great. The customers love it. It drives business in.” I said, “How big is it?” “Eight hundred. Eight hundred people are in it.” I said, “How long is that?” “A year.”

“What would that do to your business if it had 1,600 people? What if it had 3,200 people? What if it had 5,000 people?” He said, “It would make a huge difference.”

The problem is he’s relying on people that are within his four walls. He’s relying on his team to ask typically in antiquated ways how to get somebody to join a program, “Hey, Matt. You don’t want to join our loyalty program, do you?”

Well, here’s what happens with that. Number one, you got to think about it. You’re only getting the traffic from inside your four walls. You’ve got to have traffic from outside, from Facebook, from Instagram, from Google, from YouTube. You’ve also got to have the right people at it, because if I’m a new customer that walks into your restaurant for the first time, am I joining your restaurant app? More than likely not. I just came for the first time. And maybe I do join it for the freebie. But guess what gets deleted right away? The restaurant app.

Am I joining your loyalty program if I’m a new or lost customer? Maybe I came back for the first time in a long time. I’m not joining it. The people that are joining those programs are, they call, your early adopters, the people that see it when you do it, they come out of the gate hard. They’re your frequent customers that love you, that know, like, and trust you and come back all the time.

The problem is you’re not getting enough gas in the Lamborghini. I want to help you get gas in the Lamborghini. If you’re interested in finding out tactics of how you can drive more business to your digital punch card, like I had a client yesterday show us that was pretty cool. If you’re interested in getting more people into your loyalty program, interested in getting people to use your online ordering, your mobile app, we can help with our Awareness Audit.

If you’re interested in having an audit for your digital marketing for your restaurant, your internal marketing for your restaurant, all of your marketing for your restaurant, we can help give you guidance, give you some advice on maybe what we see as an opportunity to make something better. But at the end of the day, I want to put more gas in the orange Lamborghini I’m going to give you. See you later.


Restaurant Email & Text Marketing Help

Okay, let’s talk about restaurant email and text messaging campaigns. What I like to refer to as retention campaigns, because the concept of email and text marketing is to retain people in your brand, that they see you in a different light, that they communicate with you pretty often, because at the end of the day, your goal is to be in this phone more often than you are now. If you’re not in their phone all the time, that’s why they don’t come back. And what I mean by that is people come back when they’re reminded, but here’s the key flaw. I’m looking through my email box and I’m going to not expose the one brand, but I’ll show you the emails. Three emails from their brand in the past couple of weeks, which one of them I think is a terrible email, but two of them aren’t bad.

But the problem with most restaurant marketing is the only time you reach out to your customers is with your handout. “I want something from you.” And you got to think about email marketing and text marketing in this manner. I’m always showing email for this one, but a lot of this goes along with text. It’s got to be a two-way street. There’s got to be a benefit both places, but also you got to learn to segment your audience and your messages. So here’s an example. We work with restaurants and our goal is to send 24 campaigns annually on a minimum, at a maximum 36. So 24 emails, text campaigns annually. And we tie ours in with email, text, Facebook, Instagram, everything’s tied together because that’s the way you want it. You want to hit them on multiple places. But I want you to think about this, if we emailed our database 24 times a year, every one of them, always asking for business, we did two key things wrong there.

Number one, we just talked to our entire audience with the same exact message. When you think about your audience, think about this. You’ve got people that are married. You’ve got people that are single. You’ve got male, you’ve got female. You’ve got people with kids, you’ve got people without kids. You’ve got retired people, you’ve got young people. You’ve got college, you’ve got middle-age. You can’t have the same message. And if 24 times a year, we were to email and text our clients all the same thing, 70% of the audience every time, we’re not giving them a message that’s relevant. When we don’t give a message that’s relevant, they tune you out. That’s why your rates go down and down and down, that’s why people opt out. But you also got to look at the messaging, it can’t always be the same thing.

On my screen, I’m looking at a now hiring email. Why would you email your entire database if you’re now hiring? That’s where segmentation comes from. Maybe look at, “Okay, Matt’s son is 16.” My kid might actually need a job. Actually does need a job, now that I think about it, but different topic. Now my wife has more influence over him in that case, she’s around him more often, that’s a conversation she’s going to have. So probably pretty similar across the households, you could target the women in your database that have told you in the past they have kids. So instead of sending 10,000 people a now hiring ad, that gets them to not open more of your emails in the future, send it to 800, a 1,000 people. The next one, St. Patrick’s, great email, great topic. Something that is relevant to a lot of people.

I like it, nothing wrong there. [Fridays are Lent 00:03:16], it was the big thing, it’s April 3rd. [Get On The Hook 00:03:22], their whole fish menu. That’s fine, but guess what? It doesn’t relate to Matt Plapp, I’m not Catholic. And it’s the same way with a lot of things. So if you can segment, might be hard to segment your list with that. But again, this is asking for business. “Now hiring, we need you to apply.” “St. Patrick’s, we need you to come drink green beer with us.” “Fish promo, come in here.” Here’s what I like to do. Now maybe there’s different ways to do this, but I’ve found four tactics that help restaurants engage people. Number one, offers. People love free stuff, but you do not want to engrain in your people’s minds that only come here when they get free stuff. So we like to look at if we’re… Again, back on that two campaigns a month, 24 a year, if we break that up into sixes, six times a year, let’s do an offer, every other month.

It gives people something of value. You can drive them to a day part that you might not have business, but you’re not hitting them over the head all the time. You don’t get them trained that every time they get an email, there’s an offer. You don’t want that. Number two, contests. People love to engage in contests. Number three, some type of menu item, as I’m going to show you here, that gets them to engage, but also educates about the menu item. And the fourth are events, like that St. Patrick’s Day email. So let’s look at this one. Dueling pretzel versus cheese fondue versus the spinach artichoke dip. That’s a lot to say. “It’s always a toss-up here. It’s a appetizer battle. Which app do you truly love, or which app is truly your favorite?” Basically asking them to go here and click, go to this and vote.

Now, when you look at this, the concept is simple. To get people to click the email, to engage. What we do is we set up our campaigns to be trickle. So if we send this out to a 1,000 people on email and only 200 of them click it, then we’re going to take 800 of them and text them, if it’s a message we think they’re going to be interested in. Our goal in this is to get engagement and it’s to get people to take an action. So if I go to Facebook for this particular email, I can see that 47 people took that action and commented. And these are great comments. These are talking about what they like, which one they choose. And there’s people that left different comments in here as well. A little more in depth. And this lady said, “I’m hungry.” “Spinach dip.”

“Both, I can’t choose.” So we’re trying to get engagement. Now let’s go to the next one. This is a contest highlighting a gift card. It’s easy, there’s nothing hard about this. It’s a pizza brand. “It’s contest time, we’re giving away a $25 gift card to one lucky contestant who can guess how much cheese we go through in a week.” It’s simple. It’s not hard to get people to engage in. I go to the Facebook post where we drove them, 100 people commented. These are more comments than they’re going to get on any other post all week. And what happens with this is we not only got people to engage in email, we got them to go to Facebook or Instagram sometimes and engage in that post. Now I can tell you, probably 60 or 70 of these comments came directly from that email right away.

The other ones came from their friends that Facebook identified and said, “Hey, these people look identical to these people. Let’s show them this.” So you’re getting a little virality there. The other aspect of that, of those 100 comments, when I look at my screen on the back, in the ManyChat, I can see that 13 of the people were not in our VIP program. So when people engage in that post, we have automation set up that tells them in Messenger, “Hey, you’re entered to win.” The people who are entered to win that are not in our program, these 13, “Hey, by the way, you’re not in our VIP program, you won a free pizza your next visit.” Pops them into that funnel. Let’s go to the last one. Another contest, The Big Game, can’t say Super Bowl. The Big Game this Sunday, this is Fatty’s Smokehouse.

This was telling people to go there and comment who was going to win the game for a chance to win a $25 gift card. Now, the cool thing about this also is we’re highlighting a brand of food that people are known to order for that week. So we’re not saying, “Order your food from us for The Big Game.” Which is what most restaurants are doing. We’re saying, “Go to Facebook, tell us who’s going to win.” And now we’re putting it in their minds subliminally. I go to this Facebook post, 159 comments of people commenting all the way down, 159. Now here’s the cool part. Remember earlier, I said, people comment, they get a message in Messenger, you’re entered to win. If they’re not in the program, they get put into there. Let’s look at this, this is the back of ManyChat, This one right here that says Retention Engine CGT 2.0, this is this promotion.

167 people that got into here out of this, all these comments, 48 of them, 28% of the people who commented were not in the VIP program. So now that’s 48 people that came. They say, “Kill two birds with one stone.” That’s what happened here. We actually killed three birds with one stone, maybe four. We gave people an engaging reason to click on their email. And again, we didn’t hit the whole database, we hit a small fraction database. We targeted men who were frequent customers because the men who are frequent customers are going to be the ones that might order barbecue for the Super Bowl. But guess what? We didn’t ask them to order barbecue, like I showed you. So what are the birds that we killed with that stone? That magic stone that went around a big circle. Number one, we had an email that got them to engage.

Number two, we got a text message that also got them engaged because we sent a text to people who didn’t engage in the email. Number three, we got them to go to Facebook and comment on the post, which helped the post go viral. Number four is the people who engaged in that post when it went viral, got entered into the program, 48 of them. So we got 48 people. We know that when 48 people join, 15 of them come in eight to 10 times a year minimum. Do the math on that. 15 times 10 visits, 150 visits at an average of $30. I’m not a mathematician, so David could put it on the screen or whoever edits this video down the road. 150 visits times 30 bucks, do the math, that was free, because we used the email a little differently versus just saying, “Hey, it’s a Super Bowl, come get barbecue.”

So that’s all I got today. Think about how you’re using your email, you’re using your text, you’re using your engagement content in your retention program. Because at the end of the day, if you send 52 emails, 52 text messages to your entire database the next 12 months, you’re going to lose a lot of them. And you’re going to talk to a lot of them in a manner [inaudible 00:10:07] relate to them. Think about how you can segment your database, think about how you can segment your retention content and get them to take action. That’s all I got. See you around.


Restaurant Marketing Case Study – Frutta Bowls Franchise


The ROI Engine helps restaurants find new customers, bring your current customers back more often and increase your check totals.  We do this by building you a customer database through high powered attraction marketing to find customers for your restaurant and then gather their name, email, cell phone and birthday.  Once customers join your database we drive then into the restaurants via email, text and retargeted marketing.  Now that you OWN a customer database you can stop RENTING other people’s audience


Find customers that should know about your restaurant and get them excited!  This is a case study from 1 month of a Frutta Bowls Franchise Restaurant working with on on a SCALED down version of our program.

This restaurant is up 17.8% June 2020 vs June 2019

It’s no coincidence that we just launched the ROI Engine for them!

In the first 30 days of our program, this Frutta Bowls location saw:

This database will drive $10,000+ in sales in the next 12 months.