Total Restaurant Industry Visits are Down but These Brands see a Major Spike

Total Restaurant Industry Visits are Down but These Brands see a Major Spike

By Kerri Adams, Editor-at-Large

The consumers’ smart phone obsession has created a world where brands can engage, track and target their customers better than ever. With the location data that can be pulled from these remarkable devices, restaurant operators can measure in-store customer visits, while tracking ROI.

Location-based actions (LBAs) are when guests share their dining experience on social media with a “check in” on Facebook, Foursquare and other social media platforms. These actions document a guest’s in-store visit, while broadcasting their visit to their followers. This is exactly the kind of organic conversations you want from your customers. It's also a way to measure if your restaurant visits have increased or decreased. 

Through Foodable Labs and data pulled from the Restaurant Social Media Index (RSMI,) a proprietary system of our sister company DigitalCoCo– we track over 151 million US social restaurant consumers across 17 social platforms. With over 21k restaurant brands and 507K US store locations indexed, Foodable has just pulled the second quarter data (for the months of April, May and June) for 2016. 

In terms of LBAs, the number has dropped to 344 million from the 369 million in the first quarter. “This is the biggest hit we have seen in the last four years in tracking location based actions for the restaurant industry,” said Paul Barron, founder of the Restaurant Social Media Index. 

Interestingly enough, the top 10 brands and some other leading brands had an impressive increase in LBAs. 

 “What we are seeing are less occasions so the brands that are dominating social and creative media campaigns are gobbling up the competitors traffic which has slowed for some brands. Unique winners like Taco Bell, Arby's, Jersey Mikes and Tender Greens are seeing the most impact from the consumers who are eating out,” said Barron.

Let’s take a closer look at how some of the top 10 brands are encouraging these LBAs with effective social campaigns. 

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Reaching the Right Guests: The ABC’s of Location-Based Marketing

Reaching the Right Guests: The ABC’s of Location-Based Marketing

By Brian Murphy, Foodable Contributor

Ever-changing methods of marketing in the hospitality industry are only going to get more powerful — and more challenging. The use of mobile technology opens up a virtually endless wealth of information that can be quite useful to managers and owners, though methods and tools require time to keep up with the pace — time that often just doesn’t exist. 

Technology and data is often baffling for independents that don’t have the funds to pay someone to handle their marketing. And when the choice between drilling into data is competing with planning today’s menu, the latter will likely win. 

Larger players in the market often have a better handle on data, but don’t always know how to proceed with it. As a result, they fall short when it comes to interacting with both existing and potential guests. Guests are tech-savvy and see through many attempts of restaurants trying find a solid place in guests’ social media feed.

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Why a Social Media Index with Domain Expertise is Crucial to Your Restaurant

Why a Social Media Index with Domain Expertise is Crucial to Your Restaurant

The social consumer and what they seek is the key to any great social connection, but many brands are failing with this connection. However, the most recent results from Q4 2013 reveal some insights that show brands like Chipotle, Buffalo Wild Wings, Subway and small wonder Tijuana Flats are hitting some home runs in location-based traffic in a time when other brands are facing a downturn in traffic and transactions.

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Google Patents New Ad Technology to Literally "Drive" LBAs

Photo Credit: Google

Photo Credit: Google

Removing barriers from location-based data is becoming more popular. Apple’s iBeacon and DigitalCoCo’s VenueBeacon are prime examples of this, measuring actionable data from a restaurant consumer without them having to directly drive that location-based action themselves (i.e. a direct check-in). Of course, Google is taking things a step further to stay on top of the game. The tech giant has just patented a way of targeting restaurant consumers with online ads through location-based marketing. Basically, marketers will be paying close attention, all through big data and smartphone GPS tracking, to consumers’ habits and preferences. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg: Through these ads, from restaurants and other businesses, consumers will receive free or discounted taxi rides to the restaurant or other business being advertised. Read More