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Report Reveals How Restaurants Can Win Millennial Marketshare

For a restaurant chain, capturing your share of the local market demand is about more than just displaying address, phone number and hours of operation on your website. Customers are increasingly looking for a compelling reason to choose where they dine. 

The availability of promotions, reviews, photos and menus plays a critical role in whether consumers decide to visit your restaurant. It’s a trend that’s being driven, in particular, by Millennials. This group of over 77 million consumers represents a $200 billion annual opportunity for the restaurant industry, and this will only grow as their spending power increases over the coming years.
Recent Nielsen research found that 20 percent of Millennials dine out at least once a week, often visiting chains like McDonald’s, Applebee’s and Chipotle Mexican Grill. If restaurant brands like these want to win at a local level, Millennials are a key group to target—but what Placeable’s research found that Millennials want meaningful content, and lots of it.
Placeable asked what types of content Millennials want to see on a restaurant chain’s website, and found that they expect more than just the address, phone number, and hours of operation. Millennials are expecting to find the following information about each of your locations:
Menus – 64 percent
Reviews – 53 percent
Promotions – 49 percent
Photos – 24 percent
This is a generation of consumers accustomed to having access to information whenever and wherever they want it—so omitting it from your own website is a costly mistake. The key takeaway for restaurants: Placeable found that 68 percent of Millennials are less likely to go to a restaurant that’s missing critical content online. Can you afford to miss out on this business because you’re providing inadequate information?
While restaurant brands generally know that they should have their own branded local experience, many have not invested in their own websites by creating web pages for each location. Instead, restaurants have disproportionally focused their digital marketing spend on ensuring that online directories have basic location information. Directory-first approaches yield web traffic to third party sites, not yours, and provide exposure to competitors. The approach also limits traffic to your own site and hinders your ability to provide the rich and engaging web content that Millennials and other diners demand.
A recent local search for a national restaurant brand brought me to a Yelp landing page. The only photo available for this major pizza powerhouse was of a toilet—located right next to the brand’s logo on the page. This is a branding failure for the restaurant location—but given the nature of these third party sites—it’s a stark reality. The key is winning the search results with your own branded pages, where you control not only the content, but also the overall customer experience. It is much easier to guarantee that content is on-brand and promoting the right messaging if that content is on your brand’s own site. And with the right tools, even reviews from Yelp and other sites can be displayed right on your own website.
 In order to achieve greater online visibility, increased foot traffic, and accelerated sales growth, restaurant chains must provide content-hungry Millennials with the targeted local promotions and informative content they desire. The key to this is investing in your own branded local web presence to gain higher page rank results, as well as provide an optimal customer experience—that you control.
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