Local Dining Online Consumer Search Trends

When consumers are in the mode of choosing a restaurant to visit, how do they make their decision today?


The most common way consumers make a new dining discovery or decision is online content.

If they have a particular restaurant in mind they want to try, they first go online to learn more about the restaurant and read reviews of satisfied and unsatisfied diners.


  1. 83% of consumers use their smartphone to discover what restaurant they want to visit while traveling.
  2. 46% of consumers have visited a new restaurant or tried a new addition to the menu by seeing an online ad.
  3. With 75% of restaurants using social media to reach out to consumers in 2017, it is safe to say that most of their target audience uses social media to find them.
  4. Further research reveals that 92% of restaurants utilize Facebook to target consumers.
  5. 70% of consumers use their smartphone to view a restaurant’s menu at lease several times each year.
  6. 35% of consumers have ordered food from a restaurant via their tablet or smartphone.
  7. 13% of consumers use Yelp and OpenTable to learn about restaurants.
  8. A half-star on Yelp can change a restaurant’s
  9. appeal among users by 27%.40% of consumers learn about food through websites, apps, and blogs.
  10. 75% of consumers use Facebook to decide where they want to eat.
  11. One-quarter of consumers stated that technology features provided by the restaurant plays an important role in their decision to visit a restaurant.
  12. 34% of consumers reported that technology influences their decision to dine in or order food for delivery from a restaurant.
  13. 3% of consumers ask their friends to recommend them a restaurant.
  14. 8 in 10 consumers are more likely to visit a restaurant if they receive a discount.
  15. 35% of consumers place order for delivery using their smartphone whereas 25% of consumers make dining reservations using their smartphone.
  16. 84% of consumers trust online reviews to decide where to eat at a restaurant.

It’s evident that consumers are increasingly relying on online information and content to discover restaurants and to make their restaurant choices.


Restaurants that do not fully leverage online customer acquisition and loyalty strategies will not survive long term in a rapidly changing and evolving digital world.