Attracting Customers to Restaurants by Promoting Experience

BY Rachel Cagle
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"While Americans are addicted to the convenience that mobile devices offer, new research from Vixxo suggests that more consumers prefer to slow down and enjoy the in-​restaurant dining experience over online ordering and delivery services." By promoting the experience their restaurant provides over the convenience of their services, restaurant owners can fulfill their goals of attracting customers to their restaurant.

Attracting Customers to Restaurants Using Experiences

A recent study by Vixxo revealed that 62% of Americans would prefer to eat inside a restaurant than order takeout or delivery. Every single demographic surveyed shared this opinion. With carry out and delivery services offering the convenience of ordering out from the comfort of consumers' own homes, it's safe to assume that the majority of restaurant diners prefer the experience of dining in a restaurant over the convenience of ordering out. So, when attracting customers to restaurants, it's a safer bet for owners to focus their promotional efforts on the dine-​in experience, rather than the convenience of their take-​out and delivery operations.

What makes for the best dine-​in experience? First and foremost, the menu is what influences 51% of Americans to choose which restaurant to order from. "Overwhelmingly, the quality of food is the main factor in determining why consumers pick a particular restaurant when dining out (46%)," reports Vixxo. "Consistently delivering quality food also keeps customers coming back: 39% say it's the most important reason they choose one restaurant over another."

But that same quality and consistency could also be experienced by take-​out and delivery customers. Attracting customers to restaurants based on dine-​in experiences needs a marketing plan focused on qualities such as the restaurant's atmosphere and the friendliness and professionalism of its employees. That is what truly separates the dine-​in experience from eating at home. Some restaurants also offer a broader dine-​in menu compared to what can be ordered for take out or delivery. This can also be a huge factor when customers decide to dine in.

"Meeting consumer expectations for a good dining experience matters more than ever because the research revealed consumers are dining out more, and spending more, than a year ago," says Vixxo. 43% of those surveyed agreed that they are dining out on a more frequent basis than they have in the past. For 56% of American consumers, that means that they dine in at restaurants a minimum of once or twice every single week. Attracting customers to restaurants has never been a more profitable endeavor for restaurant owners. But they need to realize that experience is the main driver of sales, not convenience.

As tempting and appealing as the dine-​in experience can be, younger Americans will not choose to dine in at a restaurant unless it is affordable. So, it's important to also highlight the affordability of a the place when attracting customers to restaurants. Owners also need to know who to direct their advertisements toward. Vixxo found that diners below the age of 18 will almost always prefer takeout and delivery options over dining in, so the marketing team should target consumers ages 19 and older. Also, women were found to value their dining experience more than men, so ads focused on dining in should target women while takeout and delivery ads should be more focused on male customers.

A great way to showcase dining experiences to Frequent Diners is to show them. 71.1% of Frequent Diners spend a minimum of three hours every day watching TV, according to AudienceSCAN, and last year, 72.2% took action after seeing a TV commercial.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. In addition, AdMall contains industry profiles on fast-​casual, full-​service and quick-​serve restaurants, as well as lead lists at the local level. Media companies, sales reps and agencies can access this data with a subscription to AdMall from SalesFuel.