The study of 2,000 UK adults found that 22% of diners look up both a restaurants' menu and social channels when choosing where to visit.
Overall 15% say they would be put off if a restaurant had neither. This rises to a third of 18-24-year-olds - the highest of any age group.
Some 23% of diners say they use social media to read restaurant reviews, while 21% check the appearance of dishes, and 18% decide what to order in advance.
Almost a third say they would also want to be able to book a restaurant through its social media channels.
“Simply being active on social media is no longer enough for restaurateurs, they also need to consider the quality of their content to avoid missing out on potential customers,” says Kirsty Morris, director at Barclaycard Payment Solutions.
“Not only are diners using social as a research tool to decide where to eat, they are also integrating it into every part of their experience. This is particularly true of younger audiences; whether it’s taking pictures of meals, checking reviews or wanting to book directly from restaurants’ Instagram or Facebook accounts, there’s clearly a new social order for eating out.”
The study also showed the prevalence of food photography, with 41% of respondents saying they post pictures of their food on social media.
18% of diners would like to see restaurants introduce light filters to table tops to improve their pictures, rising to 28% of those aged 25 to 34.
The top reason 25 to 34-year-olds gave for posting food pictures on social media was to recommend restaurants to friends (42%).