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The Top 5 Restaurant Digital Marketing Trends of 2018 [Infographic]

Posted by Erin Burris on 5/13/17 8:00 PM in Restaurant Marketing

2 minute read Print

restaurant digital marketing

In 2017, restaurants will engage in more digital marketing and advertising initiatives than ever before.

If your restaurant doesn’t follow suit, you could be missing out on a prime opportunity to reach new and existing customers.

From posting enticing food photos on Instagram to spending ad dollars on local search ads through Google, the restaurant industry is embracing the world of digital marketing. Below are the top 5 restaurant digital marketing trends your business should be aware of.

For insight on all of the restaurant industry’s outlook on marketing, advertising, and social media in 2017, download a free copy of the Toast Restaurant Success in 2017 Industry Report!

restaurant digital marketing

The Top 5 Restaurant Digital Marketing Trends in 2017

1. Sponsored Social Media Posts Rise Up

In 2017, sponsored social media posts overtook community/event sponsorship as the most popular form as restaurant advertising.

Overall, there was a 20% increase in restaurants advertising on social media compared to historical numbers.

2. Facebook Remains Social Media Queen

73% of restaurants named Facebook as their most-used social media channel, distantly followed by Instagram at 18%.

These findings also revealed only 4% of restaurants do not use social media.

3. Ad Spend Isn’t Stopping

84% of restaurants will either spend the same or more on advertising in 2017.

Additionally, the number of restaurants who intend to spend no money on advertising decreased by 25% in 2017.

4. The Surge of Search Engine Ads 

Search engine advertisements on sites like Google and Bing dethroned direct mail advertisement to become the 4th most popular choice of restaurant advertising.

These online ads saw an increase in usage of 36% in 2017, while direct mail saw a 6% drop in popularity.

5. Snapchat Slow to Grow

Only 16% of restaurants are currently using Snapchat for their business, with no restaurants in the survey naming it their preferred social media channel.

YouTube will be the most newly-adopted social media channel in 2017, with 27% of restaurants intending to start using the site this year.

What Does This Mean For Digital Marketing in Your Restaurant?

Given the rising usage of social media and digital ads in restaurants, it's important for restaurants to evaluate the role this type of marketing could play in acquiring new customers and maintaining relationships with existing ones. 

For more insights on restaurant digital marketing, download the Toast Restaurant Success in 2017 Industry Report!


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Written by: Erin Burris

Erin Burris is the Marketing Designer at Toast. She lives in a world of pixel dimensions, hex color values, and typography. When she’s not in Adobe Creative Suite designing graphics and building color palettes, she’s most likely watching travel vloggers and baking tutorials on YouTube, inspired to capture adventures and experiment with new recipes on her own.

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