The 2018 Restaurant Leadership Conference (RLC)

Our Takeaways on the Future of Restaurant Marketing from RLC 2018

By Zoë Dixon April 19, 2018 No Comments
The 2018 Restaurant Leadership Conference (RLC)

Held each year in sunny Phoenix, Arizona, the Restaurant Leadership Conference, or RLC, is a smash-hit gathering of the most progressive and influential individuals in the restaurant industry, and the 2018 event was no different. With four days of education, interactive sessions, and networking, we made some great contacts and heard firsthand about the industry innovations and challenges that our customers face each and every day. Whether you were able to attend the event or not, here’s what we think you need to know.

Industry Highlights, and What’s to Come for 2018

The sheer amount of information available at RLC can be astounding. Standing out from some of the pack, Technomic gave an informative presentation on some of the key themes from 2017. They highlighted trends in the restaurant industry and predicted some impressive growth for 2018.

2018 Segment Sales Forecasts for Chains and Independents - From RLC 2018

But for Us. . . It’s All About Mobile

One of our team’s favorite innovation forums of the show was “The Future is Now: What’s Next for Mobile” hosted by Jason Carrigan, Head of Digital Marketing for Checkers Drive-In and Rally’s Drive-In. Jason lead a thought provoking discussion on the future of mobile engagement. During the presentation, Jason stumped the crowd with a simple question: “Which app on your phone do you use the most?” Responses were varied; Google Maps, Instagram, and Twitter were among the top contenders. After some discussion, Jason put it simply and made everyone rethink their answers by saying, “Hands down, my SMS application.”

“Which app on your phone do you use the most? Hands down, my SMS application.”

This set the stage for further discussion about targeting users through SMS messages, and how it is the only application that most everyone actually has, and leaves, push notifications turned on for.

When Kasey Eunice, former Manager of Information Technology and Strategy at Taco Bell, took the stage, he discussed the challenge faced by many restaurants — trying to track users who were not identified individually at Taco Bell. He explained that marketers goal should be to offer multiple paths for fans to opt-in for future engagement, while trying their utmost to avoid duplication of data. Kasey explained that in his experience, user data gathered by the mobile device is the best source of first party CRM data, as it gives marketers a holistic picture of the user.

We loved having our beliefs about the power of mobile marketing affirmed by experts in the industry, and we know that when you target your consumers based on past purchase data and send communications through the channel they prefer, you’re guaranteed to see results. Let us show you what we can do for your business!


Interested in learning more about how the re•currency suite could help jumpstart the way your business uses data to get smart? Give us a call at (877) 282-7660, chat with our team on this page, or fill out the form below to start the conversation today.



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Zoë Dixon

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