March 21, 2016 Jason Khoo

Case Study: How I as a Consumer Decided Where to Eat

Sitting in a parking lot, staring intently on our phones, my friend and I were trying to figure out where we would eat. We were in a section of Los Angeles that was unfamiliar to us and coming from Orange County, we were unsure about where to go. Santa Monica was just a little too far and downtown LA was the same. So like any modern day citizen, we jumped on our phones and looked up some places to eat.

Let Me Start from the Beginning

I’m going to be as exact as possible without naming names in order to paint a picture of how  we came to our decision. My friend and I went on Thrillist to look at the top spots in LA to eat. Sooner or later, when we looked through different lists, we came across one that we actually liked. I plugged it into yelp to find the location and showed it to my friend to check if she was okay with the distance.

Before I could turn on the GPS she said “Hold on! It only has 3 stars….”

Yep, I’m being totally serious.

I want to stop here and highlight the importance of that moment. My friend and I had already picked a location based on a recommendation from an influential online source for restaurants. All I was doing now was going on Yelp to find the address and because it only had 3 stars, my friend and subsequently, I, changed my mind.

There are many layers to this equation. We didn’t just plug into google, “food” or “restaurants”. We took our search to influencers who had clout and respect in the appropriate field. In our case, it was Thrillist. Then to double check the quality of the location, we wanted to investigate the location in addition to some photos and rankings. We switched on over to Yelp and to our dismay we saw a ranking that we were not 100% happy with.

So from there, we renewed the search.

We eventually decided on a different location that was trending on Foursquare and checked out on Yelp both with reviews and photos. So what I am trying to illustrate is the process that two typical consumers took to finding a restaurant to eat. When you are considering your business’s presence in the online world and the  marketing it is doing, are you doing everything that would match what consumers are doing.

Key Takeaways

There is a lot that goes into a consumer making a purchase. These are the sections though that your business can make sure to do in preparation for this:

  1. Find influencers and publications to talk about your product/service.
  2. 4 stars and higher. Really try to get your rankings above that.
  3. Optimize both on Search Engines and relevant directories.

These three things aren’t something you can fix in one day. It needs to be something that your business treats as a goal. It has to be integral in your operations. For example, if a restaurant just has bad food and bad service, then it’s not like we can change that 4 stars tomorrow.

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About the Author

Jason Khoo Jason is a graduate from California State University Fullerton's Mihaylo Marketing program. Starting his career in marketing consultancy as a sophomore, Jason went door to door asking businesses to give him a chance. From then on, Jason has been helping businesses understanding the vast bevy of marketing and online tools to help accomplish business goals on behalf of his clients. Jason writes at Ron Wave Design, his personal site and at medium (@jasonjkhoo).
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