Jul 5, 2024
 min read

3 Pitfalls to Avoid in Omnichannel Marketing

This article outlines:

Why and how restaurant marketers should take cues from operators

Three pitfalls to avoid in omnichannel restaurant marketing

The key to maximizing campaign ROI


Anyone who’s worked in a restaurant, let alone run one, will tell you a healthy amount of paranoia is required to do the job well. Sure, each shift begins with a similar set of to-dos, but it’s what’s NOT on the checklist or in the steps of service that will catapult a good guest experience to a great one.

Stopping to ask yourself “What am I not thinking about, seeing, or feeling that I could be?” is just as important for restaurant marketers as it is for operators. 

So, marketers—when was the last time you audited your efforts with the above question in mind? And, how would you score the brand experience on every channel if you were a guest? 

Carving out time within your regular communication cadence to let a little healthy paranoia sink in is one way to avoid these three pitfalls of omnichannel marketing.


1. Lack of guest data

Walking into a restaurant, coffee shop, or bar where somebody knows you by name (or at least remembers your drink order) feels so good. In fact, one of the most successful sitcom jingles of all time was based on this premise alone. The same principle applies to every level of guest communication and campaign touchpoint.

The trouble is, without comprehensive data—favorite menu items, visit frequency, dietary restrictions, marketing preferences, etc.—personalizing the omnichannel guest experience is next to impossible.

Whether they join the waitlist, place an online order, or post about their meal on social media, each digital interaction creates an opportunity to learn more about, and connect with, every guest. And, with a restaurant guest data platform that consolidates data from across the guest journey, you can start building a relationship with them from their first visit—and keep them coming back.

If your brand is new to personalized marketing, start by getting your data in order.

Download Olo's Restaurant Marketing Guide

2. Content isn’t channel-specific

Good servers don’t spiel a scripted restaurant introduction to a table of regulars. The reason why might seem obvious in the context of a dine-in experience, but outside of the four walls, useful marketing communication also depends on being acutely aware of what guests want and when. 

Marketers must match the right information sharing to the right platform and audience. For example, you wouldn’t send an email promoting your new meat-lovers pizza to vegetarians. You can avoid such missteps by starting with what your guest wants to hear—not what you want to say.

Keep in mind that over-reliance on a single communication channel can turn off guests. You don’t want your marketing campaigns to be perceived as spam.

Your messaging, brand voice, and calls to action should all be tailored to how guests engage on each platform. Think of it this way: useless content wastes everyone’s time. 

3. Obvious gaps in the brand experience

Ops can continually refine the dine-in experience because they get constant and immediate feedback from guests. Hosts, servers, and floor managers are side-by-side with guests while they wait, sit, order, eat, and pay. 

Marketers though, may miss key opportunities to bring a brand promise to life if strategies are left to marketing models and templates cooked up in the home office alone.  

The fix? Make time to eat a meal or two in the restaurant. Then consider, are you missing branding moments that would make the guest experience even better? Pay careful attention to moments that mattered and how a quippy branded message or some marketing TLC could have filled in any gaps.


The key to maximizing campaign ROI

Creating a great omnichannel guest experience goes beyond just using multiple marketing channels. It means carefully tuning communications at every touchpoint in the guest journey to exactly what they want and need at that moment—whether at home, on their phone, in the parking lot, or at the restaurant.

By harnessing data from across your restaurant tech stack, you can create hyper-personalized campaigns that drive repeat orders, maximize guest lifetime value, and make every guest feel like a regular.

Ready to take your marketing to the next level? Check out Engage, Olo’s restaurant-specific marketing and guest engagement platform, and request a demo today.

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