8 Great Ways to Promote Your Restaurant or Hotel App

More and more bars and restaurants are offering their patrons customer loyalty apps. And hotels are giving their guests mobile-enhanced experiences powered by mobile marketing automation.

But sometimes they run into a problem: Not enough guests download and use their app, because they probably didn’t promote it properly.

Presumably, they spent good money on an app their guests actually want to use. And that by them using the app, it will result in an increase in revenue.

Getting the word out about your app can really pay off. How do you do it?

Your goals for effectively promoting it are simple: 1) Get your guests to download your app. 2) Give them some really good reasons to use it.

So, with that said, here are eight great ways you can promote your app.


1) On-Property

Don’t overlook your actual physical space. As savvy owners know, all sorts of opportunities to extend your brand and push your product, so to speak, lurk within your four walls. And on them, both inside and out.

If you’re a restaurant, highlight your app on your menus, table tents, drink coasters, receipts, specials chalk boards, window signs, matchbooks, and postcards.

If you’re a hotel or resort, use lobby and elevator signs, in-room cards, and guest directory books to call attention to your app.

You want to get people interested in downloading your app and also remind them to continuing to use it.

2) Your Website

This one is obvious, but you’d be surprised how many overlook this prime spot for promotion. If you’re mobile app is designed to be part of the overall experience of your restaurant or hotel, you should include it prominently on your top-level pages. Call it out as something people won’t want to miss out on.

You may even want include an incentive for downloading it, like a coupon or discount. Don’t treat it like an afterthought and relegate mention of it to your website’s footer. You might also consider designing a special landing page dedicated to it.

3) Social Media

Like your website, many—if not most—people are viewing your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat posts on their phone, which happens to be exactly where you want your app.

If you’ve already got a thriving social media presence, you’ve got a ready-made platform to get that app out there. Just be sure you explain what’s in it for customers. Don’t simply say, “HEY! We have an app, now get it!” Take the time to describe the benefits to people.

4) Email

Do you have a mailing list? Send your subscribers an occasional email about your app and how to download it. If you regularly send out promotional offers or newsletters, you can include a simple call-out about your app somewhere in the content.

If you take reservations online, which is true of most hotels and more and more restaurants nowadays, you can include a link to your app in your confirmation emails, which tend to get higher open and read rates than most other sorts of emails.

5) SMS and Push Notifications

If you send text messages (SMS) to your guests and customers already, you can send them the occasional message about why they should download your app. Remember to include a reason why they would want to do so.

Once they have the app, it should allow you to send users push notifications, so you can keep them engaged.

6) Word of Mouth

Don’t underestimate the power of word of mouth. If your app is really good people will talk about it. Now, it’s up to you to give them something to talk about. You might want to promote special offers available only to app users. You could create a launch party for your new app. Or simply ask your most loyal customers to share it with their friends and family.

7) App Ads

App ads are an easy way to promote your app to Apple (iOS) or Android users on Google. Facebook offers a similar service. They allow you to create ads that target the specific audience for your app. They’re easy to set up and allow you to reach the right people.

8) Your Staff

Make your team the ambassadors of your app. Have your front-desk or servers not only tell guests about your app, but have them actually show guests how it works. Your staff are on the frontlines, interacting with your customers.

Sometimes all it takes is a friendly concierge or bartender to take a minute or two to kindly talk about the app and demo it on their own phone, to convince someone it’s a good idea to download and use it.

Whatever tactics you choose to go with will undoubtedly help you get the word out about your app. If your app is worth using, it’s worth getting it onto people’s phones.



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