Can geofencing help operators get ahead?

Geofencing is a marketing tool using GPS tracking that’s designed to target specific geographic areas to deliver personalized, location-based content to the audience. This could include anything from announcements to special offers or incentives from restaurants to local customers.

There are several ways that restaurants can use geofencing to analyze traffic data and patterns, increase customer engagement, get to know their visitors better, and improve the overall guest experience.

Drive traffic

As you reach out to guests in your area, you can encourage them to visit with offers, unique menu items, and more. You can also seek out guests who are in the vicinity of your competition, enticing them to visit your restaurant while in the neighbourhood. This allows operators to get really specific with their value-driven marketing to set themselves apart from the competition. Along with encouraging repeat visits, you can target brand new customers with geofencing, too, broadening your customer base and boosting the bottom line.

Dunkin’ Donuts used geofencing to send out personalized offers and reported a 12 per cent increase in customer visits and a 10 per cent boost in sales. Similarly, Starbucks saw a 15 per cent rise in foot traffic and a seven per cent increase in loyalty when they used geofencing to offer exclusive promos and rewards to customers in the vicinity of their stores.

Boost loyalty

Geofencing allows operators to gather data on what guests buy, how frequently they visit, and what they order, so businesses can then tailor staffing, promos, and pricing to maximize profits. Along with the financial benefits, accessing this data allows restaurateurs to get to know their customers better, which drives loyalty.

The key to successful geofencing is to really identify your target market and the more you use this tool, the more data you have to profile that target guest. And as operators focus on the customer behaviour, preferences, and habits of those loyalty members, it allows them to grow and improve those programs, too.

Improved guest experience

Beyond affording customers a more personalized experience, this tool can also be used to improve the experience on-site. McDonald’s is using geofencing to alert employees when a mobile order customer is nearby so they can get their order ready. As a result, the company reported a 62-second shorter wait time for these customers to receive their orders. As competition remains fierce among QSRs, this could allow restaurants to up their customer service game.

Geofencing is a tool that can benefit both operators and guests, and it might just be the technology that sets restaurants apart and raises revenues.