It’s mind blowing how food businesses have grown to celebrity status so quickly in recent years. Multi-location food brands like, Shake Shack & Chipotle, and smaller local places like MGrill in Los Angeles are the Go-To destinations for hungry people. They have perfected the science of creating long lines and turning customers into raving fans.
Many things have contributed to the success of these businesses. But, one thing that these restaurant brands have in common is how they take advantage of Sponsored Ads (online advertising) on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Google Local Search.
And more importantly, HOW they use Sponsored Ads – the answer? they used Sponsored Ads to grow their customer list.
Today, I’m going to share FOUR (4) crazy restaurant statistics and how the future might not look so good for some businesses in the food industry, and how the statistics actually isn’t about what these celebrity restaurant brands are doing, but what the rest of the businesses AREN’T doing.
So, without further ado…
Less than 1% of Restaurants are actually running online advertising campaigns
Wait, really? Why?
- They don’t care about online marketing & advertising – Restaurant owners, especially older restaurant owners, don’t see the point of Facebook, Instagram, and Google. They’ve been some-what successful with coupon books and local print ads, so they’re thinking they will get the same results with online ads…
- They only do regular Facebook and Instagram posts – this is a statistic I learned recently and I will cover it later on in this article.
- They don’t have time – Restaurant & food truck owners just don’t have the time. Most local restaurant owners are actually doing the daily work; taking orders, cooking, cleaning, accounting, training workers, saying no to advertisers…
- They don’t have the money – The food industry margins are getting smaller and smaller, and their ad spend is staying the same or getting more expensive. Like the first point, they’re already spending money on old & slow print ads, they don’t want to spend more on online ads. PLUS, hiring an online advertising expert, full-time, is really expensive.
- FINALLY, they don’t have the knowledge – The online advertising space is more than just pretty images and words. Online advertising is a new technology. There are many technical features that people actually need to learn before even attempting to start a campaign.
If most restaurants are not advertising online, the only thing restaurant-goers are seeing are the restaurants that are advertising on their Facebook News Feed, Instagram Feed, and Google Local Searches.
So, when it’s time for them to choose a place to eat, they’re going to choose a place that they’ve been exposed to over and over again.
Here’s another crazy statistic by Bright Local:
84% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations for dining decision
Growing online reviews take time, but there are ways to grow it faster. Successful restaurants are using email, text messages, and online advertising to reach out to their recent customers and literally ask them for HONEST reviews on Google & Yelp, obvious right?
But if restaurants don’t have a customer list how are they going to contact them after they leave the restaurant? That’s when these viral restaurants float to the top of their game… They are doing what most restaurant owners aren’t doing, growing their customer list through Sponsored Ads and contacting them.
57% of customers are now ordering food online, on websites and apps, and getting it delivered or picking-up.
As mobile phones become more integrated with businesses, ordering food online is growing at a rapid pace. According to Toast Tab…
Customers are quickly adopting opportunities to order food online using apps like Door Dash, Uber Eats, and Grub Hub. The food industry is following this trend to make this available to their customers by joining these apps, or even making their own app.
BUT how are these viral restaurants so successful compared to most?
This goes back to the first statistic (Less than 1% of Restaurants are actually running online advertising campaigns). If customers don’t know that ordering online is even available, customers aren’t going to order from that restaurant.
Online advertising and reaching out to customers on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Google Local Search using Sponsored Ads gives these restaurants an advantage when it comes to customers having the right information to make the right decisions.
Moving on to the last statistic of the day in reference to Statistic #1 point number 2… this is something most people are unaware of, even among people who are “tech savvy.”
Less than 2% of followers of a page will ever see the post on Facebook and Instagram
Restaurant owners are confused between POSTING on Facebook and ADVERTISING on Facebook. Posting is just a regular post people put on their restaurant’s Facebook page, and less than 2% of followers will see that posts. Advertising is actually paying Facebook to SHOW these special posts to only potential or current customers.
While most restaurant owners are trying to grow the likes and followers on their Facebook and Instagram accounts through daily posts, the smart ones are actually advertising and not only building likes and followers, but also getting customers to choose them when it comes time to eat.
I want to end with this. Sponsored Ads on Facebook, Instagram, and Google Local Search is not for every food business. Food businesses need to be prepared to start using paid online advertising or else they’ll end up wasting a lot of money, and that’s what these viral restaurants are hoping for…
If you are or you know a restaurant owner who’s super successful with online advertising, now you know why…
And if you’re a restaurant owner who is not successful with online advertising or is thinking about online advertising, then there’s a quick quiz you can take to find out if your restaurant is ready to start doing Sponsored Ads on Facebook, Instagram, and Google Local Search.
If you’d like to share any other statistics or any comments or suggestions about this post, feel free to leave a comment below!