Popping into a nearby eatery with a friend or an acquaintance is always fun. Traditionally, it has been one of the commonest ways of bonding and catching up for conversations, not to mention the delicious delicacies that make the experience even more amazing.
This activity continues to be visible. It is just that the way consumers now locate nearby eateries, has changed. Yes, it’s all digital now. And it is by looking up online, that consumers explore food joints. And with countless food joints brands having opened up today, it is all the more beneficial for consumers to check them out online first, and then choose the one that they’d like to visit.
So, while this has increased choices and simplified decision-making for consumers, how are Food & Beverage (F&B) brands and businesses evaluating it? Let’s take a look.
As it stands, the online ecosystem is presenting a fantastic opportunity for F&B brands and their outlets to attract consumers using cost-effective digital capabilities. F&B outlets today, have the ability to build unique digital listings such as Google Business Profiles, and become easily discoverable on search engines, with improved search rankings. And with the amount of competition that is prevalent in F&B today, it is all the more critical for them to stand out and build strong consumer associations.
It is not just the chains of established brands, that compete. It is also the local and smaller F&B joints, which are capable of becoming a part of this race, with a strong focus on digital accessibility, food quality, and overall consumer experience. To strengthen their hold with consumers in close proximity, food joints consider various tactics through which their offerings can form a connection with consumers’ tastes, and help them establish a strong positioning.
So, with digital tools now being easily accessible, food joints can prepare and solidify their profiles and build an image. For instance, in today’s F&B space, Reviews & Ratings make a massive impact. People want to know what other people have felt about an outlet, and accordingly proceed. So, in addition to information like address, contact number, business hours, home-delivery options, and menu, outlets need to display and manage their reviews well, as that plays a vital role in decision-making at the consumer’s end. And, to continue offering a positive experience, joints must pay special attention to any negative review on their digital profile, to ensure that they can eventually change the consumer’s perception.
Enhancing the experience, F&B outlets can also activate automated chats on their digital listings, and answer various questions that can assure consumers and influence decisions in an outlet’s favour. In essence, the idea is to offer value-driven engagement which motivates consumers to be confident of visiting the place and find a pleasant experience. As digital technologies advance, it becomes easier for business locations to embrace consumers in brand new ways, and expand growth opportunities through delightful consumer journeys.
While digital profiles and engagement through chats are great, F&B joints today also have the option of taking digital engagement one-step further, by building eCommerce-enabled location-level web pages. These pages can serve as an extension of a joint’s identity and further add to a consumer’s positive experience. On these pages, joints can run discounts and campaigns as per local tastes and also promote some of their renowned dishes, for beneficial business outcomes. For instance, if an F&B brand’s outlet is present in the Northern part of the country, it can promote spice-oriented dishes, while an outlet belonging to the same brand, can promote lemon-oriented delicacies. Such targeted promotions for specific audiences enable F&B joints to make stronger connections with consumers and unlock business opportunities.
The popularity that F&B as an industry holds cuts across age groups and other demographic parameters. We all love to try different kinds of food items and for various F&B brands, small or big, digital capabilities have turned out to be quite a boon in bringing consumers closer to mouth-watering delicacies. Technology has simplified the way F&B outlets can attract consumers, delight them with impressive quality, and make a long-lasting impact. The way times are shaping up, it will be more and more interesting to see how F&B brands, restaurant owners, and local eateries will leverage digital capabilities, deliver fulfilling consumer experiences, and transform their business horizons.