In a survey conducted at the recent Restaurant Leadership Conference March 30-April 2, about 104 respondents offered insights on their views of the digital world and its influence. Fifty-six percent of respondents said they consider customer ratings and comments on social media sites a more important influencer of restaurant traffic than traditional advertising, while another 35 percent said such ratings were just as important. Moreover, 45 percent said they consider search engine rankings and consumer reviews on sites like Yelp and Urbanspoon to be a more important influencer, while another 43 percent see them as equal to traditional marketing. “Restaurant consumers are connected online, so it’s imperative that franchisees meet them where they are,” said Shannon Tolbert, chief marketing officer of GEFF. “We’re seeing an intense battle for market share among brands in the U.S. Those who reach consumers through social media and digital marketing strategies will likely have an edge.” Get the full story at Restaurant News