How Every Restaurant Can Strategize for Cyber Monday

People shop for dinner just as they shop for clothing. Point, click, eat. It's not too late to update your Q4 strategy!
a close up of a toy laptop

The past 20 months pushed restaurant brands deeper into the world of online ordering — or, in some cases, to try an online model for the very first time. The result is that restaurants are now firmly in the e-commerce space. People shop for dinner just as they shop for clothing. Point, click, eat.

In fact, the vast majority of guests who switched to online ordering during the pandemic plan to stick with it well into the future. And, according to the Paytronix and PYMNTS Restaurant Readiness Index, both restaurant owners and guests ranked online ordering as a major predictor of a restaurant's success going forward.

This means if you’re running a restaurant brand, you’re now in the Cyber Monday game, and your guests are counting on you to come up with something exciting. There's lots to consider here, from segmentation to timing to identifying deals that give you a real edge. But a few core strategies can help you reap the benefits of the Cyber Monday phenomenon.

Here's how you can make the most of it:

  1. Target first-time online guests and entice new loyalty signups. Do you have guests who've never ordered from your online store? Cyber Monday is the time to expand their investment with you. Move them online with the promise of an extra reward or promotion if they join your loyalty program, download your app, or use online ordering in the run up to Cyber Monday.

For example: "Sign up for our app or make an online purchase online in the week before Cyber Monday, and get an exclusive offer on Cyber Monday." 

You might even use Black Friday or the lead-up to Thanksgiving to say, "There's something waiting for you on Cyber Monday if you do X now."

Remember, Loyalty guests checks are, on average, 6% higher. Using Cyber Monday deals to boost loyalty sign-ups is a winning strategy for the long term.

  1. Build a Cyber Monday gift guide. Just like holiday gift guides can motivate purchases, offering a Cyber Monday menu with featured product combos or bundles can change buyer behavior to your benefit. You can showcase rewards offerings and "buy X get Y free" deals and draw attention to products that are otherwise overlooked.

You might say, "Cyber Monday is coming. Here are the rewards you can earn as a loyalty member!"

Your potential for success is even greater if you are leveraging AI to identify deals that work.

  1. Leverage exclusive and limited-time-offer products. You can fortify guest loyalty by shouting out that you're making loyalty members eligible for something new or unique, such as an LTO, or by giving them the first peek at any exciting offers coming guests' way for Cyber Monday.

A promo could promise: "Something new is coming on Cyber Monday and, as a club member, you're going to be the first to know about it."

Given that 39% of guests say that loyalty and rewards programs encourage them to spend more, any strategy that boosts loyalty enrollment is a winner.

  1. Bundle overlooked menu items. Let's say you sell a lot of coffee, but your menu includes food items that don't get a lot of love. Cyber Monday is a great time to experiment with bundling and to push people toward those products by offering deals that bundle those popular coffee products with the add-ons that could be performing better.

    We have seen great success in using AI to help drive menu clustering. In the case of one burger place, we segmented guests into groups based on what we know about their past purchases, then offered items designed to drive specific types of results. In that case
    the program saw a whopping 61% ROI.  
  2. Tease your deals. Don't save all the work for Cyber Monday. As you're segmenting and marketing to different groups, consider how to best get the word out that something special is coming their way. You can capitalize on Black Friday by promoting Cyber Monday deals to those guests.

A Black Friday promo might offer free Cyber Monday delivery, saying, "When you're home doing your Cyber Monday shopping, make sure your coffee comes to you." Or, if you are pushing people to make an online purchase in the run-up to Cyber Monday to qualify for a deal you can suggest they pick up an online order while they're in-store on Black Friday. This strategy has a lot of potential given that restaurant guests spend 50% more on average when they order takeout online.

About the Author

Kristin Lynch is Director of Strategy & Data Insights at Paytronix Systems Inc., provider of the most advanced digital guest experience platformfor restaurants and retailers.