There’s no getting away from it: the restaurant and dining industry has a tough road ahead.
A perfect storm of labor shortages, rising costs, and supply chain issues has created an extremely difficult operating environment. Brands will need to be careful when addressing these challenges, doing so in ways that avoid dampening what valuable consumer demand there is.
In such an unpredictable landscape, how can (and should) restaurant and dining advertisers plan ahead? Here are three places to start:
Thoughts differ on whether inflation will affect the restaurant category in 2023. While some research shows consumers want to cut back on dining out, other sources, including consumer surveys, indicate the opposite. This suggests that consumers may trade down from more expensive, “fine dining” establishments and instead turn to lower-priced options like quick-serve restaurants (QSRs) and fast-casual outlets. As a result, getting people in the door will cost a bit more, but once they’ve come through, you should invest in retargeting and retention strategies to get them back and increase frequency.
In 2020, many consumers embraced food and grocery app adoption for the first time out of sheer necessity. Now, two-to-three years on, it’s an ingrained behavior. To take full advantage of this, advertisers should put a spotlight on their apps—give them some dedicated attention—and ensure they are meeting consumers’ in-app needs and expectations. In doing so, diners will be more likely to download it, use it, and, over time, develop brand loyalty.
Moving forward, balancing in-store versus online will be increasingly important. Digital ordering campaigns are currently experiencing higher average order values (AOVs), meaning you’re getting more bang for your buck when you invest in advertising strategies designed to get consumers to order online. Both restaurants and consumers are expected to continue to rely upon digital ordering in 2023, so it would be prudent to have online-first strategies in place across the board.
Want to learn about some of the macro trends affecting digital marketing more generally? Check out our 2023 Trends Report to stay ahead of the curve as you plan for the year ahead.