Customer Story

Kung Fu Tea Leverages Yext To Boost Search Visibility And Drive Store Traffic

36% year-over-year growth in listing clicks
25 Million listing impressions
29.6k Yext pulled reviews from Kung Fu Tea's listings
Food & Service
153 Locations
New York, New York
The Challenge
Kung Fu Tea needed a scalable solution for managing key brand information — including menu items — across its 153 locations.

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. 

The Challenge

At the forefront of the bubble tea trend in the U.S., Kung Fu tea 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 information like hours, address, and phone number for its restaurants across key platforms and digital services in order to 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.”

The Solution

With integrations across 100+ digital services like Google, Google Maps, Amazon Alexa, Facebook, Yelp, and more, Yext gives Kung Fu Tea the ability to easily update their brand information and deliver perfect answers across these key 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 they have seen an increase in customers that they attribute to this uptick in search visibility, which comes from both seamless brand information updates as well as suppressing 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 being able 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.

Finally, Yext has 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. 

“Customers today want to know all the answers before they make a decision of walking or driving to a certain place. Yext helps us deliver those answers, and that helps customers choose us instead of our competitors.”
Mai Shi Marketing Lead

The Difference

In 4 months since launching 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 belie 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.

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