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7 Restaurant Marketing Trends to Watch in 2024

7 Restaurant Marketing Trends to Watch in 2024

The year is starting to come to a close which means, 2024 is right around the corner. Companies are bringing forward their data they’ve been conducting to show what is likely to come in the next year. To give you a taste of some of those insights, these are the trends that were gathered that will shape restaurant marketing in the coming year. Spoiler alert: Personalizing the guest experience is a common theme.‍ 

Keep scrolling to find out what everyone’s buzzing about.  


1. AI 

‍Now that AI tools like ChatGPT are widely accessible, restaurant marketers will spend less time on tedious tasks like writing email copy or social captions and more time segmenting audiences, testing, and learning. 

‍AI will supercharge marketers’ creativity and help maximize their output by turning simple prompts into relevant, attention-grabbing headlines, body copy, and CTAs they can easily refine to match their brand’s voice, tone, and style.‍  


2. Automation 

‍Brands will use restaurant marketing automation tools to lighten their load and drive sales across channels. By leveraging automated triggers, filters, and time delays, marketers can make every message feel personal to each guest.‍ 

The key will be finding ways to positively influence guest behavior as they move through the lifecycle—such as incentivizing dine-in guests to order online—and using automation to drive them further down the funnel to habituation.  


3. Personalization 

Restaurant marketers will use first-party guest data to tailor communications and promotions to individual preferences, order history, and behavior. Why? Because 71% of consumers expect brands to deliver personalized experiences and 76% get frustrated when they don’t.‍ 

By incorporating personalization into campaign strategy—including channel, audience segmentation, targeting, and messaging—marketers can boost ROI, sales, visit frequency, and overall guest engagement.  


4. Guest Data Platform 

Many restaurants will invest in a Guest Data Platform—sometimes referred to as a Customer Data Platform (CDP)—which connects all types and sources of guest data into individual profiles so they can sort, analyze, and act on those insights instantly.‍ 

With a GDP, restaurants will be able to more effectively market to 100% of guests—not just loyalty members—and create conditional messaging flows that turn one-time visitors into regulars.  


5. Lifetime Value 

As more brands discover that 60% of their revenue is driven by 20% of guests, restaurant marketers will begin to use guest lifetime value (LTV)—the estimated profit generated by each guest based on recency, frequency, and spending—to inform their retention and acquisition strategies.‍ 

With LTV, they’ll be able to do things like: 

  • Determine which channel, offers, and messaging have the highest ROI potential 

  • Build segments to ensure all guests become more valuable over time 

  • Create lookalike audiences to reach potential guests who behave similarly and share the interests of high-value guests 

  • Promote and incentivize behaviors high-value guests are known to exhibit 


6. Gamified Loyalty 

Some restaurant brands will level up their loyalty programs with gamification to drive engagement, awareness, and sales. These fun challenges reward participating guests with points, prizes, free food, etc.‍ 

For example, Olo helped Denny’s launch a gamified rewards program that provides guests with monthly offers and personalized challenges that unlock never-before-seen rewards (e.g., visit four times in one month for a free Grand Slam breakfast).


7. Short-Form Video Content 

Demand for short-form video remains sky-high—66% of consumers consider it the most engaging social media content. As such, restaurants will continue to use TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube to boost awareness and engagement, especially among younger guests.‍ 

Short-form videos can be a powerful acquisition and retention tool for restaurants when used strategically. In the new year, expect to see top brands leveraging short-term video for things like LTO teasers, brand challenges, behind-the-scenes tours, dish prep, team member intros, and user-generated content. 


Key Considerations Before Jumping on a Trend 

Before jumping on the trend train, it’s important to remember no two restaurant brands are exactly the same. What works for one may not work for another. ‍  

For example, 


  • Data: If your brand is at the start of its digital journey, you may simply need data that is accessible and usable (in other words, a CRM).  

  • Social media: If your high-value guests live on TikTok, short-form video could be your sweet spot. But if they don’t, you’ll want to focus on growing a following on the social platform where they—and prospective guests who behave like them—actually spend their time.‍  


To determine which trends will yield the best ROI for your restaurant brand, you must consider your unique business needs, goals, budget, guest experience, operations, marketing team capabilities, etc.


Source: Olo