Hungry customers are constantly searching online and on mobile to find the nearby restaurant that will satisfy their in-the-moment cravings. For food service businesses, this means they need to be easily discoverable online so customers choose them over the competition. And that doesn’t just mean strong .com, but also effectively managing the information for each of its locations everywhere it appears online.
But in today’s mobile-dominated market people are searching more places than ever, so it’s harder for businesses to manage all of their location information across different sites, maps and apps. Given the competitive nature of the industry and the importance of word of mouth referrals and online reviews, restaurants can’t afford to jeopardise their business with bad customer experiences resulting from bad data – so it’s crucial for food services businesses to invest in a complete, accurate and up-to-date digital presence.
To find out just how crucial digital presence management is for food service businesses, Yext conducted an online survey of 103 consumers in March 2015 to gauge how and why they make the decisions they do about where to eat. And the results were clear.
The most significant finding showed that people search online for food services considerably more than any other business category – almost 90% reported searching online for a restaurant in the past year; retail was a distant second with 66%.
Within the restaurant category, local search is extremely competitive because customers consider so many options. 56% of consumers surveyed by Yext reported considering “3-4 options” when deciding where to dine, and an additional 9% consider “5 or more.” Only 7% of respondents reported considering only one option.
And the information they find online has a large impact on their decision. 84% of respondents said that when deciding between restaurants, the amount of information online has “some” or “significant” influence on leading them to a restaurant destination.
The high frequency of consumer search, the intensity of competition between restaurants and the significant influence online information has on the consumer choice of restaurant destination means food service brands can’t afford to ignore the effect that a strong digital presence has on getting customers through their front door.
For more information on the results of this survey and a detailed break-down of how food service businesses can adjust their digital marketing tactics accordingly, download the full whitepaper here.