Love it or hate it, technology undeniably shapes the way we purchase and consume our food, from the apps we use to order it to the robots that deliver it to the machines that assemble and cook it. So it’s no surprise that marketing is a huge component of how a certain food ends up on our plates. Fast casual chains have got to keep up with the times by competing for our attention, and QSR Magazine has lent some insight into which tools restaurant chains use to get us thinking about pizza. Surprise, surprise: Most of the strategies are tech-based.
TikTok and pizza, a natural pair
You knew TikTok would enter the conversation, right? When it comes to the social media platform, there’s a multi-pronged approach: Not only does the restaurant build brand awareness by posting the videos, but the posts then allow the restaurant to interact directly with customers and potential customers. If a business wants to preview new menu items, create behind-the-scenes “how it’s made” videos (which are always a big hit), or just remind the internet that pizza is a damn good dinner option, a quick video snippet goes a long way.
Without any extra effort beyond some savvy hashtags, TikTok videos can also find their way into influencers’ feeds and FYP, and those influencers can, in turn, bring extra attention to a particular pizza joint—for better or for worse.
Text message marketing goes directly to consumers
I’ve often seen large-scale pizza chains (Domino’s, Papa Johns, etc.) use text messaging as a way to send coupons and promotions directly to consumers. But not everyone is comfortable surrendering personal info to a fast food joint, so the biggest hurdle in providing these services is often convincing customers to opt in at all. That’s where freebies come in.
Restaurants can entice us to sign up for text alerts by offering incentives like early access to new menu items, thus allowing them another avenue to access you. Jet’s Pizza, for example, will give you 20% off your order if you purchase via text message, a deal that I find ridiculously tempting. I haven’t cracked yet.
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Mobile apps make pizza orders faster and more convenient
I don’t know about you, but hunger is a great motivator for me to scroll through my mobile apps to find deals. Coupons at fast food pizza joints such as Domino’s tend to change often, which gives me plenty of fresh excuses to browse. These apps also make impulse buying extraordinarily easy. That’s a tipping point for someone who might be on the fence about ordering takeout and/or delivery; if you’ve already assembled a theoretical dinner in your mobile shopping cart, there’s not a lot stopping you from that final tap to complete the transaction.
That means having a mobile app is often a top priority for any growing fast casual pizzeria. And of course, those apps provide useful intel on customer demographics and spending habits.
Search engine optimization is low-key crucial for pizzerias
The term “SEO” gets thrown around a bunch when it comes to web marketing. It’s an approach that quietly propels web traffic by aligning a site’s content with keyword search terms, which as you can imagine is particularly important when we’re dealing with a universally beloved and frequently ordered food.
Think about it: If you’re looking for something to eat, you might turn to Google for some ideas regarding pizzeria locations in your city, or even better yet, “near me.” That means restaurants have to keep their contact info and hours of operation freshly updated and communicated to major search engines, otherwise their results will get buried. Pizzerias can invest in SEO tactics that target the specific neighborhoods they’re located in. None of us want our delivery pizza coming from farther away, so it benefits everyone when the product is arriving hot and fresh.
Only once the customer tastes the pizza will it become clear whether all the countless marketing tactics succeeded in creating a loyal customer.