There’s no doubt that the way restaurants are both run and experienced has forever changed. What was once a juggling act of seasonality, food costs, and labor wages has morphed into a whole new set of challenges and opportunities. Virtual brands, ghost kitchens, new digital tools for everything from delivery to how the door is run—all working in tandem to help restaurants surmount the peak of the pandemic.
Underneath all this rapid evolution across the restaurant industry lies an ever-growing mountain of data of customer likes, new behaviors, and business trends. Using aggregated data from 2,000+ restaurant locations running Wisely’s CRM, marketing automation, waitlist, reservations, and sentiment technology—Wisely compiled five counterintuitive insights visualized in the infographic below. The study includes how restaurants can leverage each insight to best engage guests at every stage of the consumer journey—ultimately supporting their return to growth.
The research reveals that restaurant guests seeking a sense of normalcy are willing to dine at what used to be off-peak hours and in smaller groups. It also shows that guest preferences have shifted towards wanting more convenient ways to interact with restaurants from wherever they are, emphasizing the importance of a remote waitlist, more email communication from brands (not less), and a quick way to provide feedback.