Techie Types Go Out to Eat
If you’re reading this on a smartphone, then there’s a good
chance you’re at a restaurant. New research by Technomic has found that consumers
gotta have the latest gadget" crowd are more likely — much more in some
cases — to eat out than the population as a whole.
The survey of 1,000 consumers
found that those identified as "innovators" (eight
percent) and "early adopters" (15 percent) spent more time at fast
food restaurants, fast casual establishments and natural/specialty food stores
than those who were less tech-forward.
Key findings of the study were:
- Innovators (83 percent) and early adopters (72 percent) visited a fast
food restaurant at least once a week. Fifty-six percent of consumers, on
average, did the same.
- Innovators (53 percent) and early adopters (35 percent) made at least one
trip a week to fast casual restaurants versus the 20 percent average.
- Innovators (25 percent) and early adopters (20 percent) visited natural
food stores such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s on a weekly basis compared
to the average of 10 percent.
So what does this mean for restaurants besides suggesting that free Wi-Fi might
be a wise investment?
According to Technomic, 48 percent of innovators and early
adopters said they were positively influenced by a restaurant’s use of social
media, such as having a fan page on Facebook. Only one in four consumers,on
average, share this same view.
"Restaurant chains are working hard to tap into the reach of social networks," says
Erik Thoresen, drector of product innovation at Technomic, said in a statement, "but
the opportunity is also sizeable for independent and regional chains that develop
a strong local following among early adopters."
Discussion Question: What are the practical implications for restaurants and
specialty food stores knowing that the group of people most open to technology
are also quite likely their best customer prospects?