Leveraging Your Email Database

There are a number of differences between a private label system like iMenu360 and a Portal system like Grubhub. One of the biggest, is when a customer orders from a private label system, the email address is acquired and owned by the restaurant. When a customer orders from a third party system (Grubhub, Eat24, Seamless, ect.), the email is owned by that system and not shared with the restaurant.

A number of our clients receive orders from Portals and often ask me how they can get customers to order from their website. Many offer a very aggressive first time discount to entice Portal users to order from their website. This is a good start but in many cases, users go back to their old habits and order from the portal; restaurant owners are understandably frustrated.

Getting users to change their habits requires a two-pronged approach.

Step 1: Providing an aggressive discount to get portal users to order from the restaurant website allows you to acquire their email information.

Step 2: Requires exporting the database to an email provider (such as Constant Contact) and sending out monthly emails to that database. These monthly contacts will consist of promotions that are only good when the user orders from the restaurant’s website and now makes it worthwhile for portal users to consider a permanent switch.

For Example:
Pockets leveraged its database combined with its loyalty program by running campaigns that rewards its customers with double or triple loyalty points at certain times throughout the year. Recently, Pockets ran a campaign that centered on double loyalty points for the whole month of January. Periodic emails were sent during the month reminding customers of this promotion. Pockets does many promotions during the year and now, more often than not, customers order directly from Pockets website.

Author: David Litchman

David Litchman has been in the restaurant business for over 25 years. A graduate of the University of Michigan, David started Pockets right out of college and was one of the first restaurants to serve healthier, fresh, fast food. As Pockets grew, David looked for ways to make operations more efficient and was introduced to online ordering in 2003. Pockets became an early adopter and David worked with the developer to modify the system to improves both the customer and restaurateurs experience. In 2007, David founded iMenu360. David assembled a technology team that has been able to develop a product that allows restaurateurs to have a state of the art branded online/mobile ordering solution. In the last 9 years, iMenu360 has worked with operators of all shapes and sizes. From single unit operators to the U.S. Military across the world. Under David's leadership, iMenu360 continues to grow and assist operators in the battle against the portals(Grubhub, Seamless, Eat24, Delivery.com, Etc).