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Restaurant Digital Ads in the Time of Coronavirus

Restaurant Digital Ads in the Time of Coronavirus

The Coronavirus pandemic has forced restaurants to pivot rapidly. 

Small restaurants and large chains alike have had to take up ‘contactless’ delivery methods

Many restaurants have shifted their digital ad buying to reflect new delivery options, often using Ad-Tech to insert the nearest location into the advertisements. Others are using a completely new creative approach. 

MediaRadar took a look at how restaurants have changed their ad spend and creatives in response to Coronavirus. Here are our findings. 

We encourage you to subscribe to our blog for the latest data surrounding the advertising industry. We will provide daily updates as COVID-19 continues to make its mark on the US economy.

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Contactless Delivery: A New Way to do Hospitality 

Contactless delivery is a new way of delivering food that was born from COVID-19. 

It’s simple: Restaurant and food delivery service employees wear gloves and possibly a mask or disinfected jacket while delivering food orders. The employee sets the food at the door and backs up to a safe distance for the recipient to grab their boxed up food. 

There is no exchange of money or contact. These protocols are set in place to establish the highest level of hygiene. 

The approach to contactless delivery varies: some businesses are using simple telephone orders and others are using delivery services like GrubHub, Seamless and Uber Eats.

Yelp, in partnership with GrubHub, unveiled a new ‘contact-free’ delivery feature to their website to help local restaurants more easily communicate if they have take-out or delivery options.  

Take-out and delivery are the only ways for restaurants to survive this crisis, so what does this mean for their advertising?

MediaRadar Insights

  • Last year during Q2 restaurants and bars spent almost $1.2B on advertising. Overall, restaurant ad spending took a hit in Q1 of this year. 
  • If we look at the week of March 1st to the week of March 8th, digital spend from restaurants was down 21%.
  • Looking at the shifting creatives, we see a number of changes. For example, Outback Steakhouse and Panera Bread make it clear that they now deliver. 
Outback Ad
  • UberEats has taken a new approach to support more local businesses. 
  • Little Caesars is now running a new TV creative promoting the fact that employees do not touch the pizza after it is cooked. Additionally, they have an option where you can do pick-up without interacting with employees. Plus, they have other ads indicating that they now have delivery too. 
Little Caeser\'s Ad

We will continue to send updates on how restaurants are faring during this time. Subscribe to our blog for more updates on coronavirus and its mark on the economy.