It’s the menu, not the restaurant!
It’s not the Groupon or the Social Living coupon that drives the hungry to a restaurant.
It isn’t even the restaurant itself, says Hotelmarketing.com. One-third of mobile Wi-Fi users polled said that sales, coupons and other marketing strategies ranked second in influencing where they eat.
You’re thinking location, then? No, actually location of a restaurant placed third in driving dining traffic.
What is “most likely to influence” a diner as to where he or she eats, is the menu. Specifically, menu information in a mobile ad; menu information accessible by mobile.
Half of all consumers, the report says , tried a new restaurant or menu item based solely on a mobile menu ad. And hungry people are apparently willing to drive to a less convenient eatery 75% of the time to order up something that looks good and appeals to them.
We also happen to think menus triumph over restaurants because restaurants don’t change much. They’re bricks and mortar and whatever else. But menus change fast: a new catch of fish; an sudden abundance of fresh produce.
Mobile allows restaurants to announce the menu changes as they occur, catching interested foodies literally on the run and enticing them.
The gap between mobile menu accessibility and other online sources is huge: jwire reports that “consumers choose mobile as a source of information influencing dinning decisions 117% (2.2x) over other online sources.”
What kinds of mobile ads seem to work best?
• Broader restaurant reviews and apps apparently motivate people to seek out a menu or menu item more than branded restaurant ads.
The hungry naturally rely on their mobile devices to steer them to a dining decision while on the road, much more than they do when they’re at home: 83% of the time vs 63% of the time.
And if one were a restaurant marketer, you’d need to know that 51% of the dining public are most responsive to mobile restaurant ads at the beginning of the week. And the vast majority of mobile users (64%) decide on a restaurant the same day. Twenty-eight percent decide a day in advance with 8% deciding several days in advance.
Finally, in a sign of the times, the reliable, familiar Banner Ad drives business to restaurants much less (32%) than do Rich Media Ads, those ads that expand, have interactive content, video, the ability to make a phone call.