Waitr boosts new user acquisition
by 440 percent.

Apple Search Ads outperformed every other advertising platform with
a 729 percent return on investment and customers who spend
13 percent more.


  • Improve discoverability.
  • Reach engaged users.
  • Drive downloads.


  • Align campaigns to best practices on account structure.
  • Segment performance campaigns by keyword category and leverage Search Match, Broad Match, and negative Exact Match.
  • Refine audience to localize message for key cities.


  • Top performing advertising platform with 729 percent return on investment (ROI).
  • Downloads increased 440 percent over five months.
  • New users spend 13 percent more compared to new users from other platforms.

Waitr grows base of new users
who spend more.

Waitr is a local food delivery app focused on attracting new customers. Since launching in 2015, the app expanded to dozens of U.S. cities and wanted to raise brand awareness in new markets. With a customer base that's primarily iOS users, the marketing team knew Apple Search Ads would be an essential addition to their acquisition strategy.

“Apple Search Ads was able to blow away every other platform very quickly across metrics but particularly in return on investment,” says Sonny Mayugba, Chief Marketing Officer. “We saw strong, high quality volume of new users install the app, make a purchase faster, and spend more in the app.”

Build visibility.

Given Waitr’s user acquisition marketing mix, customers are likely to see the app several times across digital platforms. By the time prospects searched on the App Store for a food delivery app, Apple Search Ads provided increased visibility that further legitimized the app, according to the Waitr team, delivering conversion rates consistently above 80 percent.

“With Apple Search Ads, our ad is shown at the right time to the right customer in the right context. The increased visibility and exposure of our brand to prospects actively searching on the App Store meant we were able to attract engaged new users,” said Jeff Bolante, Senior Marketing Director.

For Waitr, more engaged new users translates into higher lifetime value. New users acquired through Apple Search Ads spend 13 percent more than new users acquired through other advertising platforms.

Optimize performance.

To connect with the right users, Waitr refined audiences by the cities where the app was available. Waitr also optimized its account structure by creating separate campaigns for each keyword strategy. One campaign reflected brand term keywords that included the name of the app and company name. Another discovery campaign with Search Match focused on uncovering search terms that were not in their current keyword sets.

The result: Downloads of Waitr skyrocketed by 440 percent within five months of launching Apple Search Ads campaigns. “Apple Search Ads gives users more choice and adds more opportunities for discovery. That's really powerful for customers and marketers alike,” remarked Mayugba. “But it’s very important to remember the ‘why.’ Better ad performance means increased revenue for our restaurant partners, our #1 mission at Waitr. Apple Search Ads accomplished this goal.”

For Waitr, cost per acquisition with Apple Search Ads was 47 percent lower than other paid channels, and still drove high volume. Overall, Apple Search Ads delivers 729 percent return on investment for Waitr, making it the app’s top performing ad platform. “The volume of downloads that we are getting, the low cost of those downloads, and the higher lifetime value of those customers keep me interested and investing in Apple Search Ads,” said Mayugba.

We saw strong, high quality volume of new users install the app, make a purchase faster, and spend more in the app.

Sonny Mayugba, Waitr

Company Snapshot

  • Waitr Inc.
  • Food & Drink category
  • Founded in 2013
  • Based in Lake Charles, LA, USA
  • 7500 employees
  • App Store rating of 4+

View on the App Store