Over Half of Americans Turn to Friends & Family to Find New Restaurants

sevenroomsSevenRooms, the all-in-one reservation, seating and guest management platform for restaurants, today released its “Influence in the Restaurant Industry” report, which found that when it comes to discovering new restaurants to dine at, over half of Americans (54%) rely on their friends and family to make a recommendation.

The study, conducted with third-party research firm YouGov, examined the impact of today’s most influential channels in the restaurant industry. The full report is available at sevenrooms.com.

When it comes to how today’s guests are finding new restaurants, SevenRooms’ report revealed the top sources:

SevenRooms “Influence in the Restaurant Industry” report

“While diners have always relied on influential sources such as critics and review sites, our research shows that the most impactful source when it comes to choosing where to eat are the people we know best: friends and family,” said Joel Montaniel, CEO & Founder at SevenRooms. “As newer generations of guests are relying more heavily on sourcing information from digital platforms like Instagram, we’ll continue to see a rise in this medium’s influence. For many diners who grew up in today’s digital first world, friends and families’ posts on social media are becoming another form of word of mouth recommendations, and restaurants need to be sure to provide experiences that people want to talk about both online and off. That’s why operators should continue to focus on providing a tailored dining experience to every guest, understanding that their value does not stop when they leave the restaurant, but extends to who they will recommend that restaurant to post-visit.”

Social media has changed the way we share information, get recommendations and make decisions. Like review sites, personal recommendations carry a lot of weight and when posted on social media, their reach is far greater. Of Americans who use social media:
Thirty-Five (35%) percent have eaten at a restaurant because they saw it on social media
Twenty percent (20%) haven’t eaten at a restaurant yet but plan to do so in the future

With personal recommendations and social media playing such an essential role in restaurant influence, it’s crucial for restaurants to continue to provide exceptional and impactful experiences in house. The power of a tailored dining experience is just the thing to warrant a rave recommendation to friends and followers.

Research Methodology

SevenRooms commissioned YouGov PLC – a third party, professional research and consulting organization – to poll the views of 1,206 individuals who agreed to take part. Fieldwork was undertaken online between September 20-21, 2018. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (aged 18+).