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Using Location Data to Drive Foot Traffic to your QSR
Jamie Schlef Wilhelm
Jamie Schlef Wilhelm
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foot-traffic-qsr

Driving foot traffic into restaurants is the number one goal of any QSR. When meal times roll around, you want the crowds in YOUR store – not the pizza place across the street. Consumers have so many choices, especially when you can get almost any snack or meal delivered, so it’s important that marketers are strategic when it comes to driving foot traffic.

Location data can certainly give marketers an edge. It can support TV, radio and digital , campaigns, by giving consumers a very specific call to action to respond to. When a two-cheeseburger deal is advertised across the country, a targeted mobile ad can provide directions to the nearest restaurant to take advantage of that offer. They’ll already have seen the deal on TV or heard it on their drive; now the mobile ad can reinforce the message and tell them where to get those two cheeseburgers now, within blocks of where they are located. Location marketing allows advertisers to serve relevant ads at the right place and time.

Really, nothing beats location data to get customers in the door. There are a number of ways to put it to work through mobile campaigns that drive both new and repeat traffic. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Geofencing: There’s a trade area within which you can expect people to come to your restaurant versus a neighboring franchise of the same brand or a competitor. It’s going to be different for every locale, but if you’re part of a popular chain like Starbucks or McDonalds, you’ll probably have a smaller trade area than, say, Panera or Shake Shack, both of which have fewer stores. Regardless, you should understand your trade area – whether it’s a few blocks or a few miles – and you can work with your mobile marketing partners to create a geofence around that area. Anyone within the designated area, would see your mobile ad.

    While that geofenced area could represent entire neighborhoods within a 10-mile radius, it could also be limited to an office park. If you’re on the street level of a giant office building, making exclusive offers to the other tenants would be a great way to bring people in. Offering coffee break deals to the workers upstairs could attract new crowds between busy meal times, too. By the same token if there’s a nearby gym, and your restaurant has healthy options like smoothies and salads, you could successfully target nearby fitness enthusiasts.

  • Prospecting is another great way to get foot traffic. Getting new customers to try your restaurant leads to increased sales. If there’s a competitor in the area, you can actually target customers who’ve been to their location. By targeting them with offers, you may be able to attract some of their clientele. Offer to accept their coupons or tell them about your email perks or new menu items to try and steal share. This is a great option for restaurants located in over saturated areas. If discounting is not part of your marketing strategy, you could reach out to consumers who have an interest in either your value proposition or the type of food your store offers. For example, if your restaurant proudly uses fresh ingredients, target that message to customers of Chipotle, Tossed or Zoe’s Kitchen. Alternately, promote burritos to customers who frequent other Mexican restaurants in your area.

  • Retargeting works well, too! Instead of trying to find new guests, retargeting allows marketers to reach out to the customers who’ve already been in your restaurant and invites them to dine with you again. Re-engage customers who haven’t been in this week and remind them that they don’t have to cook or do dishes at dinnertime tonight. You can even serve ads to customers who were in this morning and offer them something great for an afternoon snack. Staying top of mind and sending relevant ads is key when consumers have multiple options.
  • These tactics can work really well for restaurants of any size, in any type of location. Well-known chains in big cities can benefit as well as smaller franchises in the suburbs. Solutions like Blis Proximity (geofencing) and Blis Path (prospecting or retargeting) can drive consumers to your door with clean, accurate, precise location data. Contact us to learn how these targeting solutions can help your QSR business gain and keep the lead.

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    Jamie Schlef Wilhelm

    Jamie Schlef Wilhelm

    Sales Manager, US Southeast | Blis Located in Atlanta, GA, Jamie oversees the Blis client relationships throughout the southeast of the US and is responsible for driving new business. Jamie has an extensive background in restaurant marketing as she spent over 10 years in the industry. Prior to Blis, she served as a Regional Marketing Director for Papa John’s.