The data behind “where should we go for dinner?”

Google has recently released a report around the use of smart phones by Australians when they go out to dine.

The Micro-Moments Guide: How Australians Find and Choose Restaurants has some interesting insights and key takeaways for restauranteurs and marketers looking to entice and connect with consumers online.

The motives for search

Trends show that in making a choice consumers are using their phones to look online for places to go, to read reviews and find the location of eateries.

Google’s report uses qualitative and quantitative data gathered from smart phone users across Australia, and they discovered that “66% of smart phone users used their phones to choose where to eat in the last 3 months”.

But the motives behind each user and their search differs depending on a number of factors. These motives and their outcomes are what Google have coined ‘micro-moments.’

Micro-moments are defined by Google as ‘intent-rich moments when decisions are made and preferences shaped’ and refers to the way we instinctively turn to our phones for information to help us make decisions. Brands need to be aware of these micro-mends and tap into consumer behaviours.

Insights we can learn from

Three ‘micro-moments’ were defined in the research;

  • I need a new spot
  • I want the perfect meal
  • I hope we can get a table

Each of these micro-moments can be used to inform the marketing efforts of restaurants and eateries.

I need a new spot moment

Consumers looking for a new place to eat will often use a specific location or a certain style of cuisine in their search. Discovery is key for these ‘I need a new spot’ micro-moments.

Aside from ensuring your business is listed with Google so that people know when you’re open and where you’re located, you also need to be found with a variety of keywords. Be broad, don’t limit yourself to the keywords that every other Italian/ Fremantle restaurant uses.

Try being more specific when describing your location or dining area ‘casual garden setting’ or ‘family friendly’ and narrowing your cuisine to ‘rustic’ or ‘home style’.

I want the perfect meal moment

The report revealed that ‘two thirds of consumers consider more than one restaurant before making a booking’ which means you’re going need to up your game on your website if you want them to choose you.

Make sure you have high quality images of your food, feature up-to-date menus that are able to be viewed on mobile and give the visitors to your site an idea of the dining area and general ambience.

Enabling location extensions in Google allows your business to show up in ‘near me’ searches (no it doesn’t just happen by magic) and enable reviews for positive reinforcement of your venue.

I hope we can get a table moment

Mobiles are frequently used to book tables so having your business listed with your contact number is a must. You may even like to adopt a online booking tool on your website that can be used outside of your restaurant opening hours.

On your website incorporate ‘click to call’ buttons to make it easy for people to get in contact with you. People also need to be able to find your restaurant so its a good idea to have interactive maps along with your address that people can use on the way to your venue.

 

Don’t get left behind

Consumers rely on their phones to make decisions at every point of the day. If you’re in the hospitality business you really need to be making the most of these micro-moments. You need to be there in the search results. If you’re not you simply wont be found.

You can read the full report here.

 

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