Looking for growth inspiration

Hi there!

TL;DRL: I am looking for inspiration in marketing/growth-hacking (🤮 sorry for the term) for growing a bigger customer base for our physical restaurants (marketing preferably digitally focussed).

I am turning to this community, as I find people here inspiring in what they're building and if I start looking for growth hackers, you can probably already guess what kind of people I run into. Most developers are often better at growth than the 'growth hackers' available in the market. I am not sure if this is the right place to ask for help, but you never know.
I am 2 years into building . We currently have 2 locations in The Netherlands and are doing well. We started mid COVID as a delivery & take-away store (dark-kitchen) and switched to a hybrid dark-kitchen/restaurant model as Vegan Pizza Bar was our best performing brand and we noticed more and more that people wanted to make a reservation with us. On the side, we still experiment with new brands - delivery only - every now and then. 

I have a few challenges:
- It's hard to measure online delivery sales as customers are customers of Uber Eats, or Deliveroo (in the Dutch market). So you cannot optimize for conversion.
- These parties own 90% of the food-ordering journey. Most people start scrolling if they're hungry and decide then. Not beforehand.
- These parties also cost us, at minimum, 30% of our margin. So in-platform marketing is not really profitable. (Doing our own delivery is also expensive and you need to invest in taking people away from that journey, so in the end you spend about the same as being part of those platforms. But it is something we are thinking about).
- I have experimented with flyers (added to the delivery orders), motivating people to come to our restaurant (much better margins of course). But haven't seen much succes in that.
- Food prices and inflation is surging, so we need to work hard on our margins.

So the question for me is: how do I get more people to my restaurant? What growth experiments can I do? I am looking for inspiration there. 

We get very good reviews and check for customer feedback really often and we score high all across the board. Our customer base is very loyal. I have the feeling our problem is reach.

Would really appreciate some ideas and willing to compensate of course if I am asking too much time.


I'm mapping out the customer journey for a couple of dine-in/take-out shops in Australia that are asking a similar question at the moment. I'll let you know if we find any interesting ways of solving for this.

"We get very good reviews and check for customer feedback really often and we score high all across the board"

Who is your target audience?
Who are your main buyers?
Have you asked your customers what holds them back from coming to your store (more often)?
Where are you located is it easily reachable?
Can you do some events like (vegan) film screenings, vegan dating night (in cooperation with a dating platform) or is there no space?

As a consumer of restaurants – the only thing that’s ever worked is having really amazingly awesome food. Yeah a flyer or an ad or catching my eye as I walk about town might catch my eye, but when it’s time to buy I mentally go through my short memory list of “Places I’ve enjoyed in the past and are reasonably convenient”

Even on UberEats I am far more likely to pick from the section of “places you’ve bought before” than search for something new.

That said: Photos. Get a professional photographer to take actually good photos of your food and use those in all your advertising and delivery app listings.

As proof that the really good food approach works – there is a sandwich places in San Francisco. Any time I mention “Really good sandwich place in SF if you like meaty sandos” on a place like Hacker News, several people comment “You mean Deli Board?”. It’s that good. Brand.

That is to say: Restaurants are mostly word-of-mouth. You get that by wowing your customers

I have nothing practical to add, but have to say those vegan pizzas look next-level 🤤

Hi Pim!!
"We get very good reviews and check for customer feedback really often and we score high all across the board."

How do you measure customer feedback??
I have this project idea on my to-dos precisely for this case; the flow is as follows (for you to copy!):
- create a customer feedback survey (you could use google forms or any other provider) (ask for email!!)
- Make a QR code out of the survey link
- Make stickers with this QR code.
- Each time you get an order from UberEats or any other, you place your sticker on the order package; the sticker should also say something like "Answer survey for x% next order" or something along this lines.
- Now, you are trying to capture and hopefully get a database of your customers from other apps.
- Now is your opportunity to offer free drinks, discounts, etc., and invite them to your location or bring them back to your website/custom delivery.

It's not easy, but it's a start. The best of lucks!!!

The idea is to take back your customers from other platforms and to have a database (CRM) of your clients for you to do campaigns, mailing, coupons, discounts, and so on.