Rewards of Scent Marketing in Restaurants - Whole Home Scenting

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The Benefits of Scent Marketing for Restaurants

As with any industry, food service establishments experience stiff competition and must work hard to set themselves about the rest of the restaurant options in their community. Beautiful plating ideas, social media campaigns and word-of-mouth suggestions are great marketing strategies, but these will only take your business so far. A better strategy focuses on engaging all of the senses, and this is what olfactory marketing does. Scent marketing for restaurants relies on an individual’s sense of smell to increase brand recognition and drive sales upward.

What Is the Purpose of Scent Marketing for Restaurants?

Good scents can increase staff happiness.

Though the sense of smell is a natural body function, scent marketing uses both artificial and natural scents to encourage an individual to connect more deeply to an organization. In restaurant usage, a scent is used to create a specific ambiance, enhance the customer’s experience and entice customers towards greater food or drink purchases.

Restaurants have the ability to use the natural scents generated from baked goods, grilled meat or other food items to permeate the air with an irresistible aroma, but a diffusing machine can release a synthetic blend of fragrant molecules for a more consistent or targeted aroma.

Flavor engages both the sense of taste and smell, creating the perfect opportunity for restaurateurs to encourage patrons to eat more. A hint of chocolate in the entryway can immediately stir up a desire for a sweet treat or baked good laden with chocolate morsels or covered in a chocolate drizzle, even if the original intent was to grab lunch.

Not only can smells increase the sensation or perception of hunger, but they can also subtly encourage food purchases to address a particular craving.

Who Uses Scent Marketing for Restaurants?

Cinnabon uses scent marketing.

Before your skepticism gets in the way of trying out olfactory marketing, consider how many major companies in the restaurant industry are incorporating aromas into their customer experience.

  • Burger King uses the smell of grilled meat to encourage purchasing their Whopper or other burgers.
  • Starbucks enhances the scent of freshly ground coffee by having the aroma diffused through the HVAC system.
  • Cinnabon gives potential consumers an overpowering invitation to indulge by keeping their ovens (and the delicious smell of fresh cinnamon rolls) at the front of each store.
  • Subway bakes fresh loaves of bread at key times throughout the day and in ovens close to consumer encounters
  • Shuckums Oyster Bar and Grill uses HVAC diffusing to neutralize the smell of seafood and the ocean aroma and to seasonally scent the restaurant with familiar food smells.

What Are the Benefits of Scent Marketing for Restaurants?

By knowing what scent marketing is and how other eateries employ it, you can better appreciate the benefits that come from an olfactory element in your marketing strategy. Scent marketing has been researched and tested, and when done correctly, the results bring undeniably positive results for a restaurant owner.

Improves Brand Recognition

Consumers are overrun with advertisements, brands and logos. Rather than investing in social media campaigns that get overlooked or printed ads in magazines or newspapers that get thrown away, create new meaning and engagement with your brand through scent marketing. By taking an identifiable and desirable smell, you create immediate attachments to your establishment and give customers a deeper look into what your brand represents.

Creates Greater Profit Margins

The goal of any marketing decision is to increase revenue, and with a little scent manipulation, you can help your business flourish financially. A carefully chosen smell encourages your patrons to order more food, benefiting your bottom line. Choose a smell that would encourage patrons to purchase desserts, appetizers or more expensive entrees to increase your profit margins. Even patrons who are trying to exercise some restraint over their diet are responsive to cues from food odors, causing many to temporarily abandon their diets or restrictions to satisfy their appetite.

Encourages Deeper Customer Loyalty

In conjunction with the rest of the atmosphere you create, you can use scent to solidify the relationship between you and your customers. The whole atmosphere of a restaurant contributes to consumer satisfaction, and tapping into the sense of smell with subtle but distinct aromas creates a more memorable and pleasant dining experience. Customers appreciate an experience with an inviting smell and welcoming ambiance, inspiring them to return over and over again and bring their friends with them.

Converts Foot Traffic

Bringing people in is another benefit of scent marketing for restaurants, especially when there was no original intent to visit your eatery. Inviting aromas can attract the attention of those passing by and bring them in the door. From pumping a smell through nearby HVAC systems or aroma dispensers to cooking strong-smelling foods during times of heavy foot traffic, take advantage of the overwhelming impact a fragrance can have on a hungry passerby.

Removes Unpleasant Odors

Not every item on your menu will smell good and encourage consumers to stay longer and spend more. Unpleasant aromas can have an immediate impact on customers, changing their impression of your brand and driving them away. You can cover the smells of food prep, garbage, restrooms and more with a neutralizing or refreshing scent.

When a business fills the air with pleasant smells, it’s estimated that a customer will stay up to 44% longer than planned.

Taps Into Memory

Scent is linked to the hippocampus, a key memory hub for the body. You can use an aroma to create strong new memories or tap into positive old ones. Depending on the fragrance you use, you not only encourage patrons to eat more, but you also encourage them to develop pleasant memories about the experience within your restaurant. This memory can carry beyond the four walls of your establishment, bringing to mind your brand the next time they encounter a similar smell of spices or foods.

How Can You Enjoy the Benefits of Scent Marketing for Restaurants?

It doesn’t matter how small or large your establishment, you can reap the same benefits of scent marketing for restaurants as the national chains. Whole Home Scenting has a diffusing system and a variety of high-quality fragrances to transform your consumer’s dining experience. Contact us today to purchase a product that’s right for your restaurant.

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