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Restaurants and Mobility: 53% Use Smartphone to Find Where to Dine

May 17, 2016 By Finley Engineering in

Anyone who hasn’t used their smartphone to search for a restaurant deal is in the minority, according to new research about restaurants and mobility from RetailMeNot, which considers itself a “digital savings destination.” No less than nine of 10 survey respondents said they had used their smartphones to search for a restaurant deal online at least once

One-third of consumers surveyed by RetailMeNot (32%) reported having used their smartphones or mobile devices to find a deal online and dine out in the three months prior to the survey. In addition to searching for restaurant deals, consumers also are using their mobile devices to search for nearby dining locations, according to ¨The Evolution of Dining in the Digital Age: Consumers Adding More Technology to Their Order.¨

Eight in 10 (81%) said they do so on a regular basis. More than half (53%) said they use them to find a restaurant location, while half (49%) reported using a mobile device to browse a menu.

High-income participants took advantage of online or mobile restaurant deals most often: 46% of diners who earned $150,000 per year or more said they used an online or mobile coupon at a restaurant in the previous three months.

Younger diners relied more heavily on mobile devices to identify and research prospective dining venues. Sixty percent of respondents 25-34 use mobile devices to research new restaurants using their smartphones.

The results are a clear sign of the growing role that restaurants and mobility are playing when it comes to food. One-quarter of respondents said they had at least one restaurant-specific mobile app on their smartphone. The percentage climbed rapidly among those who dine out frequently, RetailMeNot highlights in a press release. More than two-thirds of those who said they dine out eight to 10 times a week said they use a restaurant-specific mobile app.

Restaurants and Mobility

A key RetailMeNot finding is that deals drive consumers to dine at restaurants they may not otherwise have known about. Eight in 10 said they would likely try a new restaurant offering a promotional deal.

Mobile device usage continues while dining, RetailMeNot found. Nearly two-thirds said they use their smartphones to take photos (32%), check social media (19%) and search for deals online (19%). Other online mobile activities cited included browsing reviews (17%), looking up nutritional information (16%), and paying for meals (8%).

“As consumers are increasingly turning to their mobile devices for help with their dining choices, it is imperative that restaurants market to diners via mobile,” commented Marissa Tarleton, chief marketing officer, North America, RetailMeNot, Inc. “Mobile marketing technology is a powerful medium when it comes to serving up the right dining content, in the right location, at the right time. When done well, mobile has the ability to drive more diners through their doors and keep them coming back for more.”