According to a 2012 Google analysis, the majority (62 per cent) of online searches for restaurants leading up to Valentine’s Day were made on mobile devices. Mobile search traffic to restaurants’ websites, it is said, rose by an incredible 359 per cent during this time.
With results like that, you might think you don’t need to do any sort of promotion at all to encourage couples to romance the night away under your roof, but take a look at your reservations: with a couple of weeks to go, how many firm bookings have been made already? All businesses, no matter how popular, need a mobile marketing strategy for this time of the year.
A mobile-friendly site
To take advantage of this seasonal interest in dining out, you need to ensure your website is mobile-friendly, that means that it can be viewed perfectly legibly on a smaller screen. This is not simply a case of minimising text – absolutely not – you need to design a whole site, one that presents the information correctly and is user-friendly. It should easily direct to a swipe-action ‘book a table’ button or clearly lead to a Valentine’s Day menu. If you don’t have the in-house capabilities, then an external designer can help and it’s definitely a task worth doing.
Communicate romance-themed promotions
Use mobile marketing to send text patrons with information about your Valentine offerings, to communicate a special package deal or give away a free bottle of bubbly with each booking made before a certain date. Wining and dining the one you love is all the sweeter when it comes with a discount, let’s face it.
A great way to personalise your messages is to segment them by location (if you have more than one branch), perhaps you can suggest ways they could spend their Valentine’s Day in the local area before concluding the day at your local restaurant? That way, your message will not only be relevant to them, but provide value and is far more likely to be read.
Make more opportunities by extending the event
Why should Valentine’s Day be restricted to just 24 hours? If you extend your promotions throughout February, you might encourage more custom during the month – after all, not everyone might be able to make it on the actual day. If you are going to do this, start communicating your campaign in January and maybe offer early-bird discounts to those that book a table. Or perhaps arrange some singles nights so as not to alienate the unattached? The possibilities are endless.
Capture the last-minute romantics
Mobile is the ‘device of choice’ for those seeking last-minute reservations, Google’s report said. Two-thirds of ready and willing consumers are searching for a restaurant, so why not approach them first. Sending out an SMS on the day itself, or maybe the night before, could scoop up lots of those last-minute romantics and direct them to your door. Get your share of this captive market by sending out a simple and non-expensive text message – what could be easier?