How To Nail Instagram If You're a Restaurant

How is your restaurant’s Instagram profile? Is it still just a single picture of a forlorn poached egg on top of a slice of toast? Where’s the mashed avocado? Sure, we know you’re busy. You’re trying to run a restaurant, after all. But did you know that an out of date or just plain shoddy Instagram profile for your restaurant could be driving away customers? According to a study done by the Italian chain Zizzi, a full 30% of millennials, that highly coveted 18-35 year old age bracket, say that they would avoid a restaurant if their Instagram presence was lacking.


Don’t despair, even if you’re a total failure at social media, there’s still hope for you. And that hope is coming at you in little donut shaped radio waves. We’re talking about the WiFi you most likely have in your restaurant. The WiFi that your customers love and you are probably giving away for free. What we’re talking about is asking your customers for just a little bit of data, starting off with an email address, in order to access your restaurant WiFi and, in turn, boost that sad Instagram profile.


Makes sense, doesn’t it? Instead of a hastily scrawled password on a chalkboard above the bar, your guests simply enter their email address in order to connect to your WiFi through what is known as captive portal software. Once they’ve verified their email address, they’ll have access to fast, safe and secure WiFi. But it doesn’t stop there. When prompted to login, your customer will see your branding on the login screen, ensuring that you’re staying first and foremost in their minds. Another cool feature of the captive portal is the power of data capture. In addition to their email address, you can ask your customers for information like post code, age, and gender. Most login portals will even let you ask your own custom questions - the perfect way to do a quick poll on new menu items or offerings.


OK, so you’ve broken down, gotten some captive portal software and now you’ve got all this interesting customer data. So what to do with it? Got a email list? How about exporting all those customer emails addresses you captured on your fancy new portal into your email list software? Don’t have an email list? Now you do! Thinking of opening a new branch of your business? Check the postcode data you’ve collected to see where your customers are coming from. In addition the data you’re asking your customers for, a good captive portal solution will also provide you with statistics on time of day, length of visit and the devices used. So, if you notice that you’ve got more people signing in from laptops rather than mobile devices, maybe it’s time to think about adding some under seat plugs for the use of your customers.


How is this going to help your sorry Instagram account? Right, follow along here. That’s where automated marketing comes into play. Your customer enters your restaurant and sits down to your signature poached egg on toast - now featuring smashed avocado. The customer’s food arrives, and, of course, it looks fantastic and they want to preserve the moment in pictures. They pull out their phone to connect to the WiFi where they’re immediately presented with your brand and logo on the spiffy captive portal screen. After entering their email, they sign in to the WiFi, snap their picture and carry on with the meal.

30% of millennials say that they would avoid a restaurant if their Instagram presence was lacking.

Here comes the automated part. Minutes after leaving your venue, the customer gets an SMS or email from you, asking them if they’re enjoying their dining experience, and if they’d be happy to share any photos they take on social media. Whoa! Who’s going to say no to that? Your customer, who’s had their mashed avocado cravings fulfilled, naturally, posts their photo to your Instagram page. In one fell swoop we’ve solved three problems: your customer got access to awesome WiFi, they have a fantastic dining experience, and your Instagram account is happy again.

This article was contributed by one of our partners, BLACKBX. Find out more about their data capture and marketing platform by visiting their website. 

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