7 Marketing Metrics Every Restaurant Owner Should Know

Restaurant Marketing

7 Marketing Metrics Every Restaurant Owner Should Know

Restaurant Marketing


At $603 billion a year in revenue, and close to 2.3 percent annual growth, the restaurant industry is booming, according to the market research report Global Fast Food Restaurants, released in March by IBISWorld. Make no bones about it, it’s an exceptional time to be a restaurateur.

With that said, however, no growing industry comes without its fair share of challenges — one of which of course is stiff competition. With more people dining out more frequently, there’s been a serious increase in restaurants popping up seemingly out of nowhere, eager to fuel this growing trend. The only way to stay on top of your game is to adopt digital restaurant marketing.

If your business is one of them, you know that it’s important to stay ahead of the curve: That way, you can continue to serve up the dishes you love, to the people who love them. To help you do that, here is a list of some important metrics and trends for you to keep a close eye on.

1. “Instagram-worthy” fare: food so pretty, customers will want to take a picture

Chances are, you’ve seen them: posts on Instagram, the social media platform that boasts on average half a billion users on a monthly basis.

Well, it just so happens that Instagram is helping the restaurant industry make a massive amount of money. Shake Shack, the burger place, practically made its name on social media. It exploded onto the scene, driving engagement via great photos and skillful commentary.

Goldman Sachs analysts explain that Shake Shack is 100 times more successful on Instagram than McDonalds, which seems extraordinary because Shake Shack has 63 U.S. locations, to McDonald’s 36,000!

This seems largely due to Shake Shack’s backing up the quality of its fare: quality in its ingredients and quality in its social media interactions.

Instagram’s heavy influence on restaurants’ success, in fact, has motivated many to take an “Instagram-worthy” approach to food creation — plating food that doesn’t just taste great, but looks great too.

So, get in on this trend: Encourage your patrons to take plenty of pictures and hit the “follow” button on Instagram.

2. Increasingly focused restaurants

In previous years, restaurants made a serious effort to be everything to everyone, and that worked. But today, people’s tastes are rapidly evolving, and a plate of cheeseburger and fries . . . just isn’t cutting it. Customers want to experience ethnically diverse foods, healthy foods, experimental cuisines — you name it.

This is why restaurants are getting more and more focused, creating specialty foods that cater to a select few people’s interest.

So, in 2017, recognize that it’s better to create a menu that offers super spicy Thai food than one that serves BBQ, pizza and cheeseburgers.

3. “Sorry, we don’t take reservations.”

It’s a phrase nobody likes to hear when calling into a hot spot, in hopes of reserving a table. So, why are restaurants all over the world instituting a “No reservation” policy? Because people aren’t showing up.

According to OpenTable, the world’s leading provider of online restaurant reservations: “The no-show rate in the U.S. is approximately 20 percent lower than the no-show rate for diners who book via phone.”

Recognize that many restaurants are now moving to a first-come, first-served policy and reaping rewards because of it. Chances are, if customers show up at your restaurant and are faced with a 20-minute wait, they’re going to stick around and have a drink.

4. Restaurants on wheels

Back in 2015, as reported by IBIS World, the food truck industry cashed in at $1.2 billion in revenue, with a total increase of 12.4 percent over the previous five years; it’s been going through the roof ever since.

Restaurants with stand-alone locations are starting to make the jump to adding a food truck that’s on the go at all times (though, in some cities, food trucks are less popular).

With that said, however, even if the mobile food industry is booming in your area, you may want to think about whether it’s smart to load up a truck and start rolling.

5. Rewards for regulars — treating them like royalty

More and more restaurants are implementing loyalty programs in hopes of keeping their regulars coming back. Restaurants’ current customers spend a massive 67 percent more than new customers. So, it goes without saying that those loyal customers are the real fuel restaurants need.

The simplest way to implement a customer loyalty program? With a punch card. Restaurants, though, are getting innovative and increasingly moving to digital customer loyalty programs. FiveStars is an example of a digital customer loyalty app that quite a few restaurants have adopted.

No loyalty program at your restaurant? Time to think about one.

6. An enhanced dining experience through interior design

Instagram highlights the importance of taking photos in restaurants. InfoTrends‘ most recent worldwide image capture forecasts that consumers will take 1.1 trillion photos worldwide in 2016 and that number will grow to 1.2 trillion photos in 2017. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2016 to 2017 will be 9 percent.

Importantly, “photos” goes beyond food. It’s become more and more important for restaurants to create experiences where customers want to take pictures. While food is the biggest issue, of course, the interior design and aesthetic and atmosphere at your restaurant’s atmosphere also count.

7. Where the money is: that email list

If you’ve previously been skeptical about email as a tool for promoting your restaurant, here are a few statistics to change your mind:

Before the digital age, running a successful business was all about location, location, location. But today, businesses have the opportunity to get in touch with anyone anywhere, as long as they have an email address.

Consider: If 1,000 of your customers decided to share their email address while dining at your restaurant, and even just 5 percent paid you a visit every time you sent out an email, that would be 50 tables you could count on. Not a bad ROI for an email, right?

So, build up your email list, and see the customers swarm.

How to utilize these metrics and trends

If your restaurant is alive and thriving, it’s a safe bet that your food is tasty. But, today, tasty food is not enough. In order for a restaurant to remain profitable in 2017, its owner has to commit to ramping up his or her marketing — whether that be with Instagram, a new interior design, a food truck, an email list or a new loyalty program.

There is no wrong answer here (as long as you are utilizing one or more of the metrics/trends above). The only wrong answer? Choosing to do nothing at all.


On – 20 Jul, 2017 By Nital Shah

Here’s the Game Plan You Need for the Holiday Shopping Season

Here’s the Game Plan You Need for the Holiday Shopping Season


In the retail world, fall is synonymous with holiday prep.

Shoppers have already begun filling out their gift lists, and this means that something you sell is probably on it.

So how can small retail businesses keep up with the demands of holiday shoppers without going bust, ignoring current customers, or missing opportunities to snag new business?

The key is to have a great strategy before the holidays even start.

Check out these 5 Tips for Turning Seasonal Shoppers Into Loyal Customers


Have a Plan and Stick to It

The busiest shopping days of the latter half of the year are fairly predictable: Black Friday, Super Saturday (the last Saturday before Christmas), and, of course, Christmas Eve.

It’s not enough to only plan for the busy days and forget the rest. It often seems that holiday shoppers start as soon as the weather turns cold, which means that your holiday strategy can’t focus solely on the one or two days before major holidays.

The best strategy is one that covers you through peaks and dips in sales on a weekly basis. Whatever strategy you come up with, it’s best to stick with it, even when times get busy. Select one or two people who will be responsible for watching your website and someone who can be responsible for watching in-store trends as they happen.

Track Your In-Store and Online Analytics Daily

The sooner you can catch shopping trends and adjust your marketing to match, the better.

Online this is fairly easy to track. If you notice a spike in interest for certain pages, products, or orders, you can quickly create offers or advertisement and post on social media.

For in-store retailers, this won’t be as blatantly obvious, but you can still track the number of people that come through your store and make purchases with your daily sales numbers, notice popular items that sold, notice what didn’t sell, and adjust your in-store (or even online) marketing accordingly.

The trick is to do it on a daily basis. Don’t wait for the end of the week once you’ve put two and two together to create a sign display or send out a tweet. Doing this more frequently will not only help you take advantage of peak sales, but also help you notice periods of slow sales and adjust accordingly.

Promote Deals for Loyal Customers During Slow Times

New customers are great, and you will probably see your fair share of them during the holidays, but don’t forget about your loyal customers that are faithful to buy year-round.

During times of slow sales, be sure to focus on those customers in order to keep that loyalty. While you still want to come up with special deals and offers for new customers, having something special for your regular customer base will help keep sales steady.

Don’t forget to take advantage of the slow times to clean and organize your store (and website) and review your strategy and analytics to see where you can make adjustments.

Use Last Year’s Data to Boost Sales

The holidays are the main time of year when shoppers aren’t buying products for themselves, which makes marketing more difficult. One way to overcome this is by looking at your sales from last year and identify where and how they have diverged throughout the current year.

For example, if you’re a restaurant or bar that sold quite a few bottles of wine during the holidays last year, but have noticed those sales drop in favor of gift cards, you can target your marketing toward promoting gift cards to continue the trend.

Or, you can combine sales tactics to reach more people. Using our example above, you could sell specific gift cards for bottles of wine. The key is to target the demographics that have had a positive buying record over the last 6-12 months.


Use Social Media and Social Trends

The holidays are also a time of socializing, and many physical and online retailers can take advantage of this in a few ways.

Social media can certainly drive online sales and should be used as a part of any marketing campaign during the holidays, but it can also be used to drive in-store sales by promoting in-store events and offers.

If you don’t have any specific on-location events planned, consider scheduling some. You will still want to target these events to certain consumer bases (your loyal shoppers, new shoppers, older shoppers, younger shoppers, etc.). Don’t be afraid to use these events to focus on connecting customers with your brand and with each other.

Develop a Rewards or Referral Program

Rewards programs provide a great incentive to buy year-round, but they’re extra effective during the holidays when customers are looking to save money. Programs like “Buy 10 sandwiches and get the 11th free” can boost sales in a few ways:

Customers can save money on their own purchases, especially if the program started before the holidays and they can use their savings on holiday purchases
Customers can give those reward benefits to their friends and family as (or alongside) a gift

This can also give you a step up above your competition that might not offer programs like this for their loyal customers. The plus side is that they’re also relatively inexpensive to set up, which is great for businesses looking to save money on marketing.

Likewise, referral programs are equally valuable for gaining new customers while rewarding loyal ones. There are many options to a referral program – you can reward with cash or offer discounts or free products. Referrals are also a great way to keep customers coming back even after the holidays are over.

Promote Online Shopping But Don’t Ignore Your Store

A large portion of holiday shoppers is switching to shopping online, which you don’t want to ignore. It’s best to take advantage of this by offering some form of discount or promotion for those who come to your website.

If they can’t purchase a product online directly from your site, they should at least be able to print out a coupon (or download to their phone) and come into the store to use it.

You also want to make sure you don’t ignore your in-store shoppers in favor of online shoppers, however. In a blog post on FTI Journal, Christa Hart, senior managing director of retail and consumer products at FTI Consulting, said that in certain product categories — appliances, furniture, food and groceries — the majority of consumers prefer to shop in-store.

Even for apparel and footwear, more than half of consumers surveyed by FTI prefer in-store shopping.

This means that your physical location is still relevant to your customers. To maximize profits, your best bet is to target both online and physical shoppers.

Here are 5 strategies for turning holiday income into year-round revenue

Final Thoughts

While the holidays are a busy time of year for many retailers, they can also be great for the bottom line. When it comes to creating a strategy to win customers over, you can never start too soon.

It’s best to come up with solutions for marketing both online and in-store, and to stick to that plan and measure your metrics on a daily basis during the busy times.

During slow times, use reward and referral programs to win new customers and bring discounts to your loyal shoppers. And always be tracking trends from the last year to assess which areas of your business will continue to see an upswing during the holidays.