Ask virtually anyone connected to the restaurant industry—senior executive, marketing manager,
franchisee, general manager, even chef—and they’ll share one universal frustration: the job of
building and sustaining a successful restaurant business is growing more challenging every day.
For marketers, the pressures are particularly acute. While they contend with the same customer
trends and competitive demands that keep their colleagues up at night—How will a new offer
perform if we have to publish calorie counts on our menu? How can I compete against new,
nimbler competitors migrating from other categories?—they must go about their work while the
very nature of marketing is changing all around them.
Driven largely by the proliferation of customer data and the emergence of new, disruptive
technologies, marketers are increasingly expected to support more promotional channels while
providing for a consistent, personalized guest experience. They’re being called on to maintain
real-time promotional responsiveness while providing their organizations with deeper insights
into guest behaviors, desires and preferences. And, yes, they’re increasingly having to do it all
within the parameters of budgets and calendar demands that change little from year to year.
This white paper, the results of which are grounded in an intensive research effort that included
online and telephone surveys of over 200 restaurant industry thought leaders, aims to help
restaurant marketers better understand the developments that are pacing true innovation in their
industry. Developed with the sponsorship of The Coca-Cola Company and Fishbowl, it will show
that restaurant industry leaders are increasingly leveraging investments in data and technology—
as well as coordinated “omnichannel” marketing strategies—to drive real and lasting competitive