Google analyses reveal that among top ‘near me searches’ on its platform, ‘restaurants near me’ comes top. The implication is that more people are using the mobile phones to search for where to place order for food or park and refuel more than ever.
Hence as the Christmas season begins this week, that number is bound to increase. According to the search engine numerator, “of the top 25 highest sales days for restaurants last year, 72% of them occurred in November and December”.
Why? More people will be on-the-go, stay late at work to wrap up the year’s work, and arrive home late with the option of eating out or placing order from nearby restaurants to save themselves added stress.
For savvy restaurant owners that is some big chunk of business. To tap the opportunities, Google advises the owners of food cafes to:
a. Key into the mobile frenzy – The search engine reports that “89% of dinning research prior to visiting a restaurant is done via smartphone”. Mobile has become an integral part of the sales drive and overall customers experience because users now turn to their smartphones to plan their meals. Creating a portal to showcase available menu should form the core of restaurant marketing in this age. Likewise, the growth of online payment and home delivery networks provide a strong incentive to drive the strategy by adding key buttons that convert queries into sales.
b. Drive more promotions around deal seeking days -Shoppers are more engaged on their phones during deal-seeking days such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Going by indicators, mobile searches for ‘best deals’ have grown by more than 90% since 2017. Also 72% of Black Friday shoppers visit either a full or quick-service restaurant while shopping, according to Google. Restaurant owners are therefore advised to drive more ads around these period to generate leads that ultimate turn to sales.
c. Watch out for what is really happening offline – Restaurant owners are further advised to monitor how their online activities are impacting on total store visits and sales. The owners should look for how timing and frequency of online activities influence customers. Questions to ask include: How effective are promotions run around certain time belts such as morning, noon, or evening? Are more people visiting in the morning or at other times? Is there a need to repeat ads all over again for a certain number of time to get the right results? By experimenting across time belts and frequency while observing the impacts, restaurant owners will get to pick the best time and frequency to adopt for maximum yield.