Success Strategies

How the Humble Mobile Phone is Your Food Business' Ticket to Success

Research shows consumers check their mobile devices an average of 80 times a day, making it no surprise that they turn to their devices when they are hungry too
How the Humble Mobile Phone is Your Food Business' Ticket to Success
Image credit: Pixabay
SVP of Marketing, MomentFeed
4 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

 

Research shows consumers check their mobile devices an average of 80 times a day, making it no surprise that they turn to their devices when they are hungry too. According to a Google study, up to 90 per cent of them don’t have a specific restaurant in mind when they start looking, instead they search for food they’re craving or “Near Me” options.

Since these individuals aren’t loyal to a particular restaurant brand this creates a huge opportunity. Whether you have a single location or thousands, you can use this mobile moment of decision to impact the consumer’s choice and get them through your door.

Just how big is this opportunity? A recent study shows that earning a single additional click-for-directions after a Google Maps search resulted in an estimated $19.59 in incremental weekly sales for casual dining, fast casual and quick serve restaurants.

Better conversion is not just about your website though. According to research, 85 per cent of brand/consumer interactions take place on sites and apps not owned by the brand, such as Google, Apple, Facebook, TripAdvisor and Yelp. This means you must get in front of consumers when they’re searching these sites to impact sales.

But how do you do it? Here are three ways to boost your mobile presence and win the customer:  

Make Location Data Management a Priority

There are three online activities with direct relationships to sales and brand performance:

  • Google My Business ratings
  • Click-for-directions
  • Clicks to a brand website

But all three of these activities do more harm than good without solid location data management. You will lose without a complete Google My Business listing for each location with accurate directions to get the consumer successfully to your door and links to an updated website for legitimacy. At the minimum, optimized listings must include an address, hours of operation and phone number.

This can turn into a management nightmare when you have multiple locations. As consumers can provide feedback on store hours, location, phone number and more, this information is constantly changing, which means you cannot “set it and forget it”. It’s absolutely critical that multi-location brands have a trusted partner to help them with continuous location data management.

Focus on Visibility

To attract more customers and dominate search results, you must go beyond the basics for each location by adding menus, attractive geotagged photos, a compelling business description, and a store locator on your main website with location landing pages across multiple sites.

It may be tempting to gloss over menus, photos and descriptions but don’t. If a consumer is searching for gluten-free dinner options, for example, he or she may be more likely to click on a listing with a menu, or at least “gluten-free” and “entrees” in the description, versus a listing with no information. And, according to Google, business listings with photos receive 35 per cent more clicks to their sites than businesses without.  

When building online visibility, be sure to cover all important networks, including Apple Maps, Facebook, TripAdvisor and Yelp. Individual pages should be consistent across networks as well as with those on your website and your site’s store locator. Google places a high degree of authority on this consistency, and when you’re accurate across multiple sites you’ll come up higher in search results, which means more consumers will see you when searching.

Manage Your Online Reputation

A 2018 survey shows that 91 per cent of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews for local businesses and 84 per cent trust reviews as much as personal recommendations. This means that ratings, reviews and recommendations can increase the likelihood of winning the customer. 

Actively managing reviews by responding to both good and bad can help turn bad ratings into good reviews, set you apart from the competition and improve locations’ visibility with better reviews and more stars. 

By optimizing location data for every restaurant, increasing visibility on the sites and apps consumers are using — Google, Apple, Facebook, TripAdvisor and Yelp — and managing your online reputation, you can boost your restaurant brand’s mobile visibility and improve your sales by putting your locations front and centre in consumers’ (hungry) moments of decision.

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