Kung Fu Tea Leverages Yext to Boost Search Visibility and Drive Store Traffic
Launched in 2010, Kung Fu Tea has helped pioneer the bubble tea trend in the United States, growing from one location to hundreds over the past nine years. The brand focuses on bubble tea, but certain locations also sell food items like signature fried chicken. Mai Shi, marketing lead at Kung Fu Tea, says the brand is centered around three key ideas: innovation, freshness, and customization — letting each customer choose their perfect combination of flavors.
At the forefront of the bubble tea trend in the U.S., Kung Fu Tea has expanded rapidly across the country. But the brand found itself still making manual updates to key platforms like Google My Business, which presented a challenge across 153 locations.
The chain knew it needed a better way to list, manage, and verify brand data like hours of operation, address, and contact information for its restaurants across key platforms and digital services so that it could deliver on its brand promise and reach customers everywhere they search. Additionally, as Kung Fu Tea added new bubble tea specials that are somewhat unique in the U.S. market, the brand believed it was important to be able to easily update menu items and include photos of its products on sites like GMB. They hoped that doing so would boost not just search visibility, but visits to Kung Fu Tea locations from new customers.
“Our target consumers are people between 15 to 35, so they’re definitely the younger demographic — a lot of millennials,” Shi explains. “Obviously, they look for everything online. We know they find us through a combination of Google search, social media, Yelp, all these food-related forums, so we needed a solution that would help us deliver better information through all of these means.”
With integrations across 150+ digital services including Google, Google Maps, Amazon Alexa, Facebook, and Yelp, Yext gives Kung Fu Tea the ability to easily update their brand information and deliver perfect answers across these services. By maintaining a single source of truth for store data, seamlessly issuing updates across key platforms (including GMB), and automating store opening updates, Kung Fu Tea has been able to save valuable man hours while increasing search visibility.
Kung Fu Tea confirmed that it has seen an increase in customers that it attributes to this uptick in search visibility — which is the result of both seamless brand information updates, as well as the suppression of duplicate listings. Both have a positive impact on SEO and prevent customers from viewing listings that may not be controlled by the brand itself.
Shi says that the ability to “Update once, update everywhere,” on social platforms like Facebook also has had a major impact on winning new customers, as the brand’s customer base is highly engaged on social media.
Yext has also given Kung Fu Tea more visibility into the brand’s reputation over time — pulling in 29.6k reviews from Kung Fu Tea listings, in order to help the brand better understand its customers and adapt to their feedback as needed.
In the four months since launching with Yext, Kung Fu Tea has meaningfully increased its search visibility — leading directly to an increase in the high-intent customer actions the brand hoped to drive. Kung Fu Tea has seen a strong uptick in direction and phone call clicks, actions that demonstrate a greater intent to actually visit and transact at a physical location.
“Yext has made it so much easier for our potential customers to find out about us — where we are, our opening hours, our payment methods, what kind of service we provide, everything,” Shi says. “Now our customers have all the information they need, and it makes them more likely to choose – and return to — Kung Fu Tea.”