How ‘Phygital’ Marketing Improves Customer Engagement for Restaurants

One of the most impactful ways to target your audience is through location-based marketing. Nine out of 10 people who own a smartphone use it for information regarding their location, which allows vendors to access relevant and timely data in a nonintrusive way.

Customer engagement is guaranteed to increase as customers interact with your restaurant through a dedicated mobile app or QR code system. Mobile apps and QR codes provide targeted messages and unique promotions to customers, which helps create brand awareness and makes your restaurant a household name in the community. 

This is ‘phygital’ marketing: the blend of a physical presence with digital engagement. Phygital marketing is a hybrid channel delivering an immediate, immersive experience to make brands memorable and converts.

As phygital interactions deliver increasingly targeted experiences to customers in the future, here are three ways phygital marketing can improve customer engagement for restaurants.

Promote Online Ordering and Reservations

Online menus are one of the best ways to utilize technology within a restaurant. Using QR codes on tables, counters or even doors offers a touchless alternative to physical menus, minimizing the need for direct interaction with wait staff and encouraging speedy ordering. Customers only need a mobile phone to scan the QR code to quickly and easily access the menu on their own without flagging down a member of the restaurant staff.

This is ‘phygital’ marketing: the blend of a physical presence with digital engagement. 

Restaurants can also offer customers a pre-order option during the reservation process. The opportunity to pre-order food online makes it easier for all parties involved. Food arrives at the table shortly after the customer shows up, removing the stress placed on servers and limiting the time pressure.

Promotion of in-app ordering is another way to incorporate phygital marketing strategies. In addition to placing their food order within the app, allowing patrons to reserve their table within your app frees them from calling the restaurant. This option provides an ease-of-use that has a remarkable impact on the number of people who make reservations. 

Include Online Payments with Multiple Fulfillment Options

The more you can personalize your ordering and browsing experience, the happier you’ll make your customers. One way to personalize a restaurant app is by providing multiple payment options. As of 2020, 87 percent of shoppers preferred touchless self-checkout and payments options. As businesses are quickly shifting to contactless payments due to the high preference for these features, no channel is better suited to meet the demand than phygital. 

Customers should have the ability to pay in-app either by card or Apple Pay, PayPal or Google Pay when placing an order or reserving a table with pre-ordered food. Online payments complement QR code menus by minimizing contact and providing an efficient checkout experience for customers.

Send Targeted Promotions with Push Notifications

One of the most significant benefits of phygital marketing is the ability to target customers with customized promotional material through location-based push notifications and QR codes. A restaurant’s app can deliver promotions, special offers and discounts to nearby customers through push notifications. 

Phygital marketing fosters a deep connection between consumers and a brand when executed correctly.

Restaurants can take advantage of phygital marketing, specifically geolocation, to personalize restaurant promotions based on factors such as weather. For example, a restaurant could promote lemonade or cold drinks on a hot day and promote hot chocolate on a cold day, based on the weather of a customer’s location. People will be most interested in promotions that are specific to their current experience, so restaurants should ensure promotions are personalized to gain engagement.

QR codes and push notifications work well to encourage customers to review and rate their dining experience. App notifications influence patrons to tag the restaurant in a review or share the photo on social media. QR codes allow seamless access to platforms, such as Facebook or Yelp, for customers to leave a review.

Phygital marketing fosters a deep connection between consumers and a brand when executed correctly. Phygital marketing enables better customer interactions and allows brands to measure their customer experience with data. As restaurants look for ways to optimize and streamline the dining experience, phygital marketing will be the natural next step to elevate customer engagement.