29 – Advanced Facebook Marketing Part 2 – Remarketing and Retargeting for Restaurants

Restaurant Retargeting and Remarketing

We look at the power of Big Data for small restaurants and some of the tools that you can use to understand how your online marketing is working in your business.  As an example, we look at some data from Sensis about how many people go to their average business website.  Without some big data, the information that you get about your website visits is not very useful, but with some comparative analytics and big data, you can really understand how your website is performing and more importantly, how your online marketing is contributing to your revenue and your profits.

We have a quick look at generating repeat customers and word of mouth and why it can be so important for your marketing.

Facebook Retargeting

We look at what retargeting or remarketing is and why it is so important for you.

These are really simple campaigns to run and can be the most effective campaigns that you can run.  Many of the remarketing campaigns that we run for Restaurants are running at $5 per day.

We talk about how to set it up on your website and the process to be able to integrate Facebook retargeting on your website.

We talk about Corporate Hospitality and how remarketing can increase your Corporate customers (these ones spend the most money and often run events on Tuesday and Wednesday nights – maybe your quietest nights.

We talk about Canva as well, a really powerful free tool for creating great images for your Facebook marketing campaigns.

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.


Podcast transcript on episode 29 – Advanced Facebook Marketing Part 2 – Remarketing and Retargeting for Restaurants


James Eling: Hey, it’s James from Marketing4Restaurants and welcome to episode 29 of Secret Sauce, the restaurant marketing podcast. Advanced Facebook restaurant marketing techniques, sessions two: retargeting.

James: So, we’ve got a really, really interesting advanced technique which we’re going to break it down step by step, so that you’re going to see just how simple it is to be able to do this. I really find this to be a fascinating topic because to be able to do this five years ago you would have had to work at a company like Coke. To be able to have the kind of capabilities, expertise, to be able to remarket to people who’ve been to your website would have been really tricky.

And so, remarketing is where someone comes to your website and then you see an ad for them pop up. So, a very simple technique which we’re going to breakdown. Really powerful because these are people who’ve expressed interest in your product at some stage, now you’re reaching out, now you’re making sure that they’re top of mind. And we’re going to go through some of the little nuances of this technique so that you can really decrease your costs to acquire a customer, or to turn them into a repeat customer which is what we’re all about. So, before we do that though, I thought I would just have an interesting little discussion about some website marketing. So, obviously the main thing that we do at Marketing for Restaurants is provide you with a digital hub for all of your marketing, and that is the website. So, it’s really important that you get your website right. From that you get things like your ordering system, your online booking system, your Facebook, all of that sort of stuff. The website is the central part of it.

Now, I came across an ad in Facebook, so obviously they’ve seen that we do marketing and so they’re targeting people like that. And there was an ad for census websites, and I thought, “That’s pretty interesting.” And I had a look at the data and it said, “28 million visits to census built sites every year.” I thought, “Wow, that’s a pretty big number.” And there’s 10,000 of these sites, you know, obviously they do a lot of websites. That’s really interesting. But, of course, it’s all about the data. That’s one of the things that we say at Marketing4Restaurants, it’s all about the data. Data though, you’ve got to remember data is pointless, what you want to do is turn it into information, turn it into knowledge, turn it into something that you can actually do something with. So, I thought, “Wow, okay, that’s interesting. Let’s break those numbers down.”

Now, 28 million visits is just under two and a half million visits per month. Okay, so two and a half million visits per month. But that’s over 10,000 websites, so that works out to be 233 visits per website per month. Now, the interesting thing is you’ve always, when you get data, when you get knowledge, when you turn it into information, you’ve always got to go, “So what?” So what? Why would you worry about that? And for most people, they’re not even going to break it down to say, “Yeah, we’re going to get 233 per month.” They would not break that down. But for those who do break it down, they then know that the average census website gets 233 visits. So what? It’s very difficult to be able to make a judgement on that, because most people don’t have the knowledge that they need to be able to make a comparison.

Now, one of the things that we pride ourselves on Marketing4Restaurants is, you know, being able to provide restaurant owners with the information they’ll need to be able to do the marketing that they need to be able to build a successful business. Now, the average Marketing for Restaurants customer gets over a thousand visits per month to their website. So, the, “So what?” is that the restaurant that’s using census is on average losing $90,000 a year. And don’t forget, you know, this is incremental business. So, you take the 30 percent out for food costs and you’re looking at about $63,000 in profit that goes down the tubes because you’ve got a website that’s doing a quarter of the work that it should be doing. That’s a massive figure. So, this is what the average census customer is losing, because they’ve got a website that’s underperforming so much.

Now, and I know you’re going to say, “Well, James, you’re in marketing, you’ve got some sort of crazy figures that you’ve come up with that. That’s not a real figure.” And I agree whole heartedly. That is not the real figure. You know, it’s not $90,000. I’ve come up with 90,000 because that’s the back of the envelope numbers that we’ve been able to come up on based on the average number of visits that you need to drive to your website to be able to get a booking, or to be able to get one seat booked. That’s one of the metrics that we work with, that we sort of live or die for at Marketing for Restaurants and we’re always looking at customers’ websites saying, “How can we increase the number of seats that book?” because that’s a really important metric.

So, $90,000 that’s a marketing figure, what would that look like in the real world? So, you’re missing out on the customer who is looking for your restaurant, so they’re looking for an Indian restaurant, a Chinese restaurant, they’re looking for your specific restaurant but another Indian restaurant comes up. And they’re going to think, “I can’t find these guys, maybe I’ll just make a booking with someone else.” So, that would happen and you need to think, “How strong is my brand affinity?” How many people think, “Is this restaurant or no restaurant at all?” And I think it’s really hard to get that kind of loyalty out of your customers, because they’re going to be thinking, you know, “Here’s one with a special offer. These guys, their website looks pretty good. Wow, that food looks pretty good. Those ribs look awesome,” or, “The restaurant looks really nice, I might try them out.” Particularly if the person who’s doing the search is someone who likes going to new restaurants, like me, then, “Wow, this place looks alright. Yeah, let’s try them out.” And that’s a booking that you’ve lost.

Now, the other thing is there’ll be people who, and this is the massive issue that you’ve got, people who are not your customers who find a different restaurant. So, they’re looking for a cuisine location offer or service. So, “Yeah, I think I might go out for dinner tonight and I’m looking for an Indian restaurant.” Now, not your Indian restaurant, an Indian restaurant. “I’m looking for a restaurant in this suburb.” And, of course, the more outside of the cities you are, the more important that search term becomes and the more some people focus on those terms. “I’m looking for a certain type of service.” So, weddings, corporate bookings.

Now, there are some people out there who make a fortune out of weddings in their restaurant. A fortune out of corporate. Corporate’s amazing because a lot of these are booked on, you know, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday night when you’re normally quiet. And so, we’ve worked with restaurants who’ve been able to get $5,000 bookings on a Tuesday night. It’s the only people in the restaurant. That’s amazing. That can make a huge difference to your profitability, and yet these people are going to be completely missing out on that. because you’re not coming up in that search.

So, on average, if you’re getting a quarter of the traffic that you should be getting, you’re probably going to miss out on around 150 seats booked. So, that 90,000 is really just 12 times 150 times an average seat price of about $50. Now, whatever yours is, you know, put those figures in. You’re also missing out though on the phone calls, okay. So, this is one of the metrics that we track with our customers is the number of phone calls the website generates. You’re also missing out on online orders. We haven’t factored that in. You’re also missing out on the email addresses, alright. And this goes to the final thing, you’re missing out on the repeat customers. So, when I came up with the figure of $90,000, that is based on just seats booked. We’re not looking at the customer who is looking for a Chinese restaurant near where they live who might go out every week, every fortnight, every month and take their family out and spend $200. They are looking for a Chinese restaurant, they find another Chinese restaurant, they’re happy with the food, they’re happy with the experience, they’re happy with the value.

And then all of a sudden, they are the person who is spending $2,500 a year on Chinese and they stay with that restaurant for, you know, three or four years. So, it’s the real value of the repeat customer. The word of mouth. “Yeah, there’s an awesome Chinese restaurant near where we live. It’s called blah, and you should go there.” Now, I’ve got a go to Chinese restaurant near where I live and I refer to them all the time. How much are you missing out on that word of mouth? Because you’re only going to get word of mouth if the customer comes into your restaurant. If they go somewhere else they’ll be referring to someone else’s restaurant, and that’s really important to understand. So, just have a good look at that, and far too many people when I say to them, “How many visitors do you get to your restaurant website?” They go, “We don’t know.” You need to check this. You’re doing an inventory on your food, tracking your costs. You’re tracking all of your spending. You’re tracking your wage costs.

You should be tracking your online marketing. And if you’re not, then you could be missing out. You could have a significant component of your strategy to build a profitable sustainable restaurant business. It may not be working for you, you may not know it. That could be underpinning the reason why you’re not making the money that you should be. Really important to understand that.

So, remarketing. Now, remarketing is where you put a little bit of code that Facebook will generate for you on your website. And that means that every time someone goes to your website, it downloads that bit of code from Facebook. And Facebook will put that visitor if they are logged into Facebook at the time, it will put them into a group. A custom audience. So, that allows you, when you’re creating an ad, to target people in that custom audience. So, and I’ll put up an example of some code that you need to, it’s pretty simple to be able to do. Your web developer should be able to do it. If you’re having trouble with that, you know, contact us, it’s a pretty simple job to be able to do. And for all of our customers it’s covered in under their subscriptions. So, this is what the audience would look like. So, it tells you the number of people who have visited the website who’ve been logged into Facebook, and it tells you what the details are on the audience. So, you’re looking at, you know, how long it is since they’ve visited.

When you go in to create your audience, you basically click on ‘create audience,’ ‘custom audience’ and that brings up a whole series of types of audiences that you can create. And you’re going to create one under ‘website traffic’. From there, you’re given a series of options. Anyone who visits your website, that’s the sort of default one. So, you’re just going to lump everyone who goes to your website who’s logged into Facebook into that audience. Now, and look, realistically that works for a lot of people. It’s pretty simple to do. One of the things that you can do though, is that you can create an audience based around specific web pages. So, if you’ve got a page on vegan food, you could then create a custom audience around website visitors vegan food page and then you run a campaign around your vegan food offering.

Now, in the last episode we talked really extensively about segmenting. This is helping you to segment, because these are people who’ve clicked on, you’ve got a little thing up the top saying, you know, ‘vegan food’, “I’m interested in vegan food,” click there, have a look at that. Okay, now this is the opportunity for you to continue that conversation. The visitor may not have been ready to purchase for you, or there might have been something that they weren’t too sure about. This is your opportunity to reach out to them. Or, they might come to your website, they might make a booking, and they might enjoy your vegan food and then you’re back out in, you know, they’re looking for the next big vegan food. What you want to be able to do is in four months’ time, reach out to them and say, “We’ve got a new vegan menu.” “Wow, that looks exciting. Look at that. There’s a signature dish, looks really good in a photo. Hurray, I will go back there.” Pretty simple to do.

The one thing I would say with this is that restaurant websites tend not to get massive amounts of traffic. So, there are people who do and we’ve got customers who do that. But you might be dealing with, once you start breaking it down, and so you might have say 10,000 in that audience. And that’s not too bad an audience. Once you start breaking it down to individual pages though, you might be getting into the hundreds. And it can be very expensive to run ads to those kind of audiences, because there’s not that many people in the audience and Facebook, if you set a budget of $5 Facebook’s got to be able to find those people. And If there’s only a couple of hundred people in there, remembering that not everyone logs into Facebook five times a day, it might be three or four days before they’re there. So, it can be difficult to, it can be an expensive campaign.

The trick, of course, is to increase the number of people who go to your website. You can target people who visit a specific webpage but not others. And you can also create an audience around people who haven’t visited in a certain amount of time, or combinations of that. So, I want to see people who haven’t, now and this works really well if you’re doing online ordering. I want to, and of course with your own online ordering system, I want people who have gone to an online ordering page but haven’t been in the last 30 days, the last 60 days, the last 90 days.

Now, there’s some people out there with significant online ordering businesses. And, of course, this is a really good opportunity to remind people. These are people who could start think about as being either at risk or lost, so people who have ordered from us in the past or been to the online ordering page in the past but haven’t been there in the last three or four months. Let’s run a special offer to them, because we want to get them back, alright. Now, I know that this, it might seem a little bit complicated. But I really want to stress to you how cool this kind of marketing is when it’s available to a mum and pop type restaurant, to someone who is just sitting there. You can create this campaign in five or ten minutes. And you can run a budget of that of maybe $5 a day. And you might generate four or five extra orders a day out of that five dollars. And if your average order size is, you know, what, average order size is usually for most restaurants sort of $30, $35. That’s an extra $150 a day, you know, you’re looking at nearly $35,000 a year. That’s pretty big money when you’re thinking about you’re spending $5 a day.

This is the thing that we’re starting to see a lot of restaurants doing is that they’re starting to dedicate that time, and starting to dedicate that kind of marketing budget. I’m talking $5 a day spent with Facebook. There are restaurants out there who are managing this themselves. They’re not getting a social media expert in, they’re actually managing themselves. Which means that the campaigns are much better organized because, you know, you’re organizing your own thing. And these people are building up a significant skill set around online marketing. You’ve got the tools out here people, it’s just a question of being able to use them. This would be, if you’re doing this kind of thing I would have thought it put you in the top one percent of restaurant marketing people out there. Very, very few people are doing this. But we know, based on the results that we see and the campaigns that we run for people, that it works. And it works really, really, really well. And it doesn’t need to be like, let your imagination run wild. You might say, “I really like corporate events.” So, you go out and you buy a projector, you have a special room for it and, you know, you have a page dedicated on your website to corporate events. So, we’ll provide the projector for you, these are the inputs that it’s got, it’s a dedicated room, it holds up to 45 people, these are the three menus that you can choose from. You know, you’ve got to start thinking about what it is that someone who does corporate hospitalities wanting, they want fixed price. I’ve actually said it, we had an issue a while ago where someone reached out to us and wanted us to help organize a corporate event for them. It’s like, “Sure, no worries.”

And we made a recommendation to a restaurant and the guy said, “Here’s my credit card, please bill be today and send me the invoice so that it can go into our accounting department.” And they said, “No, just pay on the night.” That didn’t work for that guy, because he has a way that he spends money in his company. That didn’t work. They went somewhere else. And it was, like, I think it was a $5,000 dinner. And the interesting thing was we walked past that restaurant on the way to the restaurant that they ended up booking in. And they were quiet when we went to the restaurant, and they were quiet on the way back. So, they basically gave away $5,000 in revenue. Madness. Absolute madness. So, you come up with a corporate booking solution, and you then, you know, you come up with the offer, you create material around it, you’ve got that corporate page. You can then target these people.

Corporate business can be worth a fortune. There are businesses out there who would run a $5,000 event every month. Now, picking up one of those customers is worth $50,000 to you. Isn’t that worthwhile targeting? Isn’t that worthwhile, you know, putting a little bit of time and effort into? Because, now you’ve got to win that businesses, but once you’ve won it then it’s just a regular thing and it’s money in the bank almost until they change their internal procedures. Makes a huge difference, these opportunities are out there. This is what people are doing now. And this one, you can look at it, now you might pitch to a – and this is a little bit different because it’s not about just people coming in, you’re actually going to have to go out and pitch to them. You know, you’re going to follow up and do all of those sort of things in a normal sales type environment. You might not be able to get it across the line. But if you’re remarketing to them and they’re going out to a different restaurant. If that restaurant doesn’t meet the standards that they require, so they have issues with billing or they get double booked and then they’re sharing a room with someone else or, you know, the food’s not very good, and you’ve got to remember in corporate, just like any other niche, the kind of things that make people buy from you are different from your generic customer.

You want to be top of mind when they’re going, “You know what, this restaurant’s not working out for us. We’ve got to try somewhere else.” I remember getting that proposal from the Chinese restaurant, let’s go and revisit that. You’re top of mind when they’re looking for someone else. And this is not something that you’re going to all of that effort of going and remarketing to them, you know, you’re not doing any of the CRM stuff, which you should be doing, this is just the easy way of anyone who’s visited the corporate events page let’s just run a really low dollar campaign that just sort of trickles away. You might run it for one week of the month, just sort of slowly trickling away to try and win that business. Now, this is not about corporate events, this is about all of the niches that you’re across: vegan, family, all of that. There’s plenty of opportunities and this is the thing that I love about Facebook is that we’ll talk to a restaurant owner and they’ll be using it in a weird and wacky way that we’ve never even thought of before, but it’s working really well because no one else is doing that.

They’ve got a really tightly targeted group and they’ve got an offer that is completely killer, and they’re crushing it. This is what you can do, this is the exciting thing about it. So, you put the pixel on the website. You can focus on when they went there, you know, in the last 30 days what URL if you want to. Pretty simple. You can have combinations where you’ll have people who went to this page but not that page. This is retargeting at its simplest and pretty much its most complex. So, it’s not really hard. You could be running, once you get that the hard bit is getting the pixel on there, and if you’re having trouble with that let us know, we might be able to help you out. The trick is to think about how you’re going to be able to do it. And the hardest bit of any marketing campaign is actually doing the marketing, you know. Actually finding that little bit of time.

But from my point of view, if you’ve got a moderately successful corporate events type function part of your business, how do you roll that out to more people? And, you know, so you make sure that you’ve got a page created on your website. And you should have a website where you can create your own pages and make modifications and all of those sort of things. If you’ve got a page that you did two years ago that talked about corporate events before you were doing corporate events, have you gone back and edited it to put a photo in of an event, you know. Have you got a picture from a name brand company that everyone’s going to recognize? Because that gives you that sort of halo effect, “Wow, this company,” which everyone knows is a household brand name, “is using their function room, it must be pretty good. We should use it, as well.” If you get a new piece of equipment, if you get a sound system in there, if you get a new projector. Do you mention that on there? Have you got a photo in there? They’re the kind of things that help from an SEO point of view and a Facebook point of view. I’m always a really big fan of trying to integrate all of that sort of stuff to try and to get that message out there. It’s a lot better.

You might have someone who’s looking for corporate events, and what you’ll often find is they’ll flip your website around to two or three people because it’ll be the person who’s running the event then you’ve got the person who’s organizing the event. And maybe the person who’s approving the event. So, three or four people will have a look at the page, and they may or may not make a decision. If those people are logged into Facebook it then goes back and you can be top of mind. And, as I’ve said, if you miss out on it you’ve still got that opportunity to remarket to them so that, if they do go looking again, hey, you’re top of mind. So, before I end off, I just wanted to talk about a really cool tool that we’ve talked about in the past, but I know a lot of people still aren’t using it. We’re really lucky at Marketing for Restaurants because we do a lot of websites, we’ve got in house graphic design people which is awesome. And it means that they can create some really funky looking stuff, and I know very talented team.

They come up with some amazing designs for us. But I’m a marketer who, and I try and have a bias for action, alright. I’m a really big believer in 80% is the new 100%. If you’re engineering something to 90%, then you’re probably wasting time because the marginal returns on that marketing campaign are going to be so small that you should have used the other time that it took you to get from 80 to 90%, you should have been using that to move onto your next marketing campaign. So, one of the tools that I use is Canva, and Canva allows me to take an image and put the text that I want on it extremely quickly. It’s an Australian company actually, great technology, super simple to use. So, if you’re not using Canva to be able to, and I’m thinking you take a photo of something that’s come out over the past or something that’s about to head out to a customer that looks pretty awesome, take a photo of it, and you know you can put that straight up onto Facebook or Instagram or Pinterest or whatever it is that you want to do.

Or, have the photo there, going into Canva, add it up, and say, you know, “Wouldn’t Monday be better with one of these coffees?” And then you’ve got that image which people can then share, you might want to put your logo on it, as well. It’s great for marking up logos and you can do it, I reckon I’ve been in and out of Canva in under five minutes to do some stuff. Like anything, the first time you do it it’s going to take a bit of time, be a little bit of stuffing around. Allocate half and hour, an hour to sort of get up to speed with it. After that, boom, you’re good to go. And that’s really important.

So, we’ve covered lots of things, have a look at your website traffic. That’s really important. If you’re getting 200 visits a month, there’s something wrong and you need to be thinking about that. Now, we have customers who get 200 visits a month but we ring them up and say, “You’re not getting a lot of traffic. You need to be doing something about it.” That’s one of the other things that I think it sets us apart from our competitors is that we’re focused on the results for you, which is building a profitable hospitality business that you deserve. And we can only help with the online marketing really. So, that’s the area that we’re responsible for. We actually reach out to our customers and say, you know, “These are the 10 things that need to be dealt on your website.” We know what needs to be done, and sometimes people will say, “Yeah, you know, I’m not going to make any changes because I’m going to do a new menu.” And that might take six months and it’s like, “Wow, you’ve been getting 200 visits for six months, that’s $45,000 down the tubes.” Sad times.

Retargeting. It’s a simple process once you get the hang of it, like running any Facebook ad. I think it is something that ideally the restaurant owner needs to be across. Because it is so critical in your business today. If you’re not, then you need to have someone who is loyal and trusted in your business to be managing that who is across that. Because they’re going to be marketing in your voice, they’re going to be marketing to your customers, you know, they really need to understand that. And this is one of the things I think, you know, so many people fall down on is they outsource it to someone who’s got no idea about your business, no idea about the tone with your customers. You know, can you be a little bit cheeky with your customers? Can you have a bit of a joke with them? Now, that works really well for some restaurants, not for others. Because it doesn’t work well for some people, it means that any outsourced social media person is not going to do that kind of thing, because they don’t want to offend people.

So, the edgier you are on Facebook or any of the social media, the much better your returns are going to be in general. Someone needs to be across this. And this is another technique that we’ve gone through today that is pretty simple and everyone should be using it. And lastly, we’ve talked about Canva. So, hopefully you’ve got something out of it. If you did, please go into iTunes, leave a review. We read all the reviews, it helps to make Secret Sauce better. And we’ve been super excited with the response that we’ve been having. Downloaded in I think, last time I checked it was 102 customers which is absolutely amazing. Really exciting. And it’s really good to get the feedback from everyone. You know, we’re getting feedback now from restaurants all around the world. I had one from Nigeria last week, which is exciting, really exciting. Huge English-speaking population, really growing with a rapid uptake of the internet. Very exciting to be working in countries like that. So, yeah. And then also share the podcast details when you see them on Facebook, because we do retargeting of course. So, hopefully you do see those ads for Secret Sauce. Tag a mate in who needs a little bit of help with their marketing. I’d really appreciate it and I’m sure they would really appreciate it, too. That’s it. I hope you have a busy day. Bye.


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