A Visual Guide To Efficient Customer Engagement

The food and beverage industry is undergoing a revitalization. In the wake of new trends like healthy eating, self-care, and plant-based diets, consumers are taking a more educated approach to what they’re buying and eating. 

As a result, brands in the food space must adapt their marketing strategies to meet these new demands.

Top 5 Steps to Building Your Customer Engagement Model
1. Utilize visual content to capture attention and convey messages effectively.
2. Implement personalized communication strategies for stronger customer relationships.
3. Leverage data analytics to understand customer behavior and preferences.
4. Prioritize mobile-friendly experiences for on-the-go engagement.
5. Create interactive visuals to encourage customer participation and feedback.
6. Maintain consistency across all touchpoints to reinforce brand identity.
7. Incorporate storytelling elements to connect emotionally with your audience.
8. Monitor engagement metrics to measure the success of your strategies.
9. Continuously adapt and refine your engagement approach based on insights.
10. Embrace a customer-centric mindset to build lasting customer loyalty.

1. Optimize For Search Engines

Optimize for search engines. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of making your website more visible on search engine results pages (SERPs). A good SEO strategy can improve brand awareness, drive traffic to your site, and increase conversions.

Optimize your website. You want to make sure that Google can easily crawl and index all the pages on your site so it ranks higher in SERPs. 

That means using clear page titles and meta descriptions, unique URLs for each page with relevant keywords, internal links between content pieces that relate to one another, and properly structured HTML code without tons of JavaScript or Flash files slowing down load time…the list goes on!

Optimize your menu. You must have a consistent structure when naming dishes.

So they’re easy to find across channels especially if people are searching for them online instead of coming in person just because they heard about them from friends or read about them online somewhere else like Yelp reviews! 

For example: “Chicken Caesar Salad” instead of “Caesar Salad WITH Chicken” because then people won’t know whether it’s a chicken salad OR caesar dressing topping (and don’t get me started on those who use both!).

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2. Track Online Reviews

Online reviews are a critical part of the customer engagement process. They can serve as an important source of information for potential customers, helping them decide whether or not to trust your business.

How do you get more online reviews? Start by asking for them and then responding promptly to any that come in. 

People appreciate when businesses take the time to answer their questions and respond thoughtfully, especially if those businesses don’t have many other reviews on their pages (or if they’re just starting).

Be sure to ask for feedback from customers as well! 

The best way is through email: send links directly from your website that allow people who’ve already purchased something from you before like an ebook or membership site to leave feedback without having to click through multiple pages first (which is why emails work best). 

This will also keep things organized so there’s no confusion about what kind of info is being collected at any given time; it should be easy enough even when using automated tools like web analytics software too (though this may require some training beforehand).

3. Make Your Menu Accessible Online

There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to order from a restaurant with an outdated menu that’s not mobile-friendly or one where the navigation is so confusing that you have to ask for help just to see the items on offer. 

To make sure this never happens to your customers, make sure your menu is:

Mobile-friendly: If people can’t access your website at all because their screen size is too small, they’re going somewhere else.

And fast! Make sure all of your online content can be viewed easily and quickly across devices using responsive design or an app like Mobile Tripod (which allows you to create a site that automatically adjusts its layout based on screen size).

Easy-to-find and easy-to-navigate: You want customers who are looking for specific information about your business like directions or hours of operation to be able to find it quickly without having to hunt through multiple pages first. 

A good way of doing this is by keeping key information like location and contact info up front in separate tabs; then putting anything else (appetizers, desserts) underneath those tabs so users aren’t overwhelmed by too much information at once when they open up the page! 

Finally don’t forget accessibility features like alt text descriptions for images if applicable.”

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4. Make Your Contact Information Visible At A Glance

In this age of convenience and instant gratification, your customers are constantly on the lookout for ways to simplify their lives. One way they do this is by using your contact information as a reference point whenever they need help with anything related to your business.

This means that if you’re not making it easy for them to find the information about how they can reach out and contact you, then you could be missing out on valuable opportunities for customer engagement.

5. Link Your Menu To Ordering

Once the customer has looked at the menu and decided what they want, you want to make it easy for them to order. If you are selling food then this is easy – just have a link on your website that says “Order Online”. 

But if you are selling services or products other than food, then it can be more challenging, but there are still ways:

  • Make sure your website is mobile-friendly so it works well on smartphones and tablets
  • Ensure that when people click on the order page there is no confusion about what they need to do next (you could even use something like an FAQ section)
  • Ensure that once people have clicked through into online ordering mode, their experience will be smooth and frictionless from start to finish (like Zappos)

6. Deploy Apps And Loyalty Programs

You can also use apps and loyalty programs as a way to engage customers. Apps are a great way to increase customer loyalty, collect data (and use it), build brand awareness, offer deals and discounts, and even reward customers for their loyalty.

Some other ways you could use apps include:

Collect customer data such as contact information, location information, browsing habits, and more through the app itself or if they download another app that requires it (like Uber). 

A good example of this is Starbucks’ mobile payment app that allows users to pay for their order directly from their phone while they’re still in line.

Offering deals or discounts through an app instead of making customers wait until checkout before seeing what’s available at the store level. For example: “The first 10 people who download our new iPhone app will get 20% off their first purchase.” 

This is helpful because it gets potential customers involved with your business earlier on rather than waiting until they enter the store where there’s no guarantee someone will even show up at all!

Establishing strong connections with customers is the cornerstone of successful marketing. Dive into our guide featuring 19 ways to connect with your customers and create a buzz to foster meaningful relationships that resonate.

7. Automate Direct Email Marketing Campaigns

Automation is an important component of a successful marketing strategy, and email is a great way to automate your campaigns. 

Email marketing software makes it easy for you to send targeted messages to customers who are most likely to convert, which in turn helps you engage with your audience on a personal level.

Now that we know what the funnel looks like, let’s break down each stage individually so that you can understand how they work together and build upon each other.

8. Send Text Messages For Rewards, Promotions, And Special Events

Texting is a great way to connect with customers, and it’s also a cost-effective alternative to email marketing. As you’ve probably heard, text messages are the most open form of mobile advertising. Here’s how your business can use text messaging as a marketing tool:

  • Send rewards, promotions, and special events
  • Use text messages for customer service – let them know about their order status or if there are any issues with their order
  • Use texting to create an exclusive club of customers who get access to special discounts and offers (you can set up this feature on your account dashboard)

9. Host Parties And Events In The Restaurant

Hosting a party or event in your restaurant is a great way to get people interested in what you have to offer. You can reach out to local businesses, organizations, schools, and community groups to invite them over for parties, fundraisers, or other events of their choosing. 

Hosting these events will also help build loyalty with customers who may have been hesitant about trying out the new place on their block before now.

It’s important that restaurants host events that connect them with their community and help build buzz around their brand. 

Hosting an event where people can experience what they offer firsthand is key! If they see how good it tastes (or how much fun it was), then they’re more likely to want more of it again soon.

10. Encourage Patrons To Take Photos And Share Them On Social Media

For example, if you’re a restaurant, there are several ways to encourage customers to take photos and share them on social media.

Use your social media accounts to encourage patrons to post photos of their meals. A simple “We love seeing our food being enjoyed! Tag us in your pics!” would be enough for most restaurants.

Use hashtags prominently throughout the restaurant, including on menus and walls. “Tag us when you eat here! #foodmarketingfunnel” is a good way of doing it works well with Instagramming too!

Create a specific hashtag that people can use when they post photos of their experience at your establishment or while they’re eating there. 

This helps bring attention back towards one single brand instead of having multiple ones compete over the same audience (and thus dilute each other).

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11. Get Involved With The Community In Meaningful Ways

Another way to stay top-of-mind with customers is to get involved with the community in meaningful ways. This might mean donating food to local food banks or helping out at a local charity event. 

Perhaps you could sponsor a youth sports team, or donate some supplies to your local library. You could also volunteer at school events and activities, such as an after-school program or a career day. The options are endless!

If your business is open during off-hours, consider providing space for community members who have nowhere else to go – there is no shortage of people who could benefit from this kind of support! 

Many communities organize annual events that bring together groups that wouldn’t normally interact (such as school districts or neighborhoods).

And these interactions can lead to lasting relationships between businesses and individuals if they take place on regular basis throughout a year-long cycle instead of one big night each year when everyone gets together once only.

12. Add A QR Code To Your Printed Marketing Materials

QR code marketing can help you to capture new customers and increase your engagement with existing ones. If you’re not familiar with QR codes, here’s a quick overview: 

QR codes are a series of black and white squares that make up the image on your screen at this moment. When scanned with a smartphone or tablet camera, they open a link to another web page.

If someone scans this page, for example in an ad for your business or on one of your printed marketing materials like business cards, brochures, or flyers.

They’ll be taken directly to your website where they can learn more about what you offer and engage with you via email or social media.

You may have seen QR codes in magazines before—they’re often used by businesses as part of their advertising campaigns because they’re easy for people to see and scan right away!

13. Showcase Your Food On Instagram Before, During, And After The Meal

Using a food photography service is an easy way to get professional photos for your restaurant. The company will help with the composition of the shot, as well as make sure that you have the right type of lighting and filters to show off your food in a flattering way.

After you’ve taken photos, post them on Instagram and other social media platforms. You can also post them on your website or blog if you have one, which is ideal if people are coming from search engines rather than social networks.

Pinterest is another option; it’s great for visual content like photos as well as articles and recipes that feature certain dishes. If people are looking for information about what they should eat at restaurants when they travel, Pinterest could be an invaluable resource for you!

14. Post Recipes, Cooking Tutorials And Behind-The-Scenes Cooking Videos On Youtube, Instagram, And Facebook Live

You can also post recipes and cooking tutorials on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook Live.

YouTube has more than 1 billion active users each month. While it’s not the first thing you think of when you think about food marketing funnels, it is an excellent platform for sharing video content with your audience. 

One great strategy on YouTube is to create a playlist of how-to videos or recipes. You could start with something simple like this one: How to Cook Perfect Scrambled Eggs

Instagram has over 700 million monthly users who follow millions of brands with their favorite images in their feed every day! 

The platform gives you ample opportunity to share visuals that will help build interest in what you offer customers at each stage of the funnel by creating a consistent brand story across multiple channels (like your website, blog posts, etc.)

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15. Shoot Short Videos Of Customers Enjoying Their Meals To Post On Your Website And Social Media Sites

The next step in the funnel is to shoot short videos of customers enjoying your meals and posting them on your website, social media sites, and any other marketing material. 

Showing customers enjoying their time at a restaurant can be a great way to build trust and loyalty with potential new patrons. 

You can also use this as an opportunity to showcase aspects of your business that make it unique whether it’s the quality of food or service, or maybe even something more intangible like company culture or values.

If you do decide to include video content in your marketing strategy (and we think you should), there are plenty of ways of getting started:

  • Create behind-the-scenes footage with staff members discussing what they did before opening their doors each day.
  • Film interviews with chefs talking about how they came up with new recipes for dishes on the menu.
  • Ask guests how they decided which dish was right for them, what was their favorite part about eating here tonight?


Though the food marketing funnel is a useful framework to understand the customer journey and optimize it, it’s also important to remember that you don’t need to engage your customers at every step of the way. 

Instead, focus on optimizing where they are in the funnel right now to help them move along to the next phase of their journey: the purchase phase.

Further Reading

HubSpot’s Comprehensive Customer Engagement Guide Short Description: Explore HubSpot’s guide to customer engagement strategies, packed with insights to enhance customer relationships and drive business growth.

Braze’s Customer Engagement Guide Short Description: Braze offers a valuable customer engagement guide, providing actionable tips and techniques for building meaningful connections with your audience.

Qualtrics Customer Engagement Insights Short Description: Qualtrics presents customer engagement insights, offering a deep dive into understanding and improving customer interactions for improved loyalty.


What are the key principles of effective customer engagement?

Effective customer engagement relies on personalized communication, active listening, timely response, value-driven interactions, and consistent follow-ups.

How can businesses measure the success of their customer engagement efforts?

Businesses can measure customer engagement success through metrics like customer satisfaction scores (CSAT), Net Promoter Score (NPS), customer retention rates, and engagement with interactive content.

What role does technology play in modern customer engagement strategies?

Technology enables businesses to automate personalized communication, gather customer feedback, track engagement metrics, and deliver seamless experiences across various touchpoints.

How can businesses re-engage inactive customers?

To re-engage inactive customers, businesses can send targeted offers, personalized recommendations, and reminders, along with seeking feedback to understand reasons for disengagement.

How does customer engagement contribute to brand loyalty?

Customer engagement fosters emotional connections between customers and brands, leading to increased loyalty. When customers feel valued and understood, they are more likely to remain loyal over time.