Two thirds (66%) of consumers overall say they will visit a restaurant’s social media pages before eating there, according to a new report from guest experience specialists HGEM.
But this does not only apply to young people: 53% of 56-65 year-olds say they would check a restaurant’s social media pages before visiting, just behind the 58% of Millennials (18-35 year-olds) who say they would.
Across all respondents, just under a third of (30%) say they would go on social to look for menu information, and over one in five (22%) say they would seek customer reviews ahead of time.
A third (34%) of all responders said that they believed a restaurant’s interaction on social media to be as important to the guest experience as on-site conversations with staff.
This figure rises to 43% among Millennials, suggesting they see online interactions as a key part of the overall restaurant experience.
Content-wise, promotions and offers were the most popular posts on social, followed by photos, events, and competitions. Facebook was the most popular channel, with 64% of diners using it to interact with restaurants.
“We know that social media is an incredibly powerful tool for operators to monitor customer feedback and maintain a seamless guest experience,” says Steven Pike, managing director of HGEM. “However, the results emphasise the influence that such platforms have over what drives diners to visit a venue in the first instance.”
“Ensuring that your restaurant’s channels are updated regularly with pertinent and engaging information for customers is crucial to meet guest expectation of what content is available – and shareable ‒ on these social networking sites.”