Restaurant chains increase advertising efforts post-pandemic

"Advertising Increase"

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, leading restaurant chains such as Brinker, BJs, Shake Shack, and Dutch Bros are ramping up their advertising expenditures. This demonstrates their determination to strengthen their brand presence, attract more customers, and restore profitability.

The boost in advertising spend is attributed to several factors, including robust growth, territorial expansion, and maintaining visibility. This reinforces the need for a comprehensive and targeted advertising strategy. Ensuring the increased advertising budget is effective requires firms to deeply understand consumer preferences in the expanded regions.

Applebee’s CMO, Joel Yashinsky, acknowledged the growing trend of brands that had previously reduced their budgets due to the pandemic, now increasing their ad spending. He pointed out how consumers, especially those of the lower-to-middle-income groups, increasingly rely on online shopping and delivery services.

This shift in consumer behavior has driven many businesses, including Applebee’s, to reinforce their brand resonance with this consumer group by enhancing their digital marketing strategies.

Ramping up post-pandemic restaurant advertisements

For Applebee, it has led to increased customer engagement via various digital platforms and a more adaptive approach to changing market dynamics.

Market leaders such as Brinker and Potbelly are also increasing their advertising budgets. Brinker’s successful ‘3 for Me’ campaign demonstrates the importance of promotional campaigns in increasing brand visibility and reaching more customers. Similarly, Potbelly is aiming to broaden its customer base through targeted marketing campaigns and investing in product innovation.

Shake Shack’s CEO, Randy Garutti, disclosed plans to channel investment into digital marketing over large-scale advertising ventures. Their strategy aims to directly connect with consumers, building relationships and loyalty for long-term sustainability. This approach is expected to yield a higher return on investment due to the increasing prominence of digital communication in daily life.

Lastly, Dutch Bros is set to escalate its advertising pursuits following a successful year expanding into new markets. CEO Christine Barone sees advertising as a significant opportunity for growth in conjunction with their rapid expansion.