Is Your Restaurant Loyalty Program Working? We See These Issues All the Time (and How to Fix Them)

sitting at a table, taking a bite

For restaurants, coffee shops, and bars, loyal customers are the golden ticket to success. They’re the ones who keep coming back for more, spreading the word, and fueling your business’s growth. But let’s face it: amidst the whirlwind of daily operations, customer loyalty can sometimes fall victim to the “out of sight, out of mind” trap.

At Olive + Leo, we understand the challenges. That’s why we built a platform specifically designed to help local businesses cultivate customer loyalty with ease. With our streamlined text marketing, social media tools, and email marketing features, building a robust loyalty program is within reach, even for the busiest restaurant owner. 

Our team of marketing experts has gleaned years of experience working alongside restaurants and hospitality brands. In this post, we’ll shine a light on common pitfalls and offer actionable solutions to identify the cracks that might be silently leaking away your loyal patrons.

  • Limited Communication Channels: Blasting generic emails or relying solely on social media misses a significant portion of your audience. In today’s increasingly noisy world, it’s essential to diversify your communication with text marketing, social media, email, and in-person interactions to reach customers where they are.
  • Diminished Engagement: When restaurants launch their loyalty program, they often focus on sign-ups rather than maintaining consistent engagement with loyalty program members. This can lead to decreased interest over time. Remember, loyalty is a two-way street! Signing up customers is just the first step. The next phase is regularly offering exclusive deals, personalized rewards, and targeted promotions to keep customers engaged.
  • Rewards That Lose Their Shine: Points and discounts are great, but only if they’re fresh and exciting. Predictable rewards lose their appeal over time. Offer a variety of redemption options, including unique experiences, merchandise, or exclusive access to new menu items.

Another idea is to make redemption easy and flexible. Allow customers to use their rewards through multiple channels and offer diverse options to cater to different preferences.

  • Lack of Insights into Actionable Data: One of the challenges of traditional loyalty programs like punch cards or POS check-ins is that these methods don’t collect data. You need to track key metrics like program engagement and ROI to keep you in the loop about what’s working and what’s not. With customer loyalty tools like the Olive+ Leo platform, you can experiment and measure different offers, messaging, and program elements to identify what resonates best with your customers.
  • Ignoring Feedback: Your customers are your best source of information. Don’t ignore their voices! As you look for ways to cultivate customer loyalty, actively seek feedback on their experiences. Obtaining customer feedback could mean sending surveys and polls through text messages or having casual conversations in person with customers.

Self-Assessment: Diagnosing Your Restaurant’s Loyalty Program Health

Here are a few questions to help you evaluate the following areas to diagnose gaps in your customer loyalty strategy:

  • Engagement and Awareness: How many actively participate? Do new customers understand the program and its benefits? How often do you communicate, and is it personalized?  Are there more effective ways to increase engagement after a new customer signs up?
  • Rewards and Value: Are rewards relevant and appealing? Do they align with preferences and spending habits? Do you offer diverse redemption options, and is the process user-friendly?
  • Feedback and Integration: Is your program integrated with other marketing efforts? Does it align with your overall brand and goals? Do you gather feedback and analyze data to identify areas for improvement?

Olive + Leo: Your Partner in Customer Loyalty

We understand that navigating loyalty programs can be overwhelming. That’s why Olive + Leo is here to help. Our platform is intentionally built with hospitality businesses in mind, providing you with the tools to:

  • Build a robust loyalty database and capture customer information for targeted marketing.
  • Launch engaging text marketing campaigns and send personalized offers, updates, and reminders directly to customers’ phones.
  • Craft strategic social media posts to share promotions, events, and customer testimonials to keep your audience engaged.
  • Manage email marketing campaigns to send targeted emails with exclusive offers and personalized content.

Don’t let loyalty slip through the cracks. Explore our platform, find a package that fits your needs, and start building a loyal customer base that fuels your business success!

A Step-by-Step Guide to Text Marketing for Busy Restaurant Managers

a busy modern cafe

As a restaurant owner or manager, you’re no stranger to the hustle and bustle of the industry. Every day brings new challenges and opportunities, and marketing often takes a backseat amidst the chaos. You know the importance of engaging customers, especially in today’s digital landscape, but the thought of learning a new tech platform or hiring someone else feels overwhelming. 

At Olive + Leo, we understand that busy restaurant managers like yourself wear countless hats. Your plate is already so full managing your team and creating exceptional experiences. That’s why we built a streamlined text marketing and digital engagement platform specifically for busy restaurant owners and managers. Our intuitive platform makes it easy to set up and manage your text marketing campaigns and digital customer loyalty program, even amidst the daily hustle.

Text Marketing Guide for Restaurant Managers

Ready to unlock the power of customer loyalty through text marketing without the tech headaches? Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to get started. (You can also use the Olive + Leo platform to make it even easier.) 

Step 1: Build Your Subscriber List

The foundation of successful text marketing lies in building a subscriber list of customers who opt-in to receive your messages. Here are a few simple best practices: 

  • Empower your staff: Train your team to ask every customer to opt-in when they arrive at the host station or place an order.
  • Sweeten the deal: Offer incentives like discounts or exclusive offers to encourage sign-ups.
  • Spread the word online: Run social media contests or eye-catching graphics promoting your text program.
  • Make it easy: Include opt-in forms on your website, receipts, and in-store signage.

We’ve made it easy for restaurants to build their database with Olive + Leo by providing a sign-in kiosk that’s integrated with our platform. Many of our customers have experienced tremendous success adding hundreds of customers to their loyalty program by placing the kiosk at the check-in station or point-of-sale location.

Step 2: Craft Messages That Make Mouths Water (and Phones Buzz)

As you build your subscriber list, it’s time to craft messages that captivate and drive action. Think about the types of messages and offers that customers might want to receive. Here are a few ideas to help you craft text campaigns that inspire customers to act:

  • Highlight exclusive offers: Promote limited-time deals, flash sales, or loyalty rewards.
  • Create urgency: Use phrases like “limited-time offer” or “ends today” to encourage immediate action.
  • Tell them what to do: Include clear calls to action like “Book a table now!” or “Click here to redeem.”
  • Incorporate creative ideas: At Olive + Leo, we encourage our users to find innovative ways to stand out. Our recent article lists a few of our favorite text marketing campaign ideas for restaurants that go beyond simple offering discounts

Step 3: Unleash the Power of Personalization (Olive + Leo Makes it Easy)

Remember, generic messages are like serving the same dish to everyone, even the picky eaters. Personalization is the secret sauce of successful text marketing. With Olive + Leo, you can:

  • Celebrate special occasions: Send birthday greetings or anniversary offers to make customers feel valued.
  • Send trigger-based texts: Automatically send messages based on engagement, such as “We miss you!” offers if a customer hasn’t checked in over the past 30 days.
  • Use “Thanks for your order!” follow-ups: Show appreciation and encourage repeat business with a personalized thank you.

Step 4: Automate Your Text Marketing (and Free Up Your Time!)

Manually crafting numerous campaigns throughout the week is a recipe for burnout. This is where Olive + Leo shines! With our platform, you can:

  • Schedule campaigns in advance: Plan promotions weeks ahead and set them to auto-launch – no more scrambling at the last minute.
  • Create targeted groups: Send different messages to specific customer segments for maximum impact.
  • Track results like a pro: Determine which messages speak to your audience the most and measure the success of your campaigns.
  • Analyze and adapt: See which messages resonate most with your audience and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Don’t Let a Lack of Time or Technical Chops Hold You Back

Remember, engaging customers takes intentionality but doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. With the right tools and a little effort, you can leverage the power of text marketing to:

  • Boost sales: Drive traffic, promote special offers, and increase order value.
  • Build loyalty: Reward repeat customers, celebrate special occasions, and create a sense of community.
  • Gather valuable feedback: Get direct insights from your customers to improve your offerings.

Ready to unlock the potential of text marketing and take your restaurant to the next level? Explore the Olive + Leo packages to see how our platform can help you effortlessly engage customers and unleash loyalty.

How to Turn Customer Reviews into Solid Marketing Content

close up of hands getting ready to type on a white keyboard

If you have raving fans, it’s great to let potential leads know it! Customers take online reviews seriously, and the role it plays in consumer decisions continues to increase. Research from BrightLocal shows just how seriously potential customers take online reviews. 84% percent of buyers give online reviews the same weight in decision making as personal referrals. 

Online reviews are now starting to eclipse referral-based business. as Northwestern University finds that consumers are 270% more likely to buy a product or service with 5 positive reviews than a product or service with no reviews. That’s hugely significant! In order to harness the power of these reviews, use them in your marketing efforts to increase consumer trust and boost sales.

Use Customer Reviews To Enhance Your Website SEO 

One of the strongest ways to use positive reviews is by increasing the SEO score of your website based on those positive reviews. There are a few ways to do this. The first is simply to embed the code for Google Reviews in your website so that Google Reviews. This is a good option if the majority of your reviews are positive. Google’s search engine algorithm will recognize the embedded rating system and is likely to rank your site more highly as a result. 

The second way to utilize customer reviews is to include them on your website, either by using parts of the review text directly or by including graphics of the positive reviews on your site. (Don’t forget to change the alt text on these images so that they’re search-engine friendly) Google and Yelp hold a high trust cache with consumers, and citing positive reviews can help your brand leverage that trust. 

Use Customer Reviews on Social Media 

You may also have the advantage of keeping an eye on videos or posts that tag your brand. If you have a social media manager, have them proactively research any posts where your product or service is tagged. They can use tools like BuzzSumo or Mention to help with this. If they come across a positive review, have your team DM the content creator to ask if the review can be used in marketing materials. 

Some reviewers are happy to offer their thoughts gratis, while others work as part or full-time product influencers. Both types of social media reviews can be helpful to weave into your marketing strategy. Screenshots and re-posts of positive reviews can build brand awareness on multiple platforms.  

Let Negative Reviews Spur Institutional Changes

Online reviews through Yelp and Google provide business owners with what they say they want most: anonymous feedback close to the point of sale. But business owners are also human, and harsh or negative reviews can leave a bad taste in anyone’s mouth. After you take some time to feel frustrated, see if you can find the kernel of truth in their words. The frustration may be about an inefficient process, an unhelpful team member, or a product flaw. 

Rather than stew in frustration, take specific actions to address the issue. However, don’t revamp your entire process over one negative review. Reflect and ask your employees if they’ve also seen evidence of what the review mentions. If it comes up several times, it may be time to analyze and address a potential pain point. 

Be Proactive about Interacting With Reviews 

If you don’t have a Google My Business account or haven’t updated the account you have, you could be missing out on major opportunities to shape how your brand is perceived. One of these ways is by interacting with online reviews. Brands that interact with customers on Google cultivate a reputation for being proactive and conscientious. Plus, interacting with reviews often can allow you to pinpoint and identify possible customer needs or frustrations before they go viral. 

In the world of online reviews, negative feedback begets negative feedback. It shouldn’t go unaddressed, or you may see more of it. Instead, if you see a review that’s unfair or lacking context, you can provide that in your response to an online review. You can also offer to make it right, which goes a long way in securing customer loyalty. It says to potential buyers, “Even if we make a mistake, we will correct our error.”

Seven Strategies Your Email Newsletter Could Use

top down view of a women on her laptop drinking tea

When it comes to the basic “blocking and tackling” of effective marketing, email newsletters are on the starting line. After all, 81% of B2B businesses name newsletters as their top content marketing strategy. However, the popularity of newsletters often makes it one of the most difficult tactics to deploy. It’s important for every business to consider how their newsletter is going to stand out in the crowded inboxes of their audience. 

3 Benefits of Email Newsletters for Marketing

Before we dive into the strategies for developing an effective newsletter, here are just a few important factors to consider:

1. Newsletters provide a way to educate current and prospective customers.

An effective email newsletter is informative and relevant. It should appeal directly to the subscriber’s interests and cover the topics from the industry. Because of this, newsletters provide your audience with a better understanding and knowledge of your brand in a way that is helpful. 

2. Newsletters help you keep leads warm.

Not everyone who visits your website or submits their email address is ready to buy. Newsletters can be a great way to keep potential customers engaged and informed until they’re ready to make the decision to buy. 

3. Newsletters can enhance your brand reputation and highlight your expertise.

Newsletters also provide a way to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry and build expertise. By sharing relevant industry news and providing perspective on important topics for your audience in your newsletter, you become a trusted voice for them. 

7 Effective Strategies for Email Newsletters

So how do you create an engaging newsletter that creates momentum for your marketing efforts? Here are seven strategies to consider:

1. Choose an Email Software that Works for Your Brand

There are many email service providers out there on the market and choosing the right one is not easy. While we’ve used several survey platforms to send newsletters for our clients, our team likes the features and functionality that Campaign Monitor provides. The key is to find software that can meet your requirements and can guarantee both high deliverability and quality of your emails.

2. Set the Right Expectations by Letting People Know What to Expect from Your Newsletter

Because of how many emails are sent daily, people are more and more reluctant to share their email addresses. Whenever you’re asking people to sign up for your newsletter, it’s helpful to answer the question “What’s in it for me?”

Helping people recognize the value of subscribing to your newsletter and setting expectations for how you will communicate with them goes a long way in maximizing the ROI of your campaigns. 

3. Use a Clean and Consistent Template

You want to make sure your newsletters are skimmable and easy to read. Whether you use an out-of-the-box template or get one created especially for your brand, using a consistent design will help your brand achieve a layer of ​​cohesiveness and flow.  

4. Make Sure Your Subject Line is Compelling

You only get one chance to make a great first impression with your subject line. According to research, 64% of readers make the decision to open an email based on the subject line alone. Here are a few different subject lines you can use to elevate your email newsletters.  

5. Consider Adding an Emoji to Your Subject Line

At Green Apple, we’ve found emojis help our clients’ newsletters stand out in a crowded inbox. One study analyzed over 9K email campaigns on mobile and found that subject lines that included emojis increased email open rates by 1,071% on Android and by 662% on iOS.

6. Make Your Newsletter Helpful & Informational More than Sales-Driven

Newsletters are better for cultivating customer loyalty and brand equity than they are for hard selling. When it comes to the content you create, it’s important to embrace the mindset of “always be helping.” One way to integrate this into your newsletters is the 90/10 rule: 90% informational content, 10% sales material. With the right balance, less is more and the educational material will lead to more sales than product copy.

7. Continually Analyze & Test to Find What Works

As with any marketing tactic, it’s important to constantly test and analyze your newsletter to see what works. You want to track the metrics that indicate whether or not your newsletter is working and test new ideas along the way. This includes testing out different strategies for send date, layout & design, calls-to-action, etc. 

Email newsletters might be something we’re all familiar with, but it can challenging to create a successful one for your own brand. We hope these insights and strategies help you develop a newsletter that delights subscribers and creates momentum for your marketing efforts.


The Marketing Sandbox: How to Discover Your Next Best Marketing Tactic

mapping out a process on a piece of paper.

The beginning of the year is always an exciting time to dream about future possibilities. It seems like the marketing world is buzzing with the latest trends and promising strategies this time of year. However, the flurry of new marketing trends can often be overwhelming, making it challenging for businesses to decide where to invest their resources. With a constant influx of new tools and ideas, it’s easy to feel paralyzed by the decision of which new tactics to implement. 

But what if there was a space where you could experiment, innovate, and stumble without jeopardizing your entire marketing campaign for the year? We like to call this space the “marketing sandbox.” 

What is a Marketing Sandbox?

Remember the childhood joy of building sand castles and digging for buried treasure in a sandbox on the playground? Children enjoy a sense of endless possibilities and the freedom to experiment and create without fear of consequences—that’s the essence of the marketing sandbox.

Just like the childhood toy, a marketing sandbox provides a controlled environment to test new ideas, explore emerging trends, and discover what truly resonates with your audience. It’s not about reinventing your entire marketing strategy; it’s about calculated exploration within a defined framework to find your next great marketing idea.

Tips for Incorporating the Marketing Sandbox Concept

So, how do you build your marketing sandbox? Here are a few tips to get you started:

Explore Emerging Trends in Marketing

The first step to finding your next great marketing tactic is to be aware of the latest trends and technologies shaping the marketing landscape. Whether you’re learning about user-generated content, social commerce, or social listening, staying informed will equip your team with the insights needed to innovate effectively.

Allocate a Portion of the Budget for Experimentation

One benefit of this approach is that it doesn’t require a massive investment. We often encourage businesses to set aside a dedicated budget for sandbox initiatives as they think strategically about their marketing budget for the year. Companies can mitigate risks by earmarking funds specifically for experimentation while fostering a culture that encourages innovation.

Encourage Cross-Collaboration Across Departments 

To ensure your marketing tactics are aligned with your overall business objectives, you’ll want to break down silos and encourage collaboration across different departments. By fostering an environment where teams can share ideas, you can leverage diverse perspectives to drive innovation and create cohesive marketing strategies.

Fire Bullets, Not Cannonballs

This is a principle from popular leadership author Jim Collins. Instead of investing significant time, energy, and resources into large-scale initiatives, start by launching smaller, low-risk experiments within the marketing sandbox. By firing “bullets” (targeted, low-cost tests), businesses can gauge the effectiveness of new tactics, gather valuable insights, and refine strategies based on real-world feedback before they invest in sweeping changes.  

Marketing Sandbox Ideas for Various Industries

Now that you have an understanding of the best practices, let’s see how the sandbox can work in action across different industries:

User-Generated Content for B2C Businesses: User-generated content empowers B2C businesses to foster authentic connections and drive engagement by showcasing real-life experiences and testimonials from satisfied customers. Encourage customers to share their experiences and use this content on your platforms to showcase authentic testimonials and attract potential customers.

Text Marketing for Local Restaurants:  Customer loyalty is the lifeblood of many local restaurants. With an impressive open rate and the ability to deliver timely, targeted messages, text marketing offers a low-cost yet impactful solution for hospitality businesses looking to connect with their guests.

Affiliate Marketing for E-Commerce: By leveraging the trusted voices of affiliates, e-commerce businesses can unlock exponential reach, ignite audience passion, and fuel a sales engine that hums long after traditional campaigns fade. As you look at the year ahead, consider how to partner with influencers or niche websites to promote your products. 

Educational Content Marketing for Healthcare Brands: Empowering patients with educational content marketing builds trust, fosters brand loyalty, and positions healthcare brands as valuable partners in proactive health journeys. As an expert, put your knowledge to good use by creating informative content that addresses common health concerns or topics relevant to your specialty. Share this content on your website and social media platforms to position your practice as a trusted source of valuable information.

By exploring these low-cost marketing tactics, businesses can effectively engage their target audience, drive growth, and achieve their marketing objectives without breaking the bank.

Harness the Power of Innovation To Unleash Customer Loyalty

The “marketing sandbox” offers a refreshing approach to innovation and experimentation in a complex marketing landscape. By embracing this concept, businesses can foster a culture that values creativity, rewards innovation, and drives meaningful results. 

With Olive + Leo, you can create a multi-channel marketing experience that leaves your customers craving more. Explore our plans and packages to discover our wide range of effective, affordable customer engagement tools. You can choose between DIY options and fully managed marketing campaigns based on your capacity and needs.

A B2C Guide to Marketing Automation

four women talking together with coffee at a restaurant

As a brand, connecting with your audience is crucial. To connect with your audience effectively, you need to know what content resonates with your target demographic, their sales cycle, and what they value most about your product or service. This type of in-depth research can be difficult to reproduce at scale, but marketing automation can be a powerful tool. Marketing automation can help you identify your potential customers’ needs, establish several touchpoints on their sales journeys, and bring more sales to completion. 

What is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation refers to a set of tools and processes that are used to communicate with existing leads, bringing them closer to the point of buying. Any time a customer adds an item to a cart, leaves the page, and later receives an email with “Forgot Something?” in the subject line, that’s marketing automation at work. Setting up a series of processes, emails, reminders, or follow-ups can help you increase communication with your customers without taking additional time or requiring you to hire new talent. Instead, marketing automation uses well-designed processes to help you discover potential customers, replicate high-performing practices, and encourage repeat purchasing behaviors. 

Marketing Automation Saves You Time and Overhead

Marketing automation has numerous benefits, but the most important is the time you save by streamlining your sales cycle. Rather than spending hours identifying and contacting qualified leads individually, it gives you the capacity to reach out to leads at the ideal point in their purchasing journey. There’s no need to manually import customers into your database. Instead, an automated marketing tool can identify and label leads for you by tracking a user’s interaction with your brand. 

Marketing Automation Can Strengthen Your CRM

Marketing automation also increases the power of your customer relationship management (CRM) tool, such as Salesforce. In tandem with a CRM, marketing automation can help you build a customized onboarding process and follow-up communication for clients to strengthen your customer relationships. Because automation analyzes your audience’s actions, it actively nurtures your leads by personalizing their experience and automatically segmenting their journeys. Marketing automation can monitor behaviors such as clicks, site visits, or purchase histories and provide your leads with information and opportunities that are customized to a customer’s needs. You’ll see improved conversion rates, and you’ll be able to assess and improve your sales pipeline with actionable data. 

How You Can Implement Marketing Automation

While marketing automation can be immensely effective, you need a strong foundation to see powerful results. This includes a reliable contact list, an up-to-date website, active email marketing tactics, and social media management. 

Once you’ve established reliable groundwork, you need to indicate your specific goals. Your goals may include an increase in subscribers, clicks, sales, or page likes. After you’ve determined your goal, decide what platform you want to use. There are several MA systems available, but consider your preferred budget, ease of use, type of marketing automation, and customer service when deciding which one is best for you. Finally, you should determine if you want to implement alone or hire a professional marketing company to begin your process. 

Iterate and Improve Your Marketing Automation 

To continue achieving marketing automation goals, you should pair marketing automation with inbound marketing and CRM tools to increase its reach. You’ll also want to include other team members in setting up and improving your processes. Sharing reports with senior executives and data with your sales team will allow you to collect and implement their insights into the sales funnel. With the feedback and assistance from various departments, plus the results from your marketing automation tool, you can optimize your content, messaging, and strategies to retain your current customers and attract more.

Explore the Olive + Leo Platform

Olive + Leo offers a robust platform designed to foster genuine connections, drive repeat business, and ultimately boost your bottom line. Explore our platform, discover the power of personalized engagement, and see how Olive + Leo can help you transform your customer loyalty program into a thriving community.

Ready to dive deeper? Check out our flexible packages or sign up for a personalized demo to see how Olive + Leo can unleash your customer loyalty potential.

6 Ways to Involve Your Employees in Marketing Your Business

a group of smiling coworkers looking at a mac computer together.

In today’s world, everything is marketing. Subsequently, every area of your business has valuable insights or perspectives that could be beneficial for your marketing efforts. Taking the time to get your employees involved in marketing creates opportunities to connect with your audience on a human level. 

While your employees might not be directly responsible for your marketing goals, they can still play a valuable role in enhancing brand perception, improving lead generation, and creating meaningful connections with your customers. 

Here are seven effective yet fairly simple ways to get your employees involved in your marketing efforts: 

1. Invite Your Employees into Marketing Conversations

No one knows the challenges that your audience faces every day more than your sales and customer success teams. Knowing these challenges—and how you’re uniquely equipped to help them—is essential for sharing a clear and compelling marketing message.

There are several important questions your marketing team can ask sales and customer service to help improve your marketing copy and connect with your audience. 

  • What problems do we solve for our customers? What are we better at than anyone in our industry?
    • Knowing the challenges your customers face—and how you’re uniquely equipped to help them—is essential for sharing a clear and compelling marketing message. Positioning your brand as an industry leader isn’t easy. It takes a lot of work to discover the thing that you’re truly best at doing. But from a marketing perspective, discovering that “thing” becomes the product or service you can invest the most time, energy, and resources promoting.
  • Where have we helped solve a major challenge in the past?
    • Sharing success stories is one of the most effective ways to create demand for your products or services. Your employees might know a customer who experienced a breakthrough because of your product or service. Asking your employees to share their stories could help you understand the solutions your customers are looking for. 
  • What are the most common questions you get during the sales process?
    • Almost every business has a list of common questions that are asked by prospective customers. But what if your marketing team could support business development by addressing many of these questions beforehand? Encourage your marketing team to codify and create responses for the frequently asked questions asked during the sales process.
2. Implement a Way to Capture Positive Feedback and Reviews 

Customer reviews are powerful marketing tools. Research shows that customers take reviews seriously, valuing them above almost any other source of information when they’re ready to make a purchase. It’s essential to have a system in place to capture reviews so that you can share them with potential customers. Implement a customer survey platform or provide your customer relations team with an email template they can use to ask permission to share a positive review. 

3. Share your Team’s Expertise through Your Content Marketing.

If you offer a service, your team likely has knowledge and experience that can be beneficial for your audience. Finding ways to empower your employees to create content for your marketing can be a powerful way to position your business as a thought leader in the industry and earn the trust of your audience. Even a photo of your merchandise or a video of your employees enjoying their work can be used on social media or in a text messaging campaign. 

4. Build an Employee Advocacy Plan

Your employees can also be your best promoters. This is one reason why many businesses have started creating a dedicated employee advocacy program within their organization. Helping employees understand their role as brand ambassadors can create tremendous dividends for the overall health and success of your company. 

5. Make it Easy and Compelling for Employees to Share Social Content

Your marketing team spends a lot of time, energy, and effort to keep your social media platforms running. And yet, most employees don’t recognize how helpful and powerful it can be to simply share the content that you’ve created. While there are many reasons why people might not share your social content, the best way to overcome all of them is to create social content that your employees actually want to share.

6. Acknowledge Social Responsibility or Volunteerism In Your Marketing

Many companies have a corporate social responsibility platform or promote ways for employees to give back to the community throughout the year. Promoting these activities through your marketing channels can be a great way to highlight your employees and create meaningful connections with your audience. When you share content that is focused on your team, employees are also likely to share the event and the content with their family and friends, generating goodwill and increased brand exposure.  

We hope these ideas create an opportunity to integrate your marketing into your company rather than keeping it siloed. Finding ways to get employees involved in your marketing can be a powerful way to leverage your company’s community to create deeper, more personal connections with your audience and increase customer loyalty. 

Explore the Olive + Leo Platform

With Olive + Leo, you can create a multi-channel marketing experience that leaves your customers craving more. Don’t just serve up a custome loyalty program or text marketing campaigns in a vacuum. Instead, combine them for a winning recipe that guarantees both online buzz and real-world results.

Ready to get started? Explore our plans and packages to discover our wide range of effective, affordable customer engagement tools. You can choose between DIY options and fully managed marketing campaigns based on your capacity and needs

Future-Proofing Your Restaurant: How to Thrive with Mobile Marketing in the Post-Pandemic Era

an empty restaurant with white linens and potted plants lining one side of the restaurant

The restaurant industry has faced unprecedented challenges in recent years, and the post-pandemic landscape has not been much easier to navigate. Labor shortages, rising food costs, and evolving customer preferences require agility, creativity, and adaptability. But amidst the uncertainty, one thing remains clear: customer engagement is more important than ever before. 

We understand the difficulties restaurants face. We’ve also seen how digital engagement— especially through text marketing—has become an essential tool for success in the post-pandemic era.

Why Text Marketing is Your Restaurant’s Secret Ingredient

So why is text marketing such a powerful tool for restaurants? Let’s dive into the reasons: 

  • Unmatched Engagement

Did you know that 98% of text messages are opened within minutes of being received? (Source) Compared to emails with an average open rate of 20%, the effectiveness of text marketing is undeniable. This direct, immediate connection allows you to reach your customers when they’re most receptive, maximizing the impact of your promotions and announcements.

  • Customer-Prefered Choice

Studies show that 91% of consumers are interested in receiving texts from businesses, and that number will likely increase over the next few years as social platforms change and Gen Z plays an even bigger role in the economy. By offering opt-in text marketing through Olive + Leo’s in-store kiosk, you’re meeting your customers where they are and providing them with a communication channel they appreciate.

  • Timely and Targeted Communication

The beauty of text marketing lies in its flexibility and immediacy. Your restaurant can send targeted promotions based on time of day, customer preferences, or even weather conditions. Need to boost foot traffic during a slow afternoon? Send a text message with a happy hour offer! Caught in a snowstorm? Notify loyal customers about your adjusted hours via text.

  • Valuable Customer Insights 

Text marketing isn’t just about sending messages; it’s about gathering valuable customer data that can inform future business decisions. With the Olive + Leo platform, you can track engagement rates, analyze campaign performance, and understand customer preferences. This data empowers you to personalize your offerings, improve your services, and create even more effective marketing campaigns.

  • Leveling the Playing Field for Local Restaurants 

In a competitive market dominated by national chains, text loyalty programs offer a way for smaller businesses to compete. In many ways, text marketing allows you to show your personal touch, offer exclusive rewards, and build a loyal following that prioritizes your unique offerings over generic chains.

  • Proven, Cost-Effective Solution

Unlike traditional advertising channels, text marketing offers a low barrier to entry and high ROI. A recent study found that text message marketing subscribers visit stores 44% more frequently than non-subscribers. And once a consumer joins a restaurant’s text messaging program, the guest’s spend increases by 23%. This is much higher than traditional marketing channels (which are also harder to measure). 

  • More Convenient than Traditional Loyalty Programs

Traditional punch cards are relics of the past. They offer no data, are easily lost, and lack the convenience and engagement of modern text-based loyalty programs. With Olive + Leo, customers can easily sign up, check in, and redeem rewards through our user-friendly platform, creating a seamless and rewarding experience.

​​Ready to Future-Proof Your Restaurant?

Olive + Leo offers a comprehensive toolbox for mobile marketing success designed explicitly for the hospitality industry.

Explore the Olive + Leo platform, learn more about our tiered pricing options, or schedule a personalized demo with one of our team members. Together, we can help you build a loyal customer base and ensure your restaurant continues to sizzle in the years to come.


Don’t Just Text, Engage: Why Olive + Leo Goes Beyond Your POS System’s Basic Loyalty Features

women looking down texting leaving a cafe with a bandana in her hair

Customer loyalty is the golden ticket for businesses that thrive on foot traffic. Building relationships with your customers is crucial for growth, whether you’re a local restaurant, a charming coffee shop, or the town’s newest watering hole. And in this digital age, text marketing has emerged as a proven tool to cultivate lasting relationships and drive repeat business. 

As a result, many POS systems have jumped on the bandwagon, offering text messaging as part of their loyalty programs. But here’s the catch: not all text message marketing is created equal. While your POS system might send basic reward notifications, it often lacks the features and finesse to truly engage your customers.

Text Marketing Platforms: Olive + Leo vs. POS Systems 

 When restaurant owners discover Olive + Leo, they often ask, “How is your platform different from what my POS already provides?” The answer lies in intention and depth. While POS systems excel at processing transactions and managing inventory, their marketing capabilities often fall short. 

POS systems are transaction-centric, while Olive + Leo is built specifically for customer engagement and loyalty. This means we offer features and functionalities beyond basic reward updates. 

Imagine this: instead of a generic “you earned a star” text, your customer receives a personalized welcome offer after joining your program, enticing them to return for their next delicious meal or trendy purchase. Or, picture sending a targeted text triggered after their second visit, offering an exclusive discount or inviting them to a special event, solidifying their connection to your brand.

Olive + Leo offers a text marketing platform intentionally designed to go beyond the “you earned points” messages.

How Olive + Leo’s Features Enhance Customer Engagement

As an all-in-one customer loyalty and text marketing platform, here are a few specific ways Olive + Leo is designed to help you enhance customer engagement:

  1. Craft Compelling Welcome Offers

First impressions matter! A carefully crafted welcome offer, sent when someone opts in, sets the stage for a long-lasting relationship. Olive + Leo allows you to create irresistible welcome offers tailored to different customer segments. Imagine sending a new subscriber a text that says, “Welcome to [Restaurant Name]! Enjoy 20% off your first order. Text ‘PIZZA PARTY’ to redeem.” This personalized touch sets the stage for a long-lasting relationship.

  1. Go Beyond “Earn and Burn”

 The second visit presents a unique opportunity to convert one-time customers into regulars. With Olive + Leo, you can send automated text messages triggered by their second purchase, offering an exclusive discount or inviting them to try a new menu item. This strategic nudge can significantly increase repeat business.

  1. Build Two-Way Conversations 

 Olive + Leo doesn’t stop at one-way broadcasts. We enable you to have real conversations with your customers through two-way texting. You can confirm reservations, address concerns, answer questions, and solicit feedback—all within the platform. This personalized touch builds trust and loyalty as no automated message can.

  1. Re-Engage Dormant Customers

Let’s face it: life gets busy! But that doesn’t mean you should forget about customers who haven’t visited recently. Olive + Leo allows you to create automated text campaigns targeted at customers who haven’t checked in for a specific period. Offer them a special promo, remind them of your latest offerings, or simply check in—a little nudge can reignite their interest and bring them back through your doors.

  1. Integrate with Email and Social Media

Olive + Leo isn’t just a text marketing platform; it’s an ecosystem of digital engagement. We can also provide turnkey social media strategy and email marketing efforts, allowing you to craft cohesive campaigns that reach your customers across multiple channels. This multi-channel approach amplifies your message and drives even greater results.

Explore the Olive + Leo Platform

Don’t settle for basic transactional text marketing. Olive + Leo offers a robust platform designed to foster genuine connections, drive repeat business, and ultimately boost your bottom line. Explore our platform, discover the power of personalized engagement, and see how Olive + Leo can help you transform your customer loyalty program into a thriving community.

Ready to dive deeper? Check out our flexible packages or sign up for a personalized demo to see how Olive + Leo can unleash your customer loyalty potential.