March 2, 2022

5 Thoughts for Restaurant Marketers in 2022

Justin Worster leads’s Restaurants Vertical team, which works to develop advertising solutions that meet the unique needs and challenges of restaurant brands. Below Justin shares five thoughts for restaurant marketers in 2022, on topics ranging from online ordering, to sustainability, to customer loyalty.

Justin Worster
Justin Worster
Vertical Lead – Restaurants & Senior Performance Strategy Manager,
5 Thoughts for Restaurant Marketers in 2022

Online ordering is down YoY but still remains strong

In 2022, some consumers have opted to save money by cooking at home or cutting down on their dining out, but the majority have maintained their takeout habit from the pandemic. While online orders are down 10-15% year over year from 2021, online order volumes are still up 70% compared to 2019! This makes the online ordering audience a sizable group that restaurant advertisers cannot ignore as they shift focus to dine-in. Despite higher margins on on-premise dining checks, there’s volume to be found in the off-premise demand.

Advertising tip: Promote your brand’s online-ordering options within your ad creative, or better yet, include an “Order Online” CTA within your brand’s video ad unit to offer a seamless consumer experience.

2022 is the “Year of the Plant”

2022 will be the “Year of the Plant” more so than any previous year. We anticipate restaurant brands to catch up to other industries with a focus on sustainability and green initiatives. Plant-based menu items have grown in popularity but seeing them at large restaurants will become more of a rule than an exception in 2022.

Advertising tip: Use video creatives across CTV and digital spaces to educate consumers about plant-based menu items and their protein source. Additionally, integrating real-life testimonials from diners will be crucial in winning new customers and converting loyalists to plant-based promoters.

Investing in customer loyalty programs pays off

Not only is sustainability top of mind, but loyalty is too. Restaurants of all sizes have recognized the value of the repeat customer and have quickly developed loyalty programs and/or mobile apps to keep these consumers close. We recognize that loyalty members visit restaurant locations more often and spend more than non-loyalists. According to the Paytronix Annual Loyalty Report 2021, there has been a 6% increase in spend per check among loyalty vs. non-loyalty guests and loyalty programs have been shown to consistently boost visits and spend by 18-30% per enrolled member. Yum! Brands reports a similar trend, with Taco Bell’s Rewards Program leading to an increase in overall spend of 35% for active customers vs. their pre-loyalty purchase behavior.

Advertising tip: Apply a strategic audience targeting strategy to reach loyalists, stagnant customers and those who have not yet signed up for programs in order to maximize growth and recurring purchases.

Remote-work professionals are a dining demographic to watch

According to one of our main footfall vendors, Placed by Foursquare, remote professionals remain a valid audience for restaurant advertisers in 2022. Despite working from home, Placed reports that 79-85% of remote professionals visited a restaurant at least once in recent months. While 88-96% of in-office professionals report having visited a restaurant in the same timeframe, the delta between the two is minimal with younger generations. Younger remote consumers are not working from home just to avoid public places—they are visiting restaurants and events at higher rates than older remote professionals.

Advertising tip: Employ a cross-device approach within your ad strategy to reach remote professionals wherever they are working from.

Lunchtime diners are both deal-seekers and digitally savvy

Our internal audience data shows that lunch time consumers are a near equal split between male and female and are “digital deal-seekers.” Those with the highest lift for online ordering during lunch hours are under 40, bring in median household incomes, and work in a service industry. They are full adapters of digital–embracing eCommerce, the gig economy, and choosing to stream their audio and media through subscription services. In their spare time, they seek affordable thrills in theme parks, budget vacations, and happy hours.

Advertising tip: Incorporate offers and discounts within your digital ads to capture the attention of lunchtime diners. Leading with a CTV ad and then following with an interactive experience on mobile and desktop is the best way to reach this digitally-savvy audience.

To learn more about how helps restaurant brands reach relevant audiences through video-driven experiences, contact us here.

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