A Q&A on QSRs and the customer journey
this morning brought out news about which many in attendance were unaware: Uber Eats is getting established restaurants to create a phantom restaurant in some neighborhoods exclusively for the
app-based food delivery service.
Chris Theilen, media manager for Qdoba Restaurant Corp., told MediaPost’s Search Insider Summit that Uber Eats sees “all types of food that people are
ordering in neighborhoods. So, say, in San Diego, there are a lot of burger orders in the county but there’s a pocket downtown without a burger restaurant. [Uber Eats] is going to restaurants
and saying, ‘Okay, you guys are a pasta restaurant, but coudn’t you guys make a phantom restaurant for us and make burgers exclusively for Uber Eats?’ They are creating pop-up
restaurants to serve a need.”
This revelation came at the end of a session designed to pick apart the way that search is involved in the customer journey. Theilen told Steve Gibson,
client director of search for Canvas Worldwide, that, often, search gets overlooked in the restaurant space, which is focused on branding versus some of the traffic that search is driving.
“Restaurants are not looking at getting people to take digital action,” Theilen said. “Online delivery is growing. As people are looking for delivery, we’re making sure they
Back in the mid-2000s, when he worked at Red Robin, “we would report on cliCMS to the website, clicks on the menu page. But that doens’t translate into, Did
that person walk into the store? Now, we can pull that into our reporting on marketing spend versus foot traffic.”
Restaurant discovery has evolved not only with Yelp but
with delivery partners like DoorDash and GrubHub. Consumers are discovering restaurant through those companies’ apps. They’re ooking for the path of least resistance. They tap a
couple buttons and get food delivered to their door, bypassing the duopoly of Google and Facebook.
Search is figuring out how users use these platforms, making sure we’re being
found. QSRs like Qdoba are looking at who is bidding on their terms and which online ordering platforms are coming in. “We either have that restaurant on our service or a competitor
When consumers search for a certain keyword and see generic ad copy that comes up for company as a whole, they won’t click on it. The best thing is to make sure of the
user’s intent and to tailor ad copy to make sure to leverage that.
Restaurants don’t know how best to leverage the Uber Eats, etc. “These people are taking a margin of your
check. Do you see that as being held hostage or do you see it as an opportunity to be there when people scroll through the available restaurants,” said Theilen.
As consumer behavior
changes, QSRs will have to evolve, he said. If someone has a regular order, “we must make it easy for them to go on our app, click and have it ready in 10 minutes. Our biggest opportunities are
with digital platforms To make sure the journey is seamless.”