Meal kits, third-party delivery services, grocery store ready-made meals, and restaurants are all competing for the same share of stomach. Brands struggling to capture in-restaurant traffic are looking for incremental revenue opportunities to jump on the 8-12% year-over-year growth curve that fast casual chains have seen over the last few years.
Customer acquisition tactics such as curbside pickup and loyalty benefits are also becoming more creative. It's imperative that restaurant brands understand where and how their customers are finding them as well as what influences their decision-making process in order to reach them in key moments of intent.
How restaurant goers search.
- Almost 70% of consumers search for a restaurant by cuisine type or food item, not by a restaurant name. This includes all dining segments from quick-service restaurants to fine dining.
- 63% of consumerseat at a restaurant within 24 hours of researching it online, and more than 30% do sowithin an hour.
Optimizing the customer journey begins with meeting consumers where, when, and how they're searching for their next meal.
By the time a consumer gets to your site, they're ready to order, make a reservation, or find directions straight to your front door. There's no need for them to stop at your website's homepage and navigate. No more kitchy music, PDF menus, or "enter your zip code" to find the nearest location. That customer has made their decision before landing on your site, directly within the search results. You've earned their business, now take it.
How can your restaurant brand drive incremental revenue?
Meet your customers when they're looking to spend and make it fast and easy — just like Fazoli's.
The 220 location Italian restaurant chain was looking to drive incremental revenue through their online ordering channels, and they knew one of their most popular items was pasta. To make their customer journey quick and easy, Fazoli's built location-specific websites so anyone who found Fazoli's via search could easily decide on a location — and get that location's contact details or directions.
It was important for Fazoli's to appear in unbranded search for "pasta," so they added structured menus (not PDFs) with perfect Schema markup and reviews to their location pages. This type of code in the background of their site allows search engines and voice assistants from Google, Amazon, and Apple to read their site and recommend the restaurant for consumers making an unbranded search. In the first 5 months since launching first-party review generation on Fazoli's location pages, the clickthrough rate on "Order Takeout" increased, driving an additional 1,500 clicks per month and a 43% increase in share of intelligent search for "pasta."
We're in the midst of a massive platform shift, and the way consumers interact with restaurants has completely changed. Restaurants who create a seamless customer experience throughout their acquisition funnel will grow that incremental revenue — and take back their share of stomach.