A lot is changing in the fine dining sector. Star chefs known for their five-star cuisine are swapping prix fixe for quick serve. High-end restaurant groups are radicalizing the concept of tipping. Fine dining restaurant operators are also following their more casual peers into the food delivery arena.
While some might think of it as exclusive to quick service and local family-owned restaurants, delivery is quickly becoming a way for upscale businesses to bring in additional revenue and entice customers who wouldn’t (or can’t) dine in. Gourmet meals in the comfort of your own living room seems like an easy sell, but fine dining restaurant managers need to think strategically about how they market their delivery services.
Consider these tips for spreading the word about your fine dining delivery options without compromising your brand:
Social media, email newsletters and carefully designed websites are essential components of any restaurant marketing campaign. That said, direct mail can still be a powerful tool for getting in front of potential customers. Research shows that plenty of millennials – who are willing to spend more on high-end meals than older generations – find value in materials they receive in the mail from companies they’ve never done business with before. With physical mailers, you can design content that physically embodies a restaurant’s aesthetic and ethos in a way that purely digital communications sometimes can’t.
Another way you can drum up buzz around new delivery services is to offer frequent customers a sneak peak. By flipping through past reservation records, you can quickly segment a list of loyal customers to target with a small discount or other perk for testing out the delivery option. Encourage this group to share their delivery experiences via social media and word-of-mouth to draw attention to your services organically.
Critics, food journalists and bloggers are essential contacts to have when you run a fine dining establishment. Planning a public relations push around your new food delivery service is another way to increase visibility without investing in overtly promotional advertising. Communicating the news about your delivery offering through respected local and industry publications also lends valuable third-party credibility to the announcement.
According to National Restaurant Association research, fine dining customers increasingly opt for restaurants that value eco-friendly food and locally sourced ingredients. Restaurant marketers should tie these preferences into their delivery marketing tactics: for example, donating a percentage of each delivery order’s profits to a local farm or sustainable vendor.
Whether you’ve offered delivery for some time or are looking to expand your delivery options, partnering with an online ordering provider like GrubHub will help boost exposure and revenue. Partnering with an online or mobile ordering service gives you instant access to thousands of customers in your area, and adds third-party credibility to your growing fine dining restaurant. This will also save your restaurant time, as staff won’t be tied up on the phone taking orders and can instead spend that time on other tasks to improve the customer experience.