The past 14 months have been tumultuous ones for the restaurant industry. Data from the National Restaurant Association (NRA) shows that sales were down $240B in 2020, and the industry is still 1.8M jobs below pre-COVID levels. As the restaurant industry strives to recover, new data from the Radio Advertising Bureau and the NRA shows what radio can bring to the table to help.
RADIO ADS IMPACT DINERS
According to the NRA, off-premises consumption is important for driving restaurant industry growth in 2021 and beyond. New research from the RAB shows just how valuable radio can be to restaurants looking to increase web engagement. The RAB conducted a NumericOwl analysis of over 131,000 radio ads from nearly 250 restaurant advertisers in 2020 and found that radio advertising drove an incremental +5% lift in web traffic for food establishments. Results were even higher among pizza (+12%), fast food (+11%), and formal dining (+8%) restaurants.
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RESTAURANTS READY TO RECRUIT EMPLOYEES - RADIO CAN HELP
According to the NRA, 70% of restaurant owners have a positive outlook on general economic conditions in the next 6 months. Restaurant operators are feeling buoyed by consumers' stimulus payments, increased vaccination numbers, easing restrictions, and the potential return of tourism, which have all led to recent sales growth.
With the return of customers comes the need for food industry workers. The number of restaurant industry jobs is still well below pre-COVID levels, due to changes in operational structures, as well as the extension of unemployment benefits through the American Rescue Plan. NRA data shows that employee recruitment ranked #2 among restaurant operators' top challenges facing their business in March, second only to the coronavirus.
Radio is a valuable media partner for restaurant operators looking to recruit employees. Radio is the #1 reach medium, engaging consumers across demographics. Radio can activate in the markets that restaurant operators need it most. Radio places advertisers inside communities, on stations listeners trust, and it has been shown that consumers take action, both online and in person, when they hear radio ads.