When QSRs Put Location and Video on the Menu, Diners Drive In

October 31, 2017

Whether they’re locals or tourists, hungry diners are going to pull out their mobile phones to find the nearest place to eat. These in-the-moment decisions are critical for quick service restaurants (QSRs), which often face high competition even within a mile or two of highway. 

To entice customers into their stores, QSR advertisers need to stand out from the competition. That’s hard to do, however, if the brand doesn’t show up in mobile search results or its advertising isn’t eye-catching. Optimizing your marketing for both mobile and local results is a key ingredient for attracting new customers. But another ingredient is just as important: Online video ads can motivate hungry diners to walk through your door.

Location Must be Part of the Advertising Plan

mobile-searches-2.jpgHow much does location matter for attracting new diners? First, it’s important to realize that nearly one-third of all mobile searches are related to location, according to Google. And those searching for restaurants? Google also says that restaurant-related searches overall grew by double digits over the past 2 years.

However, those same restaurant-related searches that include a zip code have declined more than 30% over the same period. Since location requests are no longer specific, advertisers need to consider a viewer’s contextual preference so they can be certain to deliver a video ad at the moment of decision.

Tip: Incorporate adaptive location, time and moment targeting to your strategic market plan. All marketers know what product they are selling and who they want to visit and take action. Having the Who, When, Why, Where and What covered tactically drives actionable insights into what drives customers to visit.

Personalization Drives Sales


Hungry diners also know their favorite foods and dining experiences. The more advertisers understand these interests, the better they can deliver personalized content at just the right moment. Personalizing video ads not only attracts customers to your newest location, but also builds loyalty.

For QSRs, this combination of location, mobile and personalization is highly effective. According to Google, nearly two-thirds of smartphone users are more likely to purchase from companies whose mobile sites or apps customize information to their location.

Tip: Entice diners with personalized video ads based upon season, menu, meal-time, offer and location. Relevancy drives engagement, engagement drives action. 

  • Sightly saw a 600% increase in store visits during Summer 2017 for a cold beverage ad, as compared to snack, happy hour or general branding ads, when exposed during the hottest dayparts to only nearby store locations. 


Most Restaurants Have Yet to Embrace YouTube 

With over one billion users (that’s 1/3 of the internet!), YouTube offers amazing potential for QSRs, especially when you consider that more than half of YouTube views come from mobile devices. That makes it all the more surprising that few restaurants are taking advantage of the platform.

According to a survey by POS provider Toast, just 20% say they use it at all.

  • Sightly performed a content analysis across the top video platforms with content for the Restaurant Industry. YouTube has over 3 billion views in the past 3 years compared to Facebook at 1.1B with Instagram well behind at 106M video views.

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But, beware: This is likely to change rapidly. It seems the industry is catching on to the value of video ads. Toast also found that YouTube has the most growth potential, as 28% of restaurants reported their intention to start using this platform in 2017.

Tip: Get a jump on the competition with Sightly and YouTube Video Ads by supercharging your video advertising strategy with Micro-targeting, Ad Personalization and Adaptive Optimization. Like Search Advertising, it will take more than just being there.

For restaurant advertisers, every passing vehicle is an opportunity. Don’t leave these in-the-moment decisions to chance. Make sure your advertising plan has heaping portions of video ads optimized for mobile search and location, and personalized to your target customer’s preferences.