In the constantly evolving landscape of the restaurant business, digital marketing has emerged as a crucial tool to ensure survival and prosperity. The year 2023 witnesses a paradigm shift in restaurant digital marketing strategies, with a substantial lean towards digital platforms to attract and retain customers, as evidenced in the recent data presented by Toast.
Specialized Marketing Roles Gain Prominence
As the competition intensifies with over a million restaurant locations sprouting across the U.S, proprietors are acknowledging the potent role of digital marketing in carving a niche in the cluttered space. According to the latest figures, a significant 34% of restaurants have onboarded specialized personnel solely to spearhead marketing initiatives. Encompassing promotional strategies and social media management. This conscious allocation of resources accentuates the growing indispensability of digital marketing in the restaurant sector.
Social Media Advertising: The Go-To Strategy
In a bid to tap into the extensive user base that social media platforms offer — with 79% of Americans sporting a social media profile — an overwhelming 67% of restaurant establishments are investing in paid advertising on these platforms. The ease of use and affordability render social media advertising an attractive choice. Not to overlook the opportunity to connect with audiences instantaneously from smartphones.
Instagram’s Ascension to a Marketing Behemoth
Instagram has emerged as a force to be reckoned with, tracing a steep growth trajectory in the restaurateurs’ preferences from a mere 18% in 2017 to a staggering 78% in 2019. The platform’s visually immersive nature presents an ideal canvas to depict the culinary delights and vibrant team spirits. Harnessing the attention of half a billion daily active users globally. The remarkable reach and visual appeal that Instagram assures are too significant for restaurateurs to overlook.
Facebook Maintains Its Dominance
While Instagram is swiftly climbing the popularity ladder, Facebook retains its crown as the premier choice for restaurant promotions. Even with fluctuating trends in recent years, due to algorithmic changes affecting the visibility of business posts, 91% of restaurant owners reverted to Facebook for business promotions in 2019. With some even forgoing a website in favor of a Facebook page. However, restaurateurs are urged to calibrate their strategies cognizant of the gap between their perceived influence of Facebook on diner decisions (38%). And the actual influence reported by diners (28%).
The Undeniable Influence of Online Reviews
The diners’ path to choosing a restaurant is considerably influence by personal recommendations and online reviews. Holding sway over 88% and 35% of diners respectively, according to Toast’s report. Restaurateurs are encourage to be diligent in managing online reviews. Considering that a one-star augmentation in Yelp reviews potentially escalates revenue by 5-9%. As demonstrated in a study by the Harvard Business School.
As 2023 unfolds, restaurants are acutely leveraging digital platforms, from social media juggernauts like Instagram and Facebook to online reviews. To carve out a distinct identity and foster deeper connections with the diners. The new marketing frontiers beckon restaurant businesses to explore, and innovate. As well as effectively utilize digital tools to capture attention and cultivate a loyal customer base in an increasingly competitive landscape.
Businesses must stay abreast of the fluctuating trends and leverage them optimally in their marketing strategies to ensure that they remain in the forefront of customers’ minds, and on their dining tables. It is an age where digital dynamism is not just an option. But a prerequisite for success in the culinary world.