Restaurant Leadership Conference 2023
This year’s Restaurant Leadership Conference did not disappoint. With an air of optimism, brand leaders look to a positive future where food service sales are expected to pass the $1 Trillion mark for the first ever, according to Technomic. Traffic is still a challenge and brands are realizing the important role that marketing, more specifically customer data used by marketing, plays in the brands overall success. Several brands referred to the idea that their loyalty programs are working, but they are rewarding (read- discounting) their best customers and that loyalty members are only a fraction of their complete customer base.
At DataDelivers we’ve long seen loyalty programs as having a place in the marketing strategy but are not the only answer to understanding customer behavior and encouraging repeat visits. For example, our Guest Connect program develops an alternative marketing audience of known customers as large as long-existing loyalty programs.
Another interesting take-away from the conference is the modern route to the CEO job is not likely to come from finance. These days the path to the corner office travels through the marketing department and those marketing leaders who understand and appreciate the value of IT have the most success. The convergence of marketing and IT within the CEO role demonstrates the importance of data in understanding and reaching new and existing customers. This is no way downplays the value of operations, as we all know the food must be good and the experience positive. It does show that the future will be won by those who have the clearest picture of their customers and can apply those insights across all areas of the organization.
And this is definitely music to our ears!