Tekkies are Also Restaurant Goers

Written By Scott Joseph On July 15, 2010

If you’re reading this on a computer, the following may be of interest to you. If you’re reading it on a computer while dining in a restauant, it won’t be a surprise. Technomic, a restaurant consulting company, has found a correlation between restaurant-goers and technology. If you’re a restaurant owner and wondering whether you should offer wi-fi services, you should pay attention. But take this with the proverbial grain of salt: this study about the latest technology is based on a model developed in the 1960s! Here’s the press release:

Chicago, July 15, 2010, Business Wire – Based on a model developed in the 1960s by researcher Everett Rogers, Technomic has found that consumers who are first to buy the latest technologies—from smartphones to social media apps—are also avid restaurant patrons.
Using a modern set of technology adoption attributes in a survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers, Technomic found that, when it comes to using cutting-edge tech products and websites, 8 percent and 15 percent of respondents can be described as “Innovators” and “Early Adopters,” respectively. These leading-edge consumers are also big on restaurants, representing an important heavy user group.
•    83 percent of Innovators and 72 percent of Early Adopters order from a fast food restaurant at least once a week, compared to 56 percent for consumers on average.

•    Even more striking, 53 percent and 35 percent of Innovators and Early Adopters, respectively, order from fast casual restaurants (e.g., Chipotle, Panera) at least once a week, compared to the average of 20 percent.

•    The trend is also evident at food stores, with 25 percent of Innovators and 20 percent of Early Adopters shopping at natural and specialty food stores (e.g., Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s) at least once a week, compared to the average of 10 percent.
Nearly double the share of those in both adoption groups (48 percent compared to 25 percent, on average) said that a restaurant’s presence on a social network, such as a branded “fan” page on Facebook, positively influences their decision to try that restaurant.
What this means is that early tech adopters—a group that is highly active in social media sites—may be the first to broadcast their opinions about the latest limited time offer or new restaurant concept. “Restaurant chains are working hard to tap into the reach of social networks,” says Erik Thoresen, Director of Product Innovation at Technomic, “but the opportunity is also sizeable for independent and regional chains that develop a strong local following among early adopters.”

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