, Australia

10 marketing trends for quick service restaurants

By Mia Sisko

As a quick-service restaurant owner, it is important to know how to keep your business afloat. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit and affected the foodservice industry, the need for QSRs to adapt to digital marketing became more evident than ever.

With digital transformation, restaurants can pivot to different market conditions. If you are in the food and hospitality industry, it is not enough to just rely on local advertising. Social media, SEO, email marketing, and third-party apps are helpful tools to create an online presence and customers.

Here are the 10 digital marketing trends that restaurants should start to adapt:

1. Online ordering and payment
By transitioning online, customers now do not need to go to the restaurant to find out the menu. They can access it now with just a few clicks on their smartphones. Mobile-friendly websites with payment integrations are a must for the foodservice business owners in today's fast-paced world. 

2. Online visibility
The internet has become part of a person's day-to-day life. From researching information, and entertainment, to shopping and dining, we rely on an internet search. The internet is an online marketplace. If you do not put your business in there, customers will not find out about your place. 

About 77% of diners check restaurants' websites before dining or placing orders. By optimising your website for online visibility, there is a greater chance that your restaurant will be seen by a wider audience. More exposure means bigger income potential.

3. Social Media Engagement
On average, people spend 2 hours and 30 minutes on social media every day. Restaurants should be active on various social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. These channels have millions of users a day and 80% of those users follow a brand or look up a business and products online. 

Social media marketing can boost a restaurant's credibility online. By creating high-quality content and interacting with customers, you are building trust and brand awareness. 

4. Email Marketing and Newsletters
Email marketing is a cost-effective way to attract potential customers and boost revenue. It has been around for decades yet business owners are not using it to its true potential. Placing a sign-up form on your website page is an effective tactic to keep engaged and reach your customers.

You can send updates, relevant content, menu additions, special offers, and coupons to your email subscribers. This will boost brand recognition and increase loyalty. Sending emails helps you nurture leads, retain existing customers, and improve your branding.

5. Google Ads
Google is the biggest internet search engine. Advertising on Google is an effective way to increase brand awareness. By putting your business out there, you are reaching potential guests in your target location. 

Google Ads appear on the top of the first page of Google search results. If your restaurant is displayed in that space, searchers will see your business. This generates traffic and clicks - leading to orders and sales. When using Google Ads, ensure that you have a well-designed landing page, the right keywords, great content, and proper geotargeting.

6. Business Listing Directories
Restaurant directories allow foodies to search for information about restaurants and dining options. Popular directory and review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor list businesses and highlight ratings and customer experiences. 

Making your QSR business pop up in search results gives you an advantage over your competitors. Getting your business listed in various directories increases your online exposure, making your business information easily accessible by internet users.  

7. Food Delivery Service
When online ordering becomes a trend, both older and younger generations are now becoming accustomed to technology. Going to a restaurant's website, browsing the menu, placing an order, and making payment are all done in just a few clicks from a smartphone.

With this, customers also expect online orders for food delivery. Instead of going to the restaurant's location to pick up their orders, they just wait for the food to arrive at their doorstep. Restaurants should be able to offer this service or partner with a third-party delivery service to send the orders to the customers. 

8. Instagrammable Pictures
Food photography is one of the popular trends in social media today, especially on Instagram. Restaurants should ride this trend to attract more customers and drive traffic to their websites. Take "instagrammable" and appetizing photos of the foods. 

Make the images stand out and build positive connections with your customers. Post your signature dishes, ask for customer feedback, and spread the word about your food business. 

9. Writing Blogs
They say content is King! Content marketing is an effective way to establish thought leadership in your industry. By creating a food blog and sharing informative and interesting content with your audience, you are grabbing the attention of your potential customers. Blogs also help improve organic search and SEO. Write short blogs about your company updates, new menu, promos, and food experiences.  

10. Influencer Marketing
Influencers are people who have a huge number of followers. People look up to them for ideas, trends, and business suggestions. Connecting with food influencers is proven to generate a 32% conversion rate for food businesses. 

By getting in touch with food influencers and critics, you are also reaching their followers and advertising to them. This gives you a wider and more targeted audience. When food influencers recommend your business, there is a higher potential for customer growth.

Wrapping Up
Without a digital marketing strategy in place, your business growth will be slow and worse, collapse. At Clover Marketing, we review your existing marketing strategy and analyse certain factors that could be hurting your business. Based on your current performance, we tailor action-based digital marketing campaigns to increase your brand presence and attract more customers to your business. 

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