7 Ways an Automated Messenger ChatBot can Fill Your Restaurant!

restaurant marketing chatbot

In this article, I want to show you some of the powerful ways Facebook Messenger and an automated ChatBot can really help to fill your restaurant.

Let's start  with a few facts that will help you understand the incredible potential Messenger Bots have...

Firstly if you've every thought of having an App designed for your business, then here's a good reason why you shouldn't …  1.4 billion people already have the Messenger App installed on their smartphones, which means that virtually everyone who walks through your door has access to Messenger!  As you're about to learn, a ChatBot via Messenger can do everything you'd want to do with your own App...

Second fact, around 80% of people using Facebook do so via their phones, and of your own web site visitors, 60% or more will be on their mobile devices.  Messenger is therefore a really powerful way of engaging and communicating with your customers and potential customers...

And a third fact, whereas only 10-15% of emails get opened these days, Messenger messages get an amazing 80%+ open rate so your message really gets in front of a lot more eyes...

Finally... do you realise that when you post on your Restaurant's Facebook page only around 10% of your Page Followers actually see your post!  If you want them all to see your message you have to promote the post via a paid advert.  Whereas if you build an audience of Messenger Subscribers you can send a broadcast message or follow up sequence to them for free...

Hopefully you can now see why Messenger is such a potentially powerful marketing tool for you and your restaurant?

In summary, everyone coming in to your restaurant has a smartphone and the majority have the Facebook and Messenger Apps loaded on them.  So if you want them to scan a code for instance to receive a gift they can do it in seconds.  If you want to then send them a promotional message when they subscibe there's an 80%+ chance they'll open it...

So with all that said, how can you use ChatBots to attract new customers through the door?.

Here are 7 ways you can use a ChatBOT to grow your restaurant business on autopilot, it literally will be the only restaurant marketing tool you need...

1. Automate Customer Chat Box

Restaurant Chatbot

A Customer ChatBox sits on the bottom right of your web page and gives your visitors the opportunity to ask you questions.  The automated chatbot that powers the feature literally monitors both your web pages and your facebook page for questions being asked and then offers automated answers.  

It looks for 'keywords' in the question being asked and then provides automated responses to try and answer the question.  It can also send you a phone notification to alert you of the question being asked where it can't provide an answer giving you the opportunity to respond very quickly.  

The faster your business responds to enquiries the more you'll convert into customers, rather than letting them slip in to the hands of a business that responds faster.  Your customer chatbox can provide information on opening hours, promotions, menus and make it easy for them to book a table.  A real gamechanger in terms of converting more of your visitors in to bookings and in to Messenger Subscribers for you to follow up with.  

2. Messenger Code Promotions

restaurant marketing chatbot

Because so many of your customers have Messenger installed on their phones, the Messenger Code is far more powerful than the older QR Codes because an additional Reader App is not required.

To scan the code above, you simply open up Messenger, click on Contacts and then tap on Scan Code ... it takes seconds.

The code triggers an automated chat sequence on your customers phone inside of Messenger. You could use the Code to give away a voucher to entice them back again or it could be to encourage them to enter a competition.  

But as well as using it to get them to take specific actions, it also adds them as a subscriber once they interact with it meaning you can contact them via Messenger in the future.

3. Reputation Management

Restaurant Reputation Management

Chatbots are a brilliant way of influencing your online reputation.  Because you can trigger them to request customer feedback and ask for reviews in real time just before they leave your restaurant.  You could present them with a Messenger Code with their bill, that asks them about their experience when they scan it.  Or as part of a sequence where they redeem a voucher it could automatically then ask them to rate their experience and leave a review on Facebook or Trip Advisor.  This is a really powerful strategy for identifying your weaknesses and building your reputation.

4. Slide Over on Your Mobile Friendly Pages

Mobile Messenger Slideover

A simple piece of code on your web site allows us to place slide over ads in front of your web site visitors.  For example your could promote a special offer or competition, and get them to click through to Messenger (become a subscriber) to receive a voucher or enter your competition, and during the chat you can also request their email address to give you another free promotional path!  The slideover can be configured to only appear on smartphones and not desktop screens, making the integration seamless with Messenger as they have the App installed...

5. Generating Shares and Engagement for your Social Media

At the back end of 2017, Facebook announced that asking people to Share & Like competition posts in order to enter them was against their terms and conditions.  Any restaurant currently doing it runs the risk of getting their Page banned!  So if you do it, beware, you have been warned!

A way round this, is to ask your visitors to enter competitions via Messenger, and then as part of the automated chat sequence, ask them to Share your post in return for a gift or additional entry... this can send your posts viral without running the risk of getting in to trouble...

Because ChatBots are in their infancy, people enjoy interacting with them are far more likely to help you with a Share or are far more willing to give you their email addresses..

6. Delivering Vouchers and Tracking Redemption

Restaurant Voucher

Delivering Vouchers and Special Offers via Messenger is a great way to attract customers through your doors, particularly on your quieter nights.  Delivery with a Chatbot is automated as is the tracking of redemption, so you can easily review the effectiveness of the promotion.

Running competitions with a Chatbot and including a voucher giveaway to every entrant is a really powerful way of getting new faces to dine with you.  What makes it really powerful is that you can set follow up sequences to encourage them to make a booking with you to benefit from your voucher leading to higher redemption levels...

7. Loyalty Schemes

Restaurant Loyalty Scheme

You can use your ChatBot to manage a loyalty scheme.  For example lets say that you want to run a scheme that rewards customers for dining with you regularly.  For example if a customer dines with you 5 times and spends at least £50 each time, then you reward them with a £50 voucher to be redeemed when they come in the sixth time ... your Chatbot could track their visits for you.  Each time they pay their bill, your waiter could scan a QR code on their phone to record the transaction.  When scanned for the 5th time it would reveal the £50 voucher!

Obviously you set the terms of the scheme in terms of how many visits and the size of the reward.   Its a great way to keep customers coming back, and you capture them as a Subscriber!


Hopefully I've shown you why Messenger is the only App you need to worry about for your restaurant as it's used by so many people, and also you can now see the endless possibilities and opportunities having a chatbot for your restaurant can open up.  I've listed 7 uses above, but there are many more when you use your imagination, and the list of uses is only going to grow as chatbot technology develops ...

My advice is to get in early and get a march on your competitors ... if that sounds like a good idea then visit our ChatBot Packages above or give me a call on 07743 230043 to discuss integrating any of the ideas above in to your restaurant marketing toolkit...

About the Author

Richard is a Marketing Consultant and Partner with Taylor Cook Restaurant Consultancy...

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