Regardless of industry, the customer's decision making process generally involves the same steps. In the restaurant industry, it goes somthing like this- awareness (they're hungry), consideration (they're researching what to eat, likely on a mobile phone), and decision (they've decided where to eat).
Understanding the fast casual customer's decision-making process and what factors influence it, is how we marketers can better reach them. Analyzing each step in their buyer's journey provides insight into the consumer's reasoning and can inspire us to take action to address any hesitations. It also allows fast-casual restaurants to position themselves in prime locations in order to be there for potential customers during the various phases of the buyer's journey.
Nestle Professional recently published a report that explored the factor's influence a person's decision to choose a fast casual restaurant as well as their expectations. We pulled together the highlights in the infographic below.
So, how can you utilize this information? Tailor your marketing campaigns to demonstrate how your fast casual restaurant is doing these things. Post high-quality photos of your food on Instagram. Be sure to talk about the new items on your fresh, seasonal menu. Utilize inbound marketing techniques and publish a blog that talks about the nutritional benefits of certain foods. Use Facebook to promote and deals you have going on. Monitor Yelp or other review platforms to make sure your customer service is living up expectations.
There are many ways you can use this information to your advantage. Get creative!