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The quick-service restaurant business is extremely competitive. If you want to stand out and succeed, you need to use every marketing tool at your disposal. That means you can no longer ignore the effective and powerful tactic of in-store marketing for quick-service restaurants (QSR).

Why Should a QSR Use In-Store Marketing?

In-store marketing for quick-service restaurants is a strategy that promotes to and connects with customers who have already walked into a QSR. Unlike other marketing strategies, this tactic doesn’t aim to lead customers to a store. It aims to market to them once they arrive.

The goals of in-store marketing are to:

  • Get customers to spend more during their visit by promoting upsells and cross-sells.
  • Encourage additional purchases by showcasing lesser known products.
  • Collect customer data to use during re-marketing campaigns.
  • Build brand affinity and loyalty so customers return again and again.

QSR marketing departments spend a lot of resources trying to get customers to come to their location. Many succeed in attracting an engaged audience but fail to capitalize on the opportunity of having these interested customers in their store. This approach can be a costly mistake.

Studies show that it’s cheaper and more effective to market to existing customers than to market to new customers.

  • It costs five times less to get an existing customer to return to a business than to get a new customer to make their first visit.
  • Brands have a 60-70% chance of selling to an existing customer and only a 5-20% chance of selling to a new customer.
  • When existing customers return to a business, they spend more money than new customers — up to 67% more.

So if you’re failing to use in-store marketing to connect with your QSR customers, you could be missing out.

How to Use In-store Marketing for a QSR

Stop missing opportunities for marketing your quick-service restaurant. Make more while spending less by trying these top tips for creating an in-store marketing plan for your QSR.

Capture attention with digital signage.

It’s likely that your QSR already has some advertisements inside of your store. But if those signs are static poster boards, they probably aren’t demanding the attention you need.

Instead of using dated, boring posters, trade out your static signage with digital screens. Digital signage and video walls better capture the attention of your guests, they allow you to regularly update and change content, and they provide a better customer experience and decrease perceived wait-times all while increasing your sales.

  • When using Digital Signage to capture customer attention and promote products and services, you can increase ROI by over 30%.
  • One in five customers makes an unplanned purchase after seeing items featured on digital screens (Forrester).
  • There is an average increase of margin per transaction of 2.5%-3% when digital signage is present (Digital Signage Today).

Present your menus on digital screens.

One of the best uses for digital signage in a QSR is for showcasing your menu. Rather than using static signs, you can use digital menu boards to highlight and feature your menu items.

In addition to presenting your menus in a more interesting and appealing way, digital menus offer a variety of other benefits. You can use them to:

  • Customize menus to automatically change based on the time-of-day and day-of-the-week. This process allows you to only show available menus which makes the ordering process easier and faster for customers.
  • Change your menu to accommodate inventory by removing sold-out items and featuring overstocked items.
  • Test new menu items by featuring them on screens and testing their appeal to customers.

Offer free customer WiFi.

Screens on the wall engage in-store customers and so do the screens in their hands. Another strong marketing tool to use on customers while they are in your location is WiFi marketing.

WiFi marketing is a strategy that offers free customer WiFi in exchange for an email address or phone number of a customer. The exchange is that customers get free WiFi and the QSR gets multiple opportunities to market to the audience. You can:

  • Collect customer data to use in re-marketing and retargeting efforts.
  • Display a custom landing page that promotes a new product, deal, or offering.
  • Use data to identify customer demographics and interests and create marketing promotions based on that information.
  • Send text deals and coupons to customers while they are in your restaurant or nearby your location.
  • Track foot traffic and in-store busy times to identify where your quick-service restaurant needs to improve your operations and increase staffing.

Use overhead sounds to engage and inform.

Finally, as you set up in-store marketing for a quick-service restaurant, don’t overlook an important element of your location’s environment — the sound.

Playing the right music in your location isn’t necessarily a direct marketing tool, but it can impact the way customers act in your store and the way they feel about your brand. So be intentional about the overhead music playlist you create for your location. Choose a music style that matches your target audience.

Also, leverage the opportunity to speak directly to customers in your location. Add snippets of promotional messages to your overhead music to connect with customers while they are engaged with your brand and already in your store.

How to launch in-store marketing for quick-service restaurants.

You now know the benefits of using in-store marketing for quick-service restaurants. You can see what you gain by utilizing this marketing strategy and how you can fall behind by ignoring it.

So if you haven’t set up this strategy yet, get started today.

Take the first step and contact Spectrio to find out how we can help you get the tools and plan you need to start connecting with your in-store customers. Or, download our free ebook to learn more about how you can use in-store marketing to increase your sales while improving customer experiences.