Restaurant Visits Surge During the Holidays


We’ve written about how retailers can boost sales this holiday season. But stores are not the establishments that can get a lift from the millions of shoppers taking to the streets between now and Christmas.

Think with Google reports that restaurant owners should be primed for a traffic increase as well. According to a study Google conducted with Numerator, 72% of the top 25 highest sales days for restaurants in 2018 were in November and December. And for the last five years,  “restaurants near me” has been the most popular “near me” search.

But of course diners are not going to just flock to your doors. Here are two of the ways Think with Google (TwG) suggests restaurant owners attract more customers this holiday season.

1—Mobile. A staggering 89% of research about where to eat (before going to a restaurant) is done via smartphones. That means you must have accurate listings in all the business directories, such as Google My Business. TwG says think of your listing “as a digital front window for your restaurant. In addition to standard information, like hours, directions, and wait times, highlight offerings that are unique to your restaurant.”

2—Target the deal-seekers. Black Friday and Small Business Saturday have come and gone. And since the National Restaurant Association reports 72% of Black Friday shoppers visit either a full- or quick-service restaurant while they’re out shopping, you should have seen a boost this past weekend—though much of the country had inclement weather. And TwG adds they know “shoppers are even more engaged on their phones during prime deal days, since mobile searches for “best deals” have grown by over 90% in the past two years.”

They recommend restaurants target these shoppers using hyperlocal ads, which TwG says “allow marketers to tap into a range of Google’s properties to reach potential customers. The campaigns help promote restaurant locations in local search results and on Google Maps, in addition to other properties, when people are exploring what’s around them.”

If you’re located in a shopping or strip center, with neighboring retail stores, perhaps you can join forces and host a joint event or just promote each other’s businesses. We know consumers will be out in force over the next few weeks; make sure your restaurant takes advantage of it.


Shopping stock photo by LightField Studios/Shutterstock