Instagram Ads for Restaurants - What You Need To Know

Alas, the day is upon us - Instagram has released a self-service advertising platform. Advertising on Instagram isn't new; the first paid ad on Instagram was from Michael Kors nearly 10 months ago.

For restaurants, Instagram is god-sent. Researches have scientifically shown that images of food create feelings of hunger and hunger is the strongest trigger to drive a consumer into a restaurant. So an entire platform dedicated to sharing beautiful images is P-E-R-F-E-C-T for a restaurant. The challenge of course is growing an audience on Instagram and measuring the ROI of this awesome channel.

Advertising on Instagram allows you to reach a larger audience, similar to paid ads on Facebook.

Privy helps you measure the ROI of the channel. To learn how this works, get a free consultation from a Privy Customer Success Advocate.

5 Tips To Remember For Better Email Open Rates

Everyone knows email is an amazing tool to help restaurants motivate consumers to come back. Privy data shows that 79.1% of repeat customer acquisition comes from email marketing. It all starts with the subject line so you can get more opens. Here's what makes a good subject line:

1. Be Clear

People will not open your email if they don't know why they should open it. Tell them what they will find - information on an event, a promotion, an announcement of a new menu item...the clearer the

2. Write the Subject Line AFTER you write the email

It's hard to be concise. It's easy to summarize. Write your email first, then pull away the most important point and, voila! There's your subject line.

3. Keep The Subject Line BELOW 50 Characters

Sometimes mail providers block subject lines over 50 characters, so be sure to keep it short.

4. Don't ignore the "From" line!

People are suspect of emails from people they don't trust and people don't trust those they don't recognize. Make sure the "From" line is your brand or someone that people can readily associate with your brand.

5. Provide a call to action

It's important to be succinct and precise while also giving people a reason, or trigger, to take action. Try subject lines like: "New Menu Item [Act While It's Still Available]" or "Breakfast is Almost Here [Open For A Morning Gift!]"

To see how you can measure how email impacts in-store sales, get a free demo of Privy.

How Restaurants Can Leverage the ALS Challenge

Unless you don't use Facebook or have been hiding under a rock for the past two months, you know about the ALS challenge. It is a phenomenon hitting social media wherein an individual who is nominated by his/her peer to "take the challenge" - they can either donate $100 to the ALS foundation and/or take a video of them dumping a bucket of ice water on their head. What's amazing about this challenge, is that people nominate their friends. It's like the chain email of the 1990s but it's on social media and it's creating a TON of donations.

Bill Gates taking the ALS challenge (

Bill Gates taking the ALS challenge (

The ALS Association shares how powerful the movement is:

As of Wednesday, August 20, The ALS Association has received $31.5 million in donations compared to $1.9 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 20). These donations have come from existing donors and 637,527 new donors to The Association.

For the mathematically challenged, that is a 16,578% increase from last year. Or, 16.5x MORE than last year. Imagine you're a restaurant location who grosses $1.2m a year and the subsequent year it grossed $19.89m. Absurd.

So what can you do about it? Here are a few ideas:

  1. Create your own local challenge - pick a local charity and create a local challenge. For example, "Come in an eat XXX and/or donate to YYY local charity."
  2. Make it a staff participation idea...have 1 of your locations participate in the challenge and nominate another location. In sum, your organization can make a meaningful donation to ALS and get a TON of free press.

To see how Privy can help you turn the ALS challenge into sales, get a free consultation from a Privy expert.

Put Some Pride Into It

You've probably noticed that when you post something you're proud of, people engage with your post.

Notice the baby announcements? Gleeful trumpeting of a newly engaged couple? Marriage photos or birthdays? Interestingly, this same phenomenon happens with brands.

We looked at a few of our clients' Facebook accounts and noticed an interesting phenomenon:

When a brand posts something they are proud of, their fans respond. One brand, Fat Jack's Subs in Colorado, announced a grand opening...and the language they chose was atypical.

This post for 3.75x more engagement than Fat Jack's average post. Just goes to show you, people want to share your little victories with you. Show some pride and people will reciprocate.

Sign up for a demo to see how Privy can help you turn your proud Facebook posts into in-store sales.

Which Restaurant Category Should You Invest In?

Restaurants make a LOT of money - consumers spend $683.4 billion each year on restaurants. As the world evolves, consumers interests and habits change. People express these changes with their is that affecting the restaurant industry?

We created mini-indices for Casual Dining, Fast Casual and QSR segments. Here's what you'll find:


1. Casual Dining

Casual Dining has been facing substantial challenges over the past few years as consumers wallets start to shrink and people move towards more affordable and high quality options that the Fast Casual segment has worked hard to create. As you can see above, over the past 12 months, the Casual Dining index trades lower than the S&P making it a bad trailing investment and perhaps a buy?


2. Fast Casual

The Fast Casual segment has effectively reinvented the dining experience by providing higher quality food at slightly higher prices than Quick Serve (QSR) restaurants. The darling of the Fast Casual Segment is Chipotle, which is up 1500% since it's IPO in early 2006. As you can see, Fast Casual stocks have been on a tear as investor confidence is high in the concepts ability to take more market share and continue to grow.


3. QSR

The QSR segment has been the one most heavily criticized over the past decade. Once heralded for their industrious attitude and incredible ability to serve more food faster, food quality and health have put QSR brands in the crosshairs of public media and made consumers weary of eating too many meals at QSR brands. That said, brands have adapted with new menu offerings and stronger focus on core customers. As you can see, QSR restaurants had a big quarter in Q2 2014, giving them the slight edge over the S&P 500.

Want to increase your sales and boost your stock price? See how Privy can help today.

The Two Things Every Successful Privy Customer Does

From well known international brands with over 100 locations, to single location coffee shops only known to locals, there are two things that every successful Privy customer does that sets them apart when it comes to collecting more email addresses and increasing in-store sales.

1.  They have a Long Running Offer on their website.

A long running offer is typically a small, complimentary item in exchange for an email address. This can be anything from a high margin, low cost item like a fountain soda, to a branded t-shirt, sticker or wristband.

Fat Jack’s Subs uses the Long Running Offer of “Free Chips or a Drink with the Purchase of Any Sub”

Fat Jack’s Subs uses the Long Running Offer of “Free Chips or a Drink with the Purchase of Any Sub”

The offer lives on their website, with the goal of converting high intent web visitors into new email addresses - and ultimately in-store customers.  Why? Website is by far the number one source of new customers and new email addresses.


This offer can also be distributed anywhere across the web, but it’s typically used as a hook in places where high-intent customers tend to hang out, like Yelp, Trip Advisor, Urban Spoon and more.

2.  They use multiple channels to distribute Limited Time Offers.

The goal of a Limited Time Offer is to drive repeat business and really boils down to this question as a marketer: “what’s the call to action/trigger that’s going to get someone to come in-store?”  This can be anything from a new menu item or even just a campaign created around a fun holiday.

Stone Hearth Pizza used the trigger of “National Panini Month” to get existing customers to try something different.

Stone Hearth Pizza used the trigger of “National Panini Month” to get existing customers to try something different.

Limited Time Offers are typically distributed everywhere, whether it be on Facebook, Twitter or geo-targeted ads.  And the best part is, one of the most powerful drivers of repeat business is right under your nose: your email list.  Just like website is the number one channel for acquiring new customers, email is tops for getting people to come back.

Source: Privy Client Data

And with the long running offer constantly adding new email addresses on your website, there’s a snowball effect: potential audience of people to reach with a Limited Time Offer grows every day.

Want to see how you can easily run campaigns like these with Privy? Signup for a demo.

Why Hard Rock Cafe Loves Privy (and we love Hard Rock)

Kim Matlock, Senior Director of Digital Marketing and CRM for Hard Rock Cafe, took the stage with Ben Jabbawy, CEO of Privy, at this year's GrowthBeat conference. In a panel lead by Indy Guha of Bain Capital, the marketing duo discussed the challenges of measuring online to offline attribution and how Privy has helped Hard Rock get answers to a previously impossible problem to solve.

Enough recap, let's hear it from the source:

To see how you could use Privy to get exciting results like Hard Rock, sign up for a demo.

Top 10 Cutest Kids at Restaurants

10. "Mommy, what is a sɹǝbuıɟ uǝʞɔıɥɔ?"

9.  "I think I found my next halloween costume!"

8. Captain Cuddles

7. This financially savy eater

6. This kid who would rather cake

5. Serious food coma

4. "I'll have five pastas please."

3. This baby magician

2. "Oh My Gosh! Blueberries and strawberries!!"

1. This brutally honest kid

To learn how Privy can help get more kids in your restaurant, visit our website.