Updated: Jul 8
Who can deny that every single one of us has a thing for food from low cost to premium dining?
This article debunks the myth of social marketing in the context of the Australian restaurant industry while giving new business owners who are about to jump into the market a general view of this promising yet evolving landscape.
The question of whether restaurant owners should rely on amazing recipes, service quality or strong branding in solid channels to first draw in new customers and then keep them coming back for more is vexed. Before reaching any conclusion, let’s delve deeper into this industry.
Australia is a multicultural nation, embracing more than 270 ancestries since 1945. This diversity ultimately brings up dynamic and ever-changing demographics, lifestyles and customer behaviours that restaurant businesses need to keep a close eye on to develop a strong customer base.
Given the rapid rise of the restaurant industry along with the dynamic of foodie culture, the proliferation of restaurants presents new opportunities for newcomers, whilst adding in much intense competition on their hands.
The annual growth of restaurants stands at 0.2% for the next five years with the total revenue reaching 19 billion in 2020. The figure will rocket to 4% at the end of 2025.
The industry, the mid-range restaurants account for the largest proportion in the revenue earned at 52.3%, followed by premium and low-cost restaurants with an insignificant variance, at 24.6% and 23.1% respectively.
Regarding each territory, New South Wales and Victoria make up the highest percentage of the market share, at 34.4% and 28.9%, which can be explained by the dense population, favourable locations, and lucrative income distribution. Sydney and Melbourne are top locations where most restaurants are located.
Customer trends boosted by social media platforms
Due to consumers' lifestyles, Australian have a preference for mid-tier and cheap restaurants to dine out. Alongside, people’s hectic schedules and health consciousness have become the main drivers for the restaurant owners to position their products and services. Hence, restaurants with a wide range of appealing options for time-poor customers and a focus on health benefits are much easier to induce a number of patrons.
Instagram- How it changes the way we eat
88% of people are impacted by online reviews and comments on social media channels.
Customers who are looking for fashionable restaurants regularly tap into Instagram to search for ideal dining venues. Hence, Instagram has been a must-have platform for restaurants from all sizes to feature their services and build up their customer base.
With more than 375 million posts for #food, 41millions for #drinks, needless to say, Instagram takes the world by visually appealing, enticing images of foods and drinks. No "true" foodie doesn’t count on this platform for dining options.
Zomato.com - Online review site fuels the game
Zomato - a review website - on the other hand, pulls in customers to top-rated restaurants based on heaps of reviews from other customers, proving that word of mouth still plays an important role in customer-making decisions to dine out.
People basically tend to search the name of restaurants and scroll down reviews before popping by. Suggestions on locations enable users to grasp the useful information easily when fussing around with numerous restaurants to opt for. Finding the best restaurants around a specific area is just as simple with a click!
Gone are the days restaurants can stand out by themselves with solely their physical presence. Being on Zomato with a high rating can hopefully drive more traffic for any restaurant.
For restaurant owners, to stand their grounds in the industry, having an unbeatable recipe coupled with top-notch customer services serves as a solid foundation for their success. But it would not be a comprehensive picture without considering the emergence of social media platforms, in which external factors come from customers’ side constantly impose a major influence.
If you are an astute restaurant owner, embarking on social platforms that the majority of your potential customers out there are currently on is a wise thing to do. At the end of the day, the chance of your restaurants being got to know by avid foodies even blows your mind.
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