“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” – Albert Einstein
Cloud kitchens are popularly known as “Dark Kitchen” or “Ghost Kitchen”, as they are not visible to customers. So far, they have been playing second fiddle to the Dine-in Restaurants. But with the pandemic, their prospects have changed for a brighter one. With this in mind, many are stepping into this business segment.
For those who are venturing into the cloud kitchen business, it is important to note that like all other businesses, cloud kitchen has its challenges. The main challenge faced by cloud kitchen is reaching customers, securing a place in their mind. Here are few steps to promote your cloud kitchen & make it a success.
Built your website: Whoever starts cloud kitchen, starts with the option of enlisting them with the various food aggregators available. Here I would like to add that apart from enlisting with the food aggregators, have your own presence online. Start with creating an online ordering website. Many platforms help you build your website in no time and with absolute ease. While designing your website make sure that the customer order & checkout process should be very smooth. Also, it is good to keep your menu crisp & easy to understand and have enticing food photographs.
Create Social Media Page: "You can't sell anything if you can't tell anything.” Keeping in mind the above saying, once your website is ready, create your brand’s social presence with Facebook & Instagram pages. Start posting about your brand, your products, your products benefit / USPs consistently. Use good food shots in the post so that your customers get enticed by seeing them. Social media can help you to grab customer eyeballs. You can also use them as a revenue generation channel by running Ads on Facebook & Instagram and get the order through them.
Customer Relationship Management: Next is to have an automated CRM program in place. One of the secrets for a successful business is that majority of sales should come from old/ present customers. Using the CRM program, you build a relationship with your customers & always remain connected with them.
Run various campaigns to engage with your customers. These will help you to be in the recall mind of your customers.
Content Marketing: We generally get hooked to any narration, when conveyed in story format as it establishes an emotional connection with us. In the same way, if you can convey to your customers, your brand purpose, brand journey, product USPs in a story format, you will be able to establish a connection with your customers. The story can be in form of a blog post, videos, podcasts, memes that will connect to your customers emotionally.
Enlisting with Google My Business: There is a tool by Google to bring your brand more visibility. Using this tool, Google My Business, to enlist your brand with the right description, content, food images, videos and
information. Google My Business is a free tool that allows you to promote your business profile and business website on Google search and Map.
Social Media Influencer: Another great way to promote your cloud kitchen business is by tying up with social media influencers in your area of operation /service. When their followers see that influencer speaking about your brand, it builds social trust and increases your brand recall value. According to the Digital Marketing Institute, 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations that could lead to sales.
Sponsoring Events: Sponsoring events is another way of spreading brand awareness among your target customers. This approach is quite an old one, but effective if used strategically. You increase your brand awareness by being present in front of the attendees there. To generate curiosity about your brand, you can use social media to post about the event on your page & also on your brand page. By participating you get the database of the attendees, which can be used for future engagement. You can also sample your products to your target customers, and follow up with further engagement.
Sampling Kiosk: If your cloud kitchen is in the residential locality or a corporate area, showcase & sample your product to the RWA and/ or the corporates. Doing so will create your brand visibility & brand awareness. You can initially offer some special discounts/ offers to convert your target customers to your loyal customers. Here too, you can get the database of the members of the RWA or the corporate, which can be used for further engagement.
Your Loyal Customer – Your spokesperson: Lastly, always use your loyal customers to act as your brand's brand ambassador/ spokesperson to spread words about your brand, your brand's offerings. You can have a referral system for your loyal customers. This will help you to minimise your customer acquisition cost too.
These are some of the ways to promote your cloud kitchen. But strategies are not just limited to these ways only. There can be many more innovative ways that you can use to draw the attention of your target customers.