With over 90% of its system franchised, and a reputation as the friendly, neighborhood diner, Denny's places significant importance on localizing its customers' dining experiences. Referring to Denny's restaurants as "unique places of local connection," it became extremely important to CMO, John Dillon and Senior Director of Brand Engagement, Erik Jensen to ensure the brand's customers could find the closest restaurant when they searched online.
However, the team realized that much of Denny's digital knowledge — the public facts about its people, products, and locations — were not accurate across the myriad digital services that consumers use to search today. This included missing phone numbers, incorrect addresses, and hours that weren't consistent across their 1,700 corporate and franchisee locations.
The Denny's team realized they needed to invest in a comprehensive, scalable technology solution that would strengthen Denny's visibility in search results — ensuring that hungry customers searching for food nearby would always find the Denny's brand.
According to a recent Yext study, winning the attention and loyalty of consumers is particularly challenging in the food services industry. Not only is food service the most highly-searched vertical, it is also the most competitive. In fact, 93% of consumers report that they consider more than one option when searching for a place to dine, and 67% claim to consider at least three before making a final decision. On top of this, diners are now searching for specific food items and details about restaurants before they choose where to dine. 76% of diners are more likely to choose a restaurant that offers in-depth attribute information — like price range, dress code, and meals served.
"We recognize that consumers — not just millennials — are more mobile, so our digital presence is key to winning and keeping attention and loyalty," says Dillon. "The purpose of our digital presence is to drive diners into our actual restaurants time and again, and that is where Yext's platform is invaluable."
Yext for Food enables brands like Denny's to manage the digital knowledge about their people, products, and locations across their websites, mobile apps, internal systems, and the entire PowerListings® Network — over 100 maps, apps, search engines, GPS systems, and social networks including Google, Apple, Facebook, Bing, and Yahoo. It also allows brands like Denny's to publish menu details across the digital ecosystem, making them more discoverable for the specific dishes they serve.
In less than a year after launching with Yext, Denny's local Pages experienced a 35% increase in search traffic. Over the course of six months, Denny's Listings on Google have powered a monthly average of 850,000 clicks-to-directions and 290,000 clicks-to-call.
"Truth be told, the enormity of what Yext offers is not something that the folks within our four walls have the bandwidth to focus on," says Dillon. "We had to find a vendor who'd be our watch dog for us — hold our hand, ensure we are doing the right things. Yext has done that for us, and then some. Everyone on the team, from top to bottom, is fantastic."