Coupon In A Booklet, With A Deal, Best Restaurant Ad

According to a research initiative by the National Restaurant Association and LivingSocial to study consumer perceptions related to restaurant operator marketing practices, among restaurant operators who had used various marketing communication forms to prospective consumers, 94% rated TV ads very or somewhat effective by the largest proportion of respondents, beating out email effectiveness by four points. Additionally, promotion forms that were felt to be effective by the operators ranked as follows.

Effectiveness of Restaurant Communications (% Restaurant Operators Saying Very or Somewhat Effective in Increasing Overall Revenue)


% of Respondents

Ad on TV


Email to consumers


Ad in local paper


Brochure/menu on doorstep


Coupon booklet


Social media post


Ad on radio


Brochure/menu sent by mail


Email by daily deal provider


Ad on Internet


Rewards program




Source: NRA/Living Social, May 2012

The online survey of consumers was fielded in February 2012, followed by a telephone survey of restaurant operators from February to March 2012.

Considering consumers’ recollection of marketing communications from restaurants, 75% of adults said they recalled seeing a television advertisement for a restaurant in the past six months. Recollection of other marketing communications was lower, with 56% indicating they had seen a restaurant coupon in a booklet, 55% remembering a restaurant newspaper advertisement, and 47% reporting they received an email directly from a restaurant. Only 24% reported seeing a restaurant post from social media like Twitter or Facebook.

  • 77% of women said they recalled seeing a restaurant television ad more than men (72%). Women were significantly more likely than men to remember receiving a restaurant coupon in a booklet, receiving an email directly from a restaurant, seeing a website for a specific restaurant, receiving an email for a restaurant from a daily deal provider, and seeing a restaurant post from social media 
  • 61% of adults said that restaurants identified them by name when sending email directly to them “very often” or “often.” 48% of consumers recalled that rewards programs through credit cards, airlines, or other groups (such as American Express or United Airlines) identified them by name. Younger adults were more likely than older adults to say that restaurants identified them by name using various marketing methods 
  • 73% of adults reported that restaurants that emailed them through a daily deal provider and restaurants that participated in a coupon booklet offered a specific savings or deal to eat at a particular restaurant. 52% indicated that a brochure or menu left on their doorstep offered a specific savings. Adults 54 and under were more likely than individuals 55 and over to recall specific savings offered for restaurants through doorstep delivery.
  • 31% of consumers said that a website for a specific restaurant they searched for online offered reservations capability, and 30% recalled the ability to make reservations when receiving communications through a rewards program
  • When consumers were asked to what extent they would “welcome” various marketing communications from restaurants, 80% of adults said they welcome a restaurant coupon in a coupon booklet. Almost three-quarters welcome a brochure or menu from a restaurant sent in the mail

More women considered marketing communications to be effective in encouraging them to learn more about a restaurant than did men. Women (91%) were more likely than men (80%) to say a restaurant coupon in a coupon booklet was “very” or “somewhat effective” in motivating them to learn more about a restaurant. 85% of consumers indicated that a restaurant coupon in a coupon booklet would encourage them to consider going to a restaurant followed by 80% who said an email from a restaurant would do the same.

Television advertisements, reward programs, Internet ads, and radio advertisements were considered more effective to influence patronizing a restaurant by younger individuals 18 to 34 years old than older adults 45 and over.

88% of consumers indicated that a specific savings or deal to eat at or order from a restaurant would encourage them to learn more. Another 83% said a customized savings or deal based on what they like to eat would motivate them to learn more, and 88% of consumers indicated that a specific savings or deal would encourage them to consider going to a restaurant followed by 82% who said a customized savings or deal based on what they liked to eat would do the same.

49% of adults indicated they decided at what restaurant to eat or from what restaurant to order solely, while the other half specified they made the decision jointly with others. Men were more likely than women to decide at what restaurant to eat or from what restaurant to order independently. Women were more likely than men to make a restaurant selection jointly with others.

For more information and to access the complete report in PDF format, please visit the NRA here.



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