Adults admit they spend more on restaurants just to look good on social media

A recent poll found adults were willing to spend upwards of £30 at restaurants alone if they look good for social media

Steve Richmond
Wednesday 21 June 2023 08:27 BST
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

A poll of 2,000 adults found 41 per cent believe a social media presence is now the best way to judge whether a restaurant is worth visiting, rising to 58 per cent for 18 to 26-year-olds.

The most sought-after content includes food close-ups (49 per cent), restaurant décor (29 per cent) and behind-the-scenes footage (28 per cent).

Of those, an estimated 21 per cent of the social media posts they view is related to food and eating out.

Kirsty Morris, MD at Barclaycard Payments, which commissioned the research, said: “Our research shows that a quarter of diners look at the menu on social media before ordering.

“This is just one way the experience is improved for diners, so they can concentrate on getting that perfect, meal-side shot when they’re dining out.

“More and more venues allow you to book, review menus, and even pre-pay via their social media channels.

“So it’s a sensible move for those in the hospitality industry to keep sharing content and engaging potential visitors.”

The study, which identified Father’s Day as one of the most popular occasions for going out for a meal, also found the typical adult spends 40 minutes researching restaurants on social media before deciding where to book.

And 17 per cent of those who use such platforms, revealed they’ve signed up to a social media platform - specifically to find out more about particular restaurants.

Facebook (43 per cent) and Instagram (41 per cent) are the go-to destinations for finding the best places for a bite to eat.

Traditional consumer review sites also remain popular among 37 per cent of those polled.

The study carried out through OnePoll also identified what makes something worthy of being posted on social media when dining out.

Presentation of the food (33 per cent) came top, followed by views from the restaurant (28 per cent), and ‘jazzy cocktails’ (17 per cent).

Kirsty Morris added: “Social media channels provide a ‘shop window’ for restaurants to market their food.

“And after a turbulent few years for hospitality, it’s a valuable way of attracting new customers to a venue.”

It also emerged 20 per cent of consumers are dining out less frequently - instead opting to “go big” when they do venture out by visiting higher value “special” eateries.

Following these findings, a further poll of 200 restaurant owners also by Barclaycard Payments found 66 per cent have joined platforms like Instagram and TikTok to make their venue more appealing.

To ensure their content is top notch, many have even upgraded their smartphone (32 per cent).

In shifting to social, restaurateurs have seen an increase in bookings through these platforms by 80 per cent.

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