How to use WhatsApp Business for restaurants
WhatsApp Business for restaurants is created to help food merchants market, sell, and support through messaging. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many restaurants have learnt to survive by making food deliveries and self-pick-ups available. Popular platforms such as FoodPanda, Grab, Lalamove, Beep, Shopee Food, and more opened up new paths to bridge food merchants and customers, offering convenience to the local community. However, the commissions often range from 15% to 35%, which can take a toll on food sellers, especially small to medium businesses.
This is where WhatsApp Business for restaurants comes in. To reach out to customers without spiking food prices, restaurant owners must learn to make use of a WhatsApp food ordering system through WhatsApp Business or WhatsApp Business API. This way, you can get your own riders or drivers to deliver your food orders, save costs, and boost sales without covering the demanding commissions on these food delivery platforms.
Ready to start using WhatsApp Business for restaurants? Read on.
WhatsApp for sales: increase restaurant sales with a WhatsApp food ordering system
Over 2 million users on WhatsApp, and they all need to eat! Since WhatsApp is the preferred channel of communication for most, allowing your customers to order food through WhatsApp will increase the speed and convenience of ordering food and cut down on the waiting time, thus increasing sales for your restaurant.
70% of consumers prefer placing their food order delivery online. - Deloitte
How to take orders on WhatsApp Business
For your customers to order food through WhatsApp, you will only need to follow these few steps:
Create a WhatsApp Business account and profile
Having more business details on your WhatsApp Business account helps with gaining the trust of your customers. Instead of using a personal WhatsApp account, you can create a free WhatsApp Business account to benefit from useful tools and features.
Open the app and create an account.
Verify your phone number with the 6-digit verification code sent to your phone. (Note: Use a new number for your business. The phone number of your personal WhatsApp account cannot be used for your business at the same time.)
Enter your business name and business category, and upload your business logo as the profile picture.
Tap on “More Option/Settings” (the three vertical dots), go to “Business Tools” > “Business Profile” and fill in details such as a business address, website, operating hours, and description.
Upload your WhatsApp food menu using the WhatsApp catalog
The WhatsApp catalog feature enables your customers to browse through your WhatsApp food menu online without downloading images or pdf files. If your restaurant runs out of some ingredients or a certain dish gets sold out, you can update the catalog easily to avoid disappointing the customers. After you learn more about how to take orders on WhatsApp Business, you can also upload a step-by-step image as one of the products on your WhatsApp catalog to guide your customers on how to order food on WhatsApp.
1. On your WhatsApp Business App, go to “More Option/Settings” (the three vertical dots), go to “Business Tools” > “Business Profile”
2. Select “Add new item” > “Add images”. You can take new photos or upload up to 10 images.
3. Enter the food and beverages from your menu and add optional details such as:
4. Tap “Save/Add to catalog” for your WhatsApp food menu to appear on your WhatsApp Business account
Collect payments for food orders directly in the chat
Shoppers now spend an average of $314 per month on impulse purchases. Creating a seamless path to purchase using a WhatsApp ordering system will no doubt encourage customers to order food from your restaurant right when their cravings hit and decrease cart abandonment rates.
By using integration services from a platform that offers in-chat payment links*, you can make WhatsApp food ordering a seamless process. You can instantly collect payment from your customers every time they order food on WhatsApp. When errors occur, or order cancellation is required, you can also make partial or full refunds easily, unlike certain food delivery platforms that only allow refunds through vouchers, causing a large volume of customer complaints and brand reputation issues.
Explore how the Payment Link feature works through WhatsApp-Stripe integration.
*The Payment Link feature is only available for paid solutions on WhatsApp Business API or WhatsApp Business Platform. Find out more about the differences between WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Business API from our blog guide.
WhatsApp for marketing: use WhatsApp Business API to attract customers and scale your restaurant business
WhatsApp Business marketing is nothing new. However, since most use cases provided are for retail or e-commerce businesses with products and services that require bookings and appointments, some restaurant owners might be wondering how to use WhatsApp Business for marketing in the F&B industry. Here’s how:
Generate, qualify, and track leads with WhatsApp broadcast campaigns
Other than WhatsApp food ordering, you can send broadcast messages to 256 customer contacts on the free WhatsApp Business App. Upon launching a new menu or seasonal items, you can blast WhatsApp messages to inform your customers or organize campaigns to distribute promo codes. This will urge both new and existing customers to quickly make an order through WhatsApp or visit your restaurant to try them out in person.
If you can accommodate some marketing budget for your restaurant, you can even get a WhatsApp Business API account to break free from the limitations of the WhatsApp Business App. By incorporating WhatsApp Business API for restaurants, you can:
Get a verified WhatsApp Business profile with a green tick (customers can see your restaurant name even without saving your phone number)
Blast personalized WhatsApp messages to more contacts without limit
Use interactive features like chat buttons and list messages
Multiple logins to the same WhatsApp Business account for team collaboration
Automatically assign incoming messages to a specific team member
Lower costs with WhatsApp’s conversation-based charges
Want to estimate your costs when using WhatsApp Business API for your restaurant? Use our free WhatsApp pricing calculator.
Use a WhatsApp Business profile with a green tick for branding
When you receive a message from an unknown phone number, often the first thing that comes to mind is, “Is this a scam?”
Similarly, when your customers receive a message from your business, if they don’t remember interacting with your brand previously, they might doubt the authenticity of that WhatsApp number.
Not only that this lowers the chance of them replying, but it also harms your brand reputation if the customers start associating your restaurant with spamming. They might even block and report your accounts, causing you to lose that WhatsApp number.
This is why many businesses are trying to apply for WhatsApp Business green tick verification to build on the reliability of their WhatsApp Business profile, increase the reply rates, and boost conversions through their WhatsApp ordering system.
Make WhatsApp food ordering accessible with Facebook and Instagram tools
Other than WhatsApp broadcast messages, you can also generate more leads by adding a WhatsApp CTA button or a WhatsApp link on your Facebook page and Instagram Business profile and bio. This will make it convenient for your customers to use your WhatsApp ordering system and come back with more orders if the process is speedy and easy.
Image from WhatsApp
Start creating a WhatsApp link for your business with our free WhatsApp link generator.
WhatsApp for customer service: make your restaurant’s customers happy with WhatsApp Business API
Having good food in your restaurant is no longer enough. To thrive in the competitive F&B industry, merchants need to satisfy consumers with quality, speed, and convenience. Incorporating WhatsApp Business for restaurants is a great way to do so.
80% of consumers are more inclined to spend more with your brand if they feel valued. 87% will recommend it to their friends and families. - Forbes
Chatbots and FAQs to attend to ‘hangry’ customers
Decreasing consumer patience is a thing, but we’ll never want to test the patience of ‘hangry’ customers!
Since restaurants often experience a lack of manpower, setting up a chatbot and automated FAQs can please hangry customers without wearing out your customer service team.
Imagine this: a customer sends a WhatsApp message to your restaurant to ask if your food delivery service is available. The automated response you set up previously is triggered, informing the customer of the delivery fee, time, and covered locations. They then browse through your WhatsApp food menu and select “Add to cart” to place their order through WhatsApp. Another automated message is sent to request the customer’s details, such as name and address. Lastly, you can generate a payment link to collect payment instantly in the chat.
A complete WhatsApp food ordering system can be as simple as that!
Automate messages for your customers’ peace of mind
As shown above, automated messages increase efficiency and lessen the burden on your customer service team. Other than automating messages to answer questions and assist the WhatsApp food ordering process, you can also use it for order confirmation or delivery status updates. In this case, as your customers place their order through WhatsApp, they can be rest assured that the order has been received or is on the way to their homes. This creates a well-structured and organized WhatsApp order management which upgrades the customer experience.
Customer feedback and surveys using WhatsApp interactive messages
Customer feedback is vital for making business improvements and identifying hiccups they experienced when using your WhatsApp food ordering system. While WhatsApp has an average open rate of 98%, it makes more sense for businesses to gather customer feedback through WhatsApp instead of email. If you make it easy for customers to rate your business with a one-click response, the response rate will increase. The data collected from customers who order food on WhatsApp can also be used for WhatsApp Business marketing campaigns.
Integrate WhatsApp with HubSpot or Salesforce CRM database
Consumers’ purchasing decision in the F&B industry is often quick, leading to a very short sales cycle. It is extremely easy for customers to give up on their orders and pass on negative word-of-mouth marketing. This is why it’s important to access customer data swiftly and accurately the moment they reach out to you to order food through WhatsApp.
For restaurants with multiple branches or franchises, integrating your CRM database will definitely be helpful for WhatsApp order management. For example, you can integrate your Salesforce or HubSpot data on SleekFlow to display the customer information right next to the chatbox. Your team members will have no trouble attending to the customers quickly and accurately based on their order history. Returning customers who want to order food on WhatsApp will not need to repeat themselves with information such as delivery address. The premium experience will cultivate customer loyalty and increase the retention rate for more profits.
This powerful integration even helps improve your WhatsApp Business marketing with accurate retargeting campaigns based on their order history and purchasing behavior.
Customer retention is more profitable than acquisition where the conversion rate ranges from 60-70% as compared to 5-20% for new customers. - Retention Science
Social CRM and customer segmentation
Once you start using WhatsApp Business API for restaurants, the customer database can be expanded. It can get a bit overwhelming to handle this large number of customers, especially when they all come from different social media channels or visit in-store.
Nevertheless, with customer segmentation, you can better manage the customers and attend to them according to priorities using labels. You can also group them based on their preferred communication channel, such as WhatsApp, to ensure smooth communication and higher customer satisfaction.
SleekFlow has a real impact on business growth. Our online sales have doubled since we started to use SleekFlow.
Julien de Préaumont
Founder of Le Dessert
Read the success story of Le Dessert, the number one online pâtisserie in Hong Kong, and see how they doubled their sales 2X with WhatsApp Business for restaurants via SleekFlow.
SleekFlow creates the best strategy on WhatsApp Business API for restaurants
Now that you know how to take orders on WhatsApp Business, you can start using WhatsApp Business API for restaurants to get the most out of it!
Firstly, you will need to choose an official WhatsApp Business Solution Provider assigned by Meta or apply for an account directly through Meta using your own in-house developer resources. As the latter option requires a more tedious process, it is recommended that you select an official provider like SleekFlow to enjoy the benefits of WhatsApp Business API for restaurants without having to code.
Through SleekFlow, you can use WhatsApp Business API with a wide range of additional features:
Broadcast personalized messages through popular channels such as WhatsApp (and Facebook)
Detailed analytics for you to analyze the performance of your WhatsApp Business marketing campaigns
Dedicated sales performance dashboard to compare the results from various branches or outlets
An all-in-one omnichannel inbox with multiple logins for your team members to manage conversations simultaneously
Payment Links for customers to check out right in the chat, including full or partial refunds when requested by customers
Chatbot and automation to save manpower and increase productivity
Free comment auto reply feature on your Facebook and Instagram account
Free Facebook Lead Ads integration to gather contacts and segment leads effectively
Free no-code Live Chat widget to be installed on your website
A centralized CRM with organized segmentation and labeling