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Social media sets the dinner and drinks menu

Deloitte Taste of the Nation survey

17 July 2012

  • 37% of consumers use social media when deciding on where to eat and drink out;
  • 61% of 18-34 year olds consult social media on their ‘going out’ decisions;
  • 24% of consumers use social media to search for discount vouchers;
  • Leisure industry must keep pace with how consumers use technology.

More than a third (37%) of consumers use social media when deciding where to go out for a drink or food, according to the findings of the latest Taste of the Nation survey by Deloitte, the business advisory firm, and BDRC Continental.

The survey of 3,000 consumers from across the country reveals 61% of 18-34 year olds (Generation Y) say they consult social media when deciding on their eating or drinking out destination.  Whilst, this figure decreases as we move into other age groups, a significant 31% of 35-54 year olds consult social media and 14% of those over 55 years.

24% of survey respondents say the main reason for consulting a review site is to search for a discount.  Researching the suitability of the venue (18%), getting ideas for where to go (17%), and booking a venue because of a review (15%) were all identified by consumers as the most frequent activities on these sites.

Whilst more than half (55%) of consumers are indifferent as to whether or not ‘going out’ review sites publish reviews that are accurate reflections of the destination, a third (32%) of consumers agree that they are.  Distrust of review sites is low, just 14% believe them to be inaccurate.

Jon Lake, a director in the licensed retail group at Deloitte, comments: “By understanding just how their customers are using social media and review sites when deciding on where to go out, operators can use this knowledge to direct their online marketing spend and consumer engagement strategies in the most effective way.  Club operators in particular can benefit from targeted social media campaigns.  Club sites are often visited by groups so events can gain momentum and amplification through networks, and promotions can easily go viral.

“Generation Y is the social media generation.  However, as they mature and their socialising habits and tastes change, the big question is whether they will sustain the same level of social media engagement, transferring it to different destinations and activities.  If so, operators will have to get ahead of the curve to anticipate this, and engage with consumers at an early stage.”

Sam Roddick, lead for Deloitte Digital EMEA, adds: “Social media is most effective in the last stage of the consumer experience: re-engagement and retention.  This is an invaluable experience in developing an emotional connection between brand and online community, gathering consumer insight and using it to inform customer service strategy, as well as promotion to a wider network.

“It is clear online marketing opportunities harnessing the social media platform are powerful.  Already there has been a shift from email campaigns in favour of more immediate and mobile technology.  For instance, instant messaging and social media via smartphones allows immediate access and display of vouchers.  In this fast-paced digital revolution, it is important for operators to keep up to speed with how consumers use technology and not lose out on market share.”


About the report
Taste of the Nation produced by Deloitte, together with BDRC Continental, explores the trends and patterns of consumers’ eating and drinking habits out of the home.  It takes into consideration every time they purchase drink or food from a pub, bar, coffee/sandwich shop, fast food outlet, restaurant or club, whether it be a sit-in or takeaway occasion, shedding light on the size of the market and its opportunities.  

The survey was completed by a nationally representative sample of 3,000 British adults, during April 2012, and comprised strong representation from all UK regions (excluding Northern Ireland), as well as different age and gender groups.

About Deloitte
In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte LLP, which is among the country's leading professional services firms.

Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

About BDRC Continental
BDRC Continental is the UK’s largest independent market research agency. Established in 1991, the company has built an unrivalled reputation as a full service consultancy with specialist expertise across a number of sectors including business to business, financial services, hotels, meetings & hospitality, media & advertising, internet & telecoms, Government & not for profit, culture & leisure and tourism, travel & transport.

Media contacts

Celine Gordine-Wright
Deloitte LLP
Job Title:
+44 (0) 20 7007 6384

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