During this breakout session, Yext's own Lee Zucker (Head of Industry, Food Service) sat down with McDonald's Tim Snyder (Director of Digital Business Optimization), Qdoba Restaurant's Margaux Reese (Digital Experience & Media Manager), Trabon's Nancy Hampton (Chief Business Development Officer), and Captain D's Bob Kraut (CMO). Together, these food industry experts detailed how top food service brands are leveraging their menus and structured data to stand out to hungry searchers.
Zucker opened with some statistics about food's performance in search:
Searches for "open now" have increased 10x in the last five years
"Near me" searches have decreased — that is now simply implied
68% of searches are for a specific food — and not a business or restaurant*
These findings led the group to discuss how each company is investing in their own intelligent future. "However customers are coming to us, we have to be there with the right information — and that information has to sync across all appropriate channels," explained Hampton.
The panelists then touched on a central theme at ONWARD — the importance of AI and UI. To make the consumer experience more seamless, "It's important to invest in the right resources," said Reese. It's important, she believes, to invest in voice technology to help your company be the one answer returned by intelligent devices.
Each individual and their respective company on the panel had a unique perspective on the food industry. But they shared a similar vision for the intelligent future. With Yext's help, Kraut said Captain D's has been able to focus its efforts on smart search.
The discussion concluded with a question, posed by Snyder, that every panelist could relate to. "How do we provide a seamless, frictionless experience for customers?" The common answer — get them the right information, at the right time.
*Yext Local Search Behavior Study, July 2017