Details Matter: Restaurants and the Importance of Attributes

In today’s world of connected devices, search experiences, voice assistants, and AI, your restaurant’s digital footprint must extend beyond its own website and to intelligent services in order to reach hungry consumers. Your business’s facts — from hours of operation to menu items — now live in maps, voice search, conversational UI, knowledge cards, and so many more places that display intelligent and direct answers.

These intelligent services have generated a society of liberated, hyper-mobile consumers who perform searches in the moment. 50% of consumers most often search for food when they’re on-the-go.* And the surge in ‘near me’ searches we saw two years ago has become so commonplace that fewer people bother to search using those words at all — increasingly, the phrase ‘near me’ is merely implied.

Consumers not only want things now, they want to be very well-informed before stepping foot into a restaurant. In today’s digital landscape, there has been an uptick in searches that include detailed terms, such as “open now,” “gluten-free options,” and “family-friendly breakfast.” These detailed searches, also known as attribute-based searches, are only just beginning. In fact, 76% of consumers say they’re more likely to choose a restaurant that gives them in-depth attribute information in search results.*

According to a recent Yext study, 68% of food searches occur without a specific restaurant name in mind.* Instead, they include details about what the consumer is looking for in a dining experience. When searching online for a restaurant, 66% of consumers compare three or more options.* This means that if your restaurant does not have detailed, correct attributes, it is less likely to be visible in these search results, and is therefore less likely to be chosen by a hungry searcher. 

What many restaurant brands don’t realize is that the rich details consumers care about (like their menu and attribute information) are also their secret ingredients to showing up in search. Intelligent services need these details — this structured data — because they want to be able to answer consumers’ queries, like ‘drive-thru open now’ and ‘burger restaurant with WiFi.’ Many of them have started indexing this menu and attribute data — simultaneously creating new opportunities for restaurant brands to optimize themselves for search, with the exact search terms consumers are already using.

For more statistics and information about digital marketing trends for restaurants, view our infographic, Where Should We Eat? If you’re interested in learning more about leveraging rich attributes to get found in search, check out our latest guide, The Hungry Searcher: How Restaurants Can Attract More Diners Today.

* Yext Google Survey, October 2017

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