Facebook Messenger Chat Bot Case Study: Casual Restaurant

This is a Facebook Messenger Chat Bot Case Study on a marketing project completed for Poke Bop, a Dallas, TX Sushi / Hawaiian Asian Fusion Eatery. The concepts and principles discussed herein can be applicable to other hospitality and retail businesses.

If you would like to learn how to build this type of chat bot software for your business or clients, then watch this free masterclass that will show you how to not only create automated conversational experiences, but to combine them with traditional channels like email, SMS, and mobile wallet technologies.

Poke Bop Dallas Sushi Restaurant Hawaiian Japanese Asian Fusion Eatery Lakewood Oak Lawn

One of the key reasons that restaurants, cafes, eateries, gastropubs, and diners should use Facebook Messenger bots is that there are over 1 Billion active users on the platform. While email can be a powerful marketing channel when used properly, chat bots generally get quadruple (4x) open rates (80% vs. 20%) and decuple (10x) click-through ratesΒ (10-30% vs. 1-3%) more than email.

A few goals that fast casual food establishments should focus on include:

  1. Automating / Streamlining Take-out and Delivery Orders
    1. In this case, they were already using Chow Now to handle pick-up orders, so I simply had to link to that.
    2. They didn’t offer delivery, so we provide links to 3rd-party food delivery apps such as DoorDash and GrubHub.
  2. Building a list of chat subscribers
    1. Even if leads do not complete a sequence, they can still be broadcast to at a later time (with certain restrictions).
    2. In the process of running these campaigns, the business also benefits from building their Facebook Page as well.
  3. Leveraging subscription (non-promotional) and promotional broadcasts and sequences.
    1. Facebook’s 24+1 rule limits bots to only one promotional message outside of the 24 hour window since a user has last interacted with the bot. Think of this like the double-dribble rule in Basketball.
    2. Subscription messaging is useful for for updates and news. Do not solicit in these sorts of messages. Instead, use content and elicit a response/engagement from the user. This will allow you to reset the 24+1* timer for those users.
    3. Always give an option or make it easy for users to unsubscribe. You usually have about 3 buttons that can be attached to messages, so one of those could be an unsubscribe button. It’s better to lose a percentage of subscribers than it is to have your entire bot shut down after being reported to Facebook by angry & annoyed users.

To start, I mapped out a simple funnel to illustrate what traffic goes in to the Messenger sequence, and where it will then lead to. Facebook ads, in some form or another, will usually be the predominant acquisition channel for gaining new subscribers. Other traffic sources, such as web, email, and SMS, can also be utilized in order to best leverage existing channels.

Restaurant Chat Bot Funnel on Facebook Messenger case study ManyChat marketing Case Study

Here is also a video explanation of the above restaurant chatbot graphic:

We used links pointing to the location’s respective web URL listing for each delivery service. Most of the web URL’s will have a deep link to the native app version of the ordering app.

To build the logic for the bot, I used Manychat. Other chatbot tools could likely deliver similar results.

For the Facebook ad campaign, we initially started with a carousel Facebook ad with a mixture of photos and one slideshow video. We also use a regular video add that was used for general awareness and to build a video retargeting custom audience that amassed over 100,000 video views.

One of the keys for any type of restaurant marketing is a library of high-quality photos & videos showing food menu items.

Poke Bop Dallas Sushi Bowl Hawaiian Japanese Cuisine Asian Fusion Food Lakewood Oak Lawn

If you don’t have any videos, you can create a slideshow video within Facebook ads using your existing photos. You can also add music and subtitles to the video through the interface. As I mentioned in my other article on content recycling and distribution, YouTube can provide automatic subtitles, which you can edit and download to include in videos on other platforms.

Having your restaurant featured on a local television station helps, too:

Poke Bop's Sushi Donut Featured on Good Morning Texas WFAA w/ Shannon Hart

In case you missed it, we were on Good Morning Texas last week demonstrating our signature sushi donut!

Posted by Poke Bop on Thursday, March 15, 2018

The goal of the ad was for viewers to send a facebook message to begin the chat primary flow.

On their website, we had a web plugin with the prompt “Looking for Poke Bop Delivery”?, which takes them directly to a delivery sub flow (there is already a to-go button for Chow Now).

After running the gift card giveaway contest (which leveraged the comment-to-message growth tool), we followed up with a promotional broadcast, using the “+1” in the Facebook Messenger’s “24+1” rule in conjunction with email and social media campaigns. Here are the results:

Restaurant email marketing campaign results case study open rate
Email Campaign results (as a control group & comparison)
Manychat facebook messenger chat bot promotion broadcast results restaurant case study
Promotional broadcast results

As you can see, the open rate of the messenger broadcast was double/triple of what the email marketing open rates were. As I mentioned above, we gave users the option to unsubscribe. The other 100 or so that clicked on the other option are ones that we can include in addition promotional broadcast as the +1 message.

What to keep in mind when creating food & restaurant chat bots:

  • You can’t include any variable fields, such as {{first_name}}, when creating Facebook ads JSON code to use in the Messenger ad. That’s why I recommend you tell them to reply with a keyword, and then program that keyword in your bot’s automation rules to start your desired flow.
  • For the web plugin, I modified a duplicate of the primary flow and only included the dialogue options for delivery. This is due to the face that since web visitors already have access to both the info and to-go order service, there was no need to those in this particular sequence.
  • You will need a compelling offer in order to drive engagement and acquire new subscribers.
  • If you haven’t already, you should add a Facebook pixel to your business’s website. This will provide you with both analytics and conversion tracking
  • Building a chat bot from scratch requires forethought into the user experience (UX). Take cues from other bots or services that you’ve loved (or disliked) and try to incorporate some of those elements into your bot.
  • You only get 1 promotional message outside of the last 24 hours that a user has engaged with your bot. After that, you are then limited to indirect, subscription messages.
  • *Update: Pages are no longer allowed to send out promotional messages outside of the 24-hour window except for a few situations. Because of this, marketers should focus on other channels, like email, SMS, and mobile wallet for broadcasts.

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