The upswing of popularity in SMS messaging technology has made its way into the restaurant business. First, fast food businesses are looking at the possibility of customers ordering food online. The order would print as a text message on a small SMS printer in the kitchen. Now, another company has introduced cell phone coupons, so here are five of the top reasons to use the cell phone coupons in your restaurant.
1. Introduce the technology -- This is a top reason to use cell phone coupons. By enticing customers to use the coupon, you introduce them to the SMS order process. It becomes simple and second nature to them. This, in turn, expands your business horizons as you now have another POS (point of sale) to work with. The order process can automatically determine that the coupon is valid for the purchase made, which leads me to:
2. Order accuracy -- Since the order and coupons are linked already, there is no question as to the validity of the order. This also presses the use of the SMS online ordering process where the customer types the order into the system him or herself. A hard copy of the order is printed in the kitchen and errors are eliminated as a result. Accurate orders mean happy customers that come back again.
3. Tracking -- Because they are totally electronic in nature, cell phone coupons are completely traceable to the source. This is true in several areas, including the number of coupons issued, the number of coupons redeemed and customer demographic information. The coupon issuing company collects the information from subscribers to the coupon service. Each coupon has a specific code attached to it and can only be redeemed one time. That information is passed on to the restaurant owner.
4. Along the lines of tracking, restaurant owners can also discover what items on the menu are working and which ones are not. In coordination with suggestion cards at the restaurant, menu items that are not selling can be adjusted. This saves money in the area of food cost for the owner.
5. Target market groups -- Within the tracking information, the restaurant owner is able to identify the age, sex, location and other information of consumers using the coupons. This can be used to target specific groups of customers. If you know where your strengths are, then you can work on your weaknesses and get better at what you offer to your clientele.
You may also be able to attract a new customer base. Since the users of cell phones are typically 18 to 35 years of age, future promotions can be formulated to offer what these folks are fond of.
With all of this information at your disposal, you have a better chance of being successful in a very competitive business. So, using cell phone coupons is a way to put your restaurant on the cutting edge.
Technology is moving forward and restaurant owners should be hopping on the bandwagon. This technology is still in the first stages, but offers great promise and can take the market by storm very soon. The time to move is now so you don't get left behind the times.