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Taco Bell's Winning Marketing Strategy and What It Means for Your Restaurant

Taco Bell's Winning Marketing Strategy and What It Means for Your Restaurant

TLDR

Taco Bell is an American fast-food restaurant that serves tasty Mexican-inspired dishes like tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos, and special items. You can drive more sales and repeat customers to your Mexican restaurant by borrowing proven marketing tactics from Taco Bell that leverage digital and direct marketing channels.

This article explores effective ways of increasing revenue and fostering loyalty through the use of mobile apps, email, and in-store promotions. We'll discuss strategies to attract new customers through targeted push notifications and offer incentives to first-time app users. By making strategic investments in technology and implementing creative promotions, your business can distinguish itself in the competitive $41 billion industry, even in the face of advancements by major brands like Taco Bell.

Leverage Mobile Apps and Ordering for Marketing

Mobile apps and ordering have become an integral part of Taco Bell’s success. Their mobile app accounts for 60% of all orders, demonstrating how digital channels can drive significant business impact.

Integrate Mobile Ordering

You should integrate mobile ordering into your marketing strategy. Mobile ordering provides convenience for customers and higher average tickets for restaurants. Taco Bell’s mobile app increases order frequency and increases customer loyalty.

Offer Discounts and Promotions

Make the most of your mobile app beyond just ordering online. Use it to provide special discounts and promotions exclusively, attracting more downloads and orders. Taco Bell often presents app-only deals and freebies to engage customers, motivating them to use the app for orders. This strategy increases order volume and revenue by 20%.

Build a Loyalty Program

A loyalty program within your mobile app can further increase customer lifetime value. The Taco Lover's Pass program is available for purchase in the brand's app and has led to a 20% increase in new rewards members. Loyalty programs give customers incentives to frequently order through your app.

Drive App Downloads with Promotion

Promote your mobile app through social media, email marketing, and in-store marketing to drive downloads. Taco Bell offers a free Doritos Locos Taco for downloading their app, demonstrating how promotions can increase adoption. Similarly, Half Moon Empanadas offers incentives like free empanada with the first app purchase. App downloads are the first step to leveraging mobile for marketing impact.

Enable Push Notifications

Push notifications allow you to re-engage customers and prompt them to order. Taco Bell sends discount notifications and reminders through their app, resulting in millions of orders. Push notifications are a direct way to connect, increasing loyalty and sales. El Famous Burrito, another popular Mexican restaurant, also promotes deals using timely notifications from their mobile app.

By following the lead of these restaurants, you can build a powerful mobile marketing strategy through your app. Mobile ordering, loyalty programs, promotions, and push notifications are proven ways to increase customer lifetime value and drive revenue through digital channels.

Implement an Email Marketing Strategy

To attract new customers and build loyalty, implementing an effective email marketing strategy is key. Email marketing allows you to reach customers directly and provide compelling offers to drive traffic and sales.

Keep Your Emails Simple and Contextual

Focus on simple messages that provide value to subscribers. Explain your current promotions, share recipes, or highlight a new menu item. Keep content contextual by tailoring messages based on customer preferences and purchase history. For example, you might promote fajitas to customers who frequently order beef dishes.

Personalization is Essential

Personalized emails generate 6 times higher transaction rates. Use customer data and preferences saved in your POS to customize content. You might address customers by name or highlight their favorite meals.

Use Compelling Offers to Build Your List

Offer discounts, coupons, or free menu items in exchange for email addresses. For example, you might offer $5 off for signing up or a free order of nachos on their birthday. Once you have subscribers, send a welcome email with an exclusive offer to make a great first impression.

With an engaging email marketing strategy focused on personalization, compelling offers, and simple messaging, you'll build customer loyalty and drive sales for your Mexican cuisine.

Utilize Social Media and Influencers

Leverage Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing involves collaborating with individuals who have a strong social media following to promote your brand. Given the popularity of social media platforms like Instagram, finding influencers in your industry has never been easier. Reach out to influencers with an engaged following of foodies and offer to collaborate. This could involve paying the influencer to highlight your restaurant in their posts or providing them with a free meal to share their honest review. The endorsement of a trusted influencer can introduce your restaurant to their many followers.

Build Your Social Media Presence

A strong social media presence is crucial for any modern restaurant. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter allow you to connect directly with your customers and build brand awareness. Post photos of your food, share specials, highlight your ambiance and engage with comments and reviews. Running social media contests and giveaways is an easy way to increase engagement and gain new followers. Your social media profiles should reflect your restaurant’s style and brand. Aim for posting 2-3 times per week to stay active in your followers’ feeds without overposting.

Finding what works for your brand and customer base will take testing and adjustments, but with an active online presence and the endorsement of influencers, you’ll gain recognition and boost sales through new and returning customers. Focus on high-quality content, consistent engagement, and leveraging the latest tools for an integrated marketing approach.

Offer Loyalty Programs and Rewards

Demonstrate Value to Customers

Loyalty programs are an opportunity for your restaurant to provide additional value to customers through rewards and incentives. Points-based programs in particular encourage repeat business by offering rewards that can only be earned over time through frequent visits. As customers accumulate points with each purchase, they become invested in the program and motivated to return to earn more rewards.

Personalize the Experience

With a robust loyalty program, you gain valuable data about your customer’s preferences and habits that can be used to personalize their experience. Send birthday or anniversary greetings, offer double point days, or provide special treats as a surprise. Making customers feel recognized and appreciated will strengthen their connection to your brand. Loyal customers spend nearly 70% more than new customers, so investing in personalization is well worth the effort.

Leverage Digital Solutions

Per Diem's integration with Square provides an easy way for customers to join your loyalty program, track points, and redeem rewards. The app can also be used to send push notifications about new menu items, daily specials, or upcoming events to help keep your restaurant at the top of customers’ minds.

Differentiate With Unique Menu Offerings and Promotions

To succeed in this competitive industry, you must differentiate your business. Taco Bell’s innovative menu items and promotions have fueled their success. You can emulate their approach by crafting a unique menu and running creative promotions to attract new customers.

Innovative Menu Offerings

Taco Bell frequently releases limited-time menu items to generate buzz, like the Doritos Locos Tacos. Creating signature menu items with a twist on classic Mexican fare or using unexpected ingredients will make your restaurant stand out. Focus on flavors and combinations popular in your region to build authenticity. Run contests or surveys to get input from customers on menu ideas they would like to see.

Engaging Promotions and Deals

Taco Bell’s “Steal a Base, Steal a Taco” campaign during the World Series ignites interest in the brand. Developing promotions tied to local events, sports teams, or holidays will attract customers looking for deals. For example, you could offer discounts on burritos and margaritas during football season or on Cinco de Mayo. Loyalty programs, rewards points, and mobile coupons also incentivize repeat customers with perks and savings.

Value Menus

Taco Bell’s “Cravings Value Menu” increases accessibility to products at lower price points. Compile a selection of your most popular, budget-friendly menu items into a permanent “value menu”. Lowering prices even temporarily could attract new customers who will return even when regular pricing is in effect. Options at multiple price points, from snacks to full meals, ensure all customers can enjoy your fare.

Following Taco Bell’s lead, crafting a unique menu, running engaging promotions, and offering value options will set your restaurant apart. Customers seeking an innovative dining experience with authentic Mexican flavor at affordable prices will flock to your establishment. Continually optimizing your marketing and menu strategies based on customer feedback will build a loyal customer base and boost your success.

Final Thoughts

You now understand how Taco Bell and other popular Mexican restaurants capitalize on their cuisine and innovative marketing to drive sales. Implement similar digital tactics like mobile ordering and targeted push notifications to boost revenue. With the right marketing mix, your authentic eatery can also thrive. Consider leveraging white-label solutions like Per Diem to streamline online ordering. By optimizing your marketing strategy, you can satisfy more customers' cravings for delicious Mexican fare. The possibilities are spicy - take inspiration from Taco Bell's success and make your mark.

Taco Bell's Winning Marketing Strategy and What It Means for Your Restaurant

Taco Bell's Winning Marketing Strategy and What It Means for Your Restaurant
by
Soma Amir
by
Doron Segal
by
Tomer Molovinsky
by
Olivia Terenzio
by
Jessica Buckley
by
Ashley Rodriguez
December 27, 2022

TLDR

Taco Bell is an American fast-food restaurant that serves tasty Mexican-inspired dishes like tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos, and special items. You can drive more sales and repeat customers to your Mexican restaurant by borrowing proven marketing tactics from Taco Bell that leverage digital and direct marketing channels.

This article explores effective ways of increasing revenue and fostering loyalty through the use of mobile apps, email, and in-store promotions. We'll discuss strategies to attract new customers through targeted push notifications and offer incentives to first-time app users. By making strategic investments in technology and implementing creative promotions, your business can distinguish itself in the competitive $41 billion industry, even in the face of advancements by major brands like Taco Bell.

Leverage Mobile Apps and Ordering for Marketing

Mobile apps and ordering have become an integral part of Taco Bell’s success. Their mobile app accounts for 60% of all orders, demonstrating how digital channels can drive significant business impact.

Integrate Mobile Ordering

You should integrate mobile ordering into your marketing strategy. Mobile ordering provides convenience for customers and higher average tickets for restaurants. Taco Bell’s mobile app increases order frequency and increases customer loyalty.

Offer Discounts and Promotions

Make the most of your mobile app beyond just ordering online. Use it to provide special discounts and promotions exclusively, attracting more downloads and orders. Taco Bell often presents app-only deals and freebies to engage customers, motivating them to use the app for orders. This strategy increases order volume and revenue by 20%.

Build a Loyalty Program

A loyalty program within your mobile app can further increase customer lifetime value. The Taco Lover's Pass program is available for purchase in the brand's app and has led to a 20% increase in new rewards members. Loyalty programs give customers incentives to frequently order through your app.

Drive App Downloads with Promotion

Promote your mobile app through social media, email marketing, and in-store marketing to drive downloads. Taco Bell offers a free Doritos Locos Taco for downloading their app, demonstrating how promotions can increase adoption. Similarly, Half Moon Empanadas offers incentives like free empanada with the first app purchase. App downloads are the first step to leveraging mobile for marketing impact.

Enable Push Notifications

Push notifications allow you to re-engage customers and prompt them to order. Taco Bell sends discount notifications and reminders through their app, resulting in millions of orders. Push notifications are a direct way to connect, increasing loyalty and sales. El Famous Burrito, another popular Mexican restaurant, also promotes deals using timely notifications from their mobile app.

By following the lead of these restaurants, you can build a powerful mobile marketing strategy through your app. Mobile ordering, loyalty programs, promotions, and push notifications are proven ways to increase customer lifetime value and drive revenue through digital channels.

Implement an Email Marketing Strategy

To attract new customers and build loyalty, implementing an effective email marketing strategy is key. Email marketing allows you to reach customers directly and provide compelling offers to drive traffic and sales.

Keep Your Emails Simple and Contextual

Focus on simple messages that provide value to subscribers. Explain your current promotions, share recipes, or highlight a new menu item. Keep content contextual by tailoring messages based on customer preferences and purchase history. For example, you might promote fajitas to customers who frequently order beef dishes.

Personalization is Essential

Personalized emails generate 6 times higher transaction rates. Use customer data and preferences saved in your POS to customize content. You might address customers by name or highlight their favorite meals.

Use Compelling Offers to Build Your List

Offer discounts, coupons, or free menu items in exchange for email addresses. For example, you might offer $5 off for signing up or a free order of nachos on their birthday. Once you have subscribers, send a welcome email with an exclusive offer to make a great first impression.

With an engaging email marketing strategy focused on personalization, compelling offers, and simple messaging, you'll build customer loyalty and drive sales for your Mexican cuisine.

Utilize Social Media and Influencers

Leverage Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing involves collaborating with individuals who have a strong social media following to promote your brand. Given the popularity of social media platforms like Instagram, finding influencers in your industry has never been easier. Reach out to influencers with an engaged following of foodies and offer to collaborate. This could involve paying the influencer to highlight your restaurant in their posts or providing them with a free meal to share their honest review. The endorsement of a trusted influencer can introduce your restaurant to their many followers.

Build Your Social Media Presence

A strong social media presence is crucial for any modern restaurant. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter allow you to connect directly with your customers and build brand awareness. Post photos of your food, share specials, highlight your ambiance and engage with comments and reviews. Running social media contests and giveaways is an easy way to increase engagement and gain new followers. Your social media profiles should reflect your restaurant’s style and brand. Aim for posting 2-3 times per week to stay active in your followers’ feeds without overposting.

Finding what works for your brand and customer base will take testing and adjustments, but with an active online presence and the endorsement of influencers, you’ll gain recognition and boost sales through new and returning customers. Focus on high-quality content, consistent engagement, and leveraging the latest tools for an integrated marketing approach.

Offer Loyalty Programs and Rewards

Demonstrate Value to Customers

Loyalty programs are an opportunity for your restaurant to provide additional value to customers through rewards and incentives. Points-based programs in particular encourage repeat business by offering rewards that can only be earned over time through frequent visits. As customers accumulate points with each purchase, they become invested in the program and motivated to return to earn more rewards.

Personalize the Experience

With a robust loyalty program, you gain valuable data about your customer’s preferences and habits that can be used to personalize their experience. Send birthday or anniversary greetings, offer double point days, or provide special treats as a surprise. Making customers feel recognized and appreciated will strengthen their connection to your brand. Loyal customers spend nearly 70% more than new customers, so investing in personalization is well worth the effort.

Leverage Digital Solutions

Per Diem's integration with Square provides an easy way for customers to join your loyalty program, track points, and redeem rewards. The app can also be used to send push notifications about new menu items, daily specials, or upcoming events to help keep your restaurant at the top of customers’ minds.

Differentiate With Unique Menu Offerings and Promotions

To succeed in this competitive industry, you must differentiate your business. Taco Bell’s innovative menu items and promotions have fueled their success. You can emulate their approach by crafting a unique menu and running creative promotions to attract new customers.

Innovative Menu Offerings

Taco Bell frequently releases limited-time menu items to generate buzz, like the Doritos Locos Tacos. Creating signature menu items with a twist on classic Mexican fare or using unexpected ingredients will make your restaurant stand out. Focus on flavors and combinations popular in your region to build authenticity. Run contests or surveys to get input from customers on menu ideas they would like to see.

Engaging Promotions and Deals

Taco Bell’s “Steal a Base, Steal a Taco” campaign during the World Series ignites interest in the brand. Developing promotions tied to local events, sports teams, or holidays will attract customers looking for deals. For example, you could offer discounts on burritos and margaritas during football season or on Cinco de Mayo. Loyalty programs, rewards points, and mobile coupons also incentivize repeat customers with perks and savings.

Value Menus

Taco Bell’s “Cravings Value Menu” increases accessibility to products at lower price points. Compile a selection of your most popular, budget-friendly menu items into a permanent “value menu”. Lowering prices even temporarily could attract new customers who will return even when regular pricing is in effect. Options at multiple price points, from snacks to full meals, ensure all customers can enjoy your fare.

Following Taco Bell’s lead, crafting a unique menu, running engaging promotions, and offering value options will set your restaurant apart. Customers seeking an innovative dining experience with authentic Mexican flavor at affordable prices will flock to your establishment. Continually optimizing your marketing and menu strategies based on customer feedback will build a loyal customer base and boost your success.

Final Thoughts

You now understand how Taco Bell and other popular Mexican restaurants capitalize on their cuisine and innovative marketing to drive sales. Implement similar digital tactics like mobile ordering and targeted push notifications to boost revenue. With the right marketing mix, your authentic eatery can also thrive. Consider leveraging white-label solutions like Per Diem to streamline online ordering. By optimizing your marketing strategy, you can satisfy more customers' cravings for delicious Mexican fare. The possibilities are spicy - take inspiration from Taco Bell's success and make your mark.

Soma Amir

About the author

Doron Segal

About the author

Hey I'm Doron, the co-founder & CTO of Per Diem — a mobile app platform for restaurants. I'm also a dad and a husband. I love to travel and meet new people.I love creating things, and see people using the stuff I built.Prior to Per Diem I worked at Saildrone, OpenTable, Apple, Beats Music, Siemens.

Tomer Molovinsky

About the author

A second time founder with a passion for building products at the intersection of hospitality and technology. I've had the pleasure of launching reservation systems, mobile payment solutions, and loyalty programs at OpenTable and Resy, and witnessed how operators were losing a direct connection with their customers online. We built Per Diem to strengthen the relationships that businesses have with those customers, and to ensure that local businesses can thrive in today's economy.

Olivia Terenzio

About the author

Jessica Buckley

About the author

Ashley Rodriguez

About the author

Ashley is a freelance writer and podcast producer based in Madison, Wisconsin. She hosts a podcast called Boss Barista and writes an accompanying newsletter with full transcripts of each episode and articles about coffee and restaurant work. You can check out her work here (ashleyrodriguez.work/).

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