Creating a mobile presence for your restaurant is incredibly important. You need customers to be able to find your restaurant on a mobile device, then be satisfied by their experience. If you have a mobile website, are listed in local search engines and use social media and review sites, that’s great. But you have to keep those updated — otherwise your customers will leave with a bad taste in their mouth.
If you change your menu, update it. Mobile customers will look at the menu before visiting your restaurant, and they most likely already have an idea of what they’re going to order. Browsing menu selections on your mobile website before visiting your restaurant is convenient for customers. If you inconvenience them by not offering those dishes, you’re going to have an unhappy customer.
If your phone number or e-mail address changes, make sure it’s also changed on the click-to-call feature on your mobile website. Update your Google Places, Yelp and Foursquare listings as well as your Facebook page. When customers can’t reach you to make a reservation, get call-ahead seating, place a takeout order or have their question answered, they’re going to dine elsewhere.
A customer finds your website mobile-friendly; your reviews are fantastic; and your menu is appetizing. She heads to your restaurant, only to find it closed because your hours don’t match those listed on your mobile website. She’s disappointed, hungry and irritated, and it’s likely you lost this potential customer. She wasted time browsing your mobile website, took the time — and gas — to drive to your establishment, only to be literally left out in the cold.
Keep customers happy by keeping correct hours on your mobile website. Make sure customers are aware of holiday hours as well.
Your mobile website must be aware of your delivery perimeter. If your restaurant expanded its delivery radius and a customer is aware of it, you must follow through if that customer wants to order through your mobile website. You will lose repeat customers if they’re denied delivery through your mobile site. Watch how I dealt with this situation with a small pizza chain.
Coupons, promotions and specials
Display only valid coupons on your mobile website. If you put an expiration date on certain coupons, don’t leave them on your website or let them be available through social media after they’ve expired.
The same applies to promotions and specials. If you have a promotion coinciding with March Madness, take the promotion down after the final game. Same thing for specials and seasonal dishes: Stop encouraging customers to come in and try your pumpkin-inspired dish after all of your pumpkin is gone.
Inform your employees
There are few things worse than having a customer check in on Foursquare, receive a free item or discount, then get a blank stare from her server when she tries to redeem it.
You need to constantly communicate with managers and waitstaff. Never promise something to customers that your associates can’t deliver. Inform them of your restaurant’s Foursquare incentives, e-mailed or texted coupons, and menu changes.
Sara Petersen is the content and marketing manager at Punch Mobile Marketing. Punch’s mission is to produce the best mobile-marketing content and solutions for foodservice providers to succeed at the mobile level. Read the company’s blog, follow it on Twitter and like its Facebook page.