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The Importance of A Restaurant's Digital Presence in 2023

In the restaurant industry, having a robust digital presence has gone from a supplementary luxury to an essential part of success. With increasing competition and shifting consumer behaviors, the way your restaurant appears online can significantly impact your business.


The 2019 MGH Restaurant Survey provides some startling statistics that underline the importance of a strong digital presence for restaurants. And while those statistics may seem outdated, because the COVID-19 Pandemic skews many digital statistics due to quarantine, they're a great representation of where the market will be when not in lockdown. Let's take a deep dive into these numbers and explore how your restaurant can harness the power of digital platforms to overcome challenges and thrive in 2023.


1. Online Ordering and Delivery

Statistics:

  • 45% of U.S. diners say they order food online at least once a week.

  • 30% say a lack of delivery would prevent them from ordering food.

Actions:

  1. Implement or Improve Online Ordering: Ensure your website is equipped with a seamless online ordering system.

  2. Partner with Delivery Services: If in-house delivery isn't viable, partner with third-party delivery services to meet customer expectations.

2. Social Media Influence

Statistics:

  • 45% of diners tried a restaurant for the first time based on a social media post.

  • 22% avoid a restaurant due to negative comments on social media.

Actions:

  1. Build and Maintain a Strong Social Media Presence: Regularly post engaging content and respond promptly to comments and messages.

  2. Address Negative Comments Professionally: Turn a negative into a positive by addressing issues openly and offering solutions.

3. Online Reviews and Ratings

Statistics:

  • 57% of diners rely on online ratings when picking a restaurant.

  • 32% check Google ratings, while 26% consult Yelp.

Actions:

  1. Encourage Positive Reviews: Provide incentives for satisfied customers to leave positive feedback online.

  2. Monitor and Respond to Reviews: Acknowledge both positive and negative reviews, showing a commitment to customer satisfaction.

4. Restaurant Loyalty Programs

Statistics:

  • 26% of diners would avoid a restaurant if it didn't have a loyalty program.

Actions:

  1. Create or Enhance a Loyalty Program: Implement a digital loyalty program that rewards repeat customers.

  2. Promote the Program Online: Use your website and social media channels to spread the word and sign up new members.

5. Mobile Optimization

Statistics:

  • 70% of restaurant website traffic is via a mobile device.

  • 40% of diners say they would avoid a restaurant if its website isn’t mobile-friendly.

Actions:

  1. Optimize Your Website for Mobile Use: Ensure your website is fully functional on mobile devices, including online ordering and menu viewing.

  2. Utilize Mobile Marketing: Consider mobile-specific advertising and promotions to reach your audience where they are most active.

6. Email Marketing

Statistics:

  • 59% of diners have subscribed to restaurant email newsletters.

  • 32% have unsubscribed due to excessive emails.

Actions:

  1. Implement a Balanced Email Marketing Strategy: Create valuable, engaging content without overwhelming subscribers.

  2. Segment Your Audience: Tailor content to different segments of your audience to keep the material relevant and engaging.

Conclusion

The statistics from the 2019 MGH Restaurant Survey paint a clear picture: a strong digital presence is not only a competitive advantage but a necessity for survival in 2023. By understanding and adapting to these insights, restaurants can cultivate a loyal customer base, attract new patrons, and maintain a positive online reputation. Your restaurant's digital strategy should be a living, evolving entity, responsive to changing trends and customer needs.

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