When your friends/family/co-workers recommend a restaurant, do you a) trust them, or b) go out and do some independent research? According to a recent study by Angelsmith, 80% of you just answered b.
The survey looked at how “500 self-described food aficionados” think and act when they are searching for a new restaurant, or have been asked for a recommendation. You have to question a few of the self-reported answers (do 79.5% of respondents really influence where their friends and family dine? Or do they just like to think they do?), but overall it definitely provides some food for thought for restaurateurs (had to do it).
Besides personal recommendations, the aficionados cited review sites, restaurant websites, food blogs, and of course the ubiquitous Google as sources for dining advice. Following the patterns of readers everywhere, the respondents far preferred digital sources to traditional media like newspapers.
But what we at TippingGardner find most interesting about this survey is the part that looks at influencers: entire social media strategies are built around identifying influencers whose opinions carry more weight than the average tweeter/blogger/Facebook poster. According to this survey though, diners turn this on its head: it’s not the recommendation from one trusted source that sells the restaurant, it’s being able to back up that review with lots of different sources.