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Keeping up with the joneses: How and why to track your competition

According to restaurant industry trends, competition is a major challenge in the restaurant industry with 47% of operators expecting it to intensify in 2023. The food service industry is expected to continue in its growth, and in such a competitive market, restaurateurs need to remain informed to stay ahead of their competition. Restaurants that stand out among their competition ultimately get more customers and keep up their sales despite the challenging market that they are operating in. This article explains how to monitor competitors in the restaurant industry and why it is essential.

What is competitor monitoring?

Competitor monitoring involvestracking competition in the industry, including other restaurants operating at a similar scale or with similar cuisine. Direct competitors are those with similar products, services, target audiences, and pricing strategies, while indirect competitors have different products and services but similar target audiences. For example, indirect competitors for restaurants could include popular bakeries, food delivery services, or grocery stores. Monitoring indirect competition can provide additional insights and ideas that could be used within the restaurant’s marketing strategy.

Restaurants should track their competitors to stay informed about the latest sales and marketing initiatives, including successful influencer marketing strategies for restaurants or marketing campaigns, which they can then employ themselves. Tracking competitors also helps restaurants stay updated on industry trends, allowing them to focus their efforts on counteracting challenges that may arise. Furthermore, monitoring competitors allows restaurateurs to identify and assess any visible shortcomings in the competitors’ strategies, which they can then employ in their own operations.

Why should restaurants track their competitors?

  • Knowing the latest initiatives
  • Staying updated on the latest sales and marketing tactics will keep restaurants competitive and thriving.

    Whether this is through witnessing the success of influencer marketing or a particular marketing campaign, restaurateurs can see what the latest strategies are and employ the ones that are working well for their competitors, including a stellar restaurant marketing plan. This will also ensure that the restaurant consistently appeals to its target audience and stays ahead of the game.

  • Staying updated on the general restaurant industry trends
  • There may be operational difficulties that restaurants are encountering that have more to do with trends in the industry rather than the restaurant’s service or marketing. Staying updated on the competitors will ensure that restaurateurs are aware of the ongoing trends in the industry so that they know where to focus their efforts to counter the challenges that they are facing.

  • Stand out from the competition
  • Keeping track of the competitors will allow restaurateurs to assess any visible shortcomings in the competitors’ strategy which can indicate what they could employ within their own restaurant in order to stand out. For example, if there is any mistake a restaurant seems to be making that is hindering their business, restaurateurs can learn what to do differently with their own operations.

How to begin competitor monitoring

  • Identify the competition
  • The first step is to identify who the competitors are that restaurants would like to stay updated on. This includes both direct and indirect competitors that seem significant in targeting the same audience. As mentioned earlier, indirect competitors can also be outside the restaurant business and include other businesses that have services relevant to the industry. The operational team that covers this aspect must identify the competitors that are relevant to the restaurant which they must keep track of.

  • Assess the platforms to cover
  • There are various platforms to consider when employing this strategy including social media platforms, influencer marketing, review platforms, websites, email marketing, etc. The team in charge of competitor monitoring must narrow down what platforms they would like to cover before proceeding. This will help focus and organize their efforts with identified goals on what they would like to achieve with their strategy.

  • Select the information for analysis
  • Once the platforms are chosen, the data points that will be viewed can be explored. For social media, this can include follower count, social media posting timelines, content, etc. For review platforms, this can include star rankings, recent reviews, advertising, photos, descriptions, etc. There are different metrics and components depending on the platforms chosen. Email marketing, for example, can include the marketing strategy of the chosen competitors. Choosing where to focus their efforts will help narrow down the strategy and goals as well.

Learn more about competitor monitoring and restaurant industry trends at Primi Digital. We’re a restaurant marketing agency that offers a complete competitor monitoring service during our weekly client reports to help your restaurant thrive.

Book a consultation today.

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