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Sales in the restaurant industry have grown by more than $300 billion since 2000. How can brands in this thriving industry capture their share of the market? The NetBase 2018 Social Intelligence Report: Restaurants offers tips brands in any industry can bring to the table!

Here are some highlights to whet your appetite:

Creating the Perfect Dish with the Ingredients You Have

Standing out is always the goal, and always a challenge – for any brand. Excelling at the basics isn’t enough when so many other brands do as well. You’ve got to offer a unique customer experience that brings consumers back.

The way to achieve this differentiation is to assess and perfect whatever makes consumers love your brand specifically over others. Since 90% of consumer data is unstructured, you need tools capable of gathering and organizing social intelligence.

What matters most?

Social Listening – So you can understand the topics and concerns shared amongst social consumers. We know from the NetBase Social Media Industry Report 2017: Restaurant Brands that quality of food alone doesn’t keep diners coming back. So you need to find out what does.

Sentiment Analysis – To assess and rank the importance of diner love and hate. Whatever they’re most passionate about is where you need to focus first.

Tools that Combine Data from Beyond Social – This way you can use everything from CRM, call center data, surveys, star reviews and more to understand how consumers view your brand, and what to do next.

Read the report to find out which brand’s differentiation success attracted interest from JAB, the owners of Peet’s, Krispy Kreme, and Caribou Coffee!

Reviews Play a Major Role for Restaurants

Social analytics (and other) tools are necessary to bring data from online reviews into focus. And reviews are restaurants’ bread and butter, as it turns out.

This is the top industry affected by negative online reviews, but Millennials in particular use reviews to influence their dining decisions.

You want to satisfy customers of all ages, of course, but longevity demands grabbing the attention of younger diners – as well as those in their prime spending years – and cementing their loyalty now. This underscores the importance of understanding reviews for your establishment, and your competitors’.

Pro Tip: Remember to include places like Open Table as well as obvious social networks like Facebook and Instagram in your social intelligence analysis. Incentivize influencers to leave positive reviews there and on Yelp so diners will see you’re worth trying when they seek other diners’ opinions. More tips in the report!

Attention to Ambience – Dining Trends

Here’s a juicy morsel to keep in mind: 70% of all restaurants are standalone entities that operate as a single unit. That might be surprising given how much attention chain restaurants receive, but it’s true.

And independent restaurants and smaller chains can absolutely compete with their global counterparts. The way to do so is by using social listening and social sentiment to identify trends in the restaurant space, and assess whether their specific audiences are interested.

For instance, how-to recipe videos are super popular, so could you create your own version of a Tasty video featuring one of your signature dishes?

Or what about partnering with a home delivery service like Sun Basket? This keeps your restaurant top of mind even when diners are cooking at home.

Awareness of trends is a critical part of delivering what consumers want – so don’t hesitate to invest in the tools that help you identify them. If you want to save money, do it by monitoring competitors and learning from their successes and failures.

What other trends are impacting the restaurant industry? Find out – along with when to change strategies, and how to measure your efforts – by downloading the NetBase Social Media Industry Report 2017: Restaurant Brands.

Bon appetit!

Want to know more about how to gather social intelligence? Reach out and we’ll show you how our suite of tools can power your brand in every facet of operations!

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