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NEW YORK -- Social networking sites and smartphone apps are changing the ways consumers interact with restaurants and with their fellow restaurant goers, creating exciting opportunities for foodservice operators and marketers, according to Social Media and Technology in the U.S. Foodservice Industry: Trends and Opportunities for an Emerging Market by Packaged Facts.
"We believe the restaurant industry is in the midst of being shaped by the convergence of the mobile, yet always connected, consumer; location-based and context-aware technological innovation, and mobile payments, which already demonstrate the potential to redefine how to cultivate restaurant guest loyalty, incentivize dining occasions, and better tailor marketing messages," Don Montuori, publisher of Packaged Facts said in a press release.
Restaurant lifestyle engagement informs technology use, according to the report. For example, according to Packaged Facts' proprietary survey, 31 percent of adults who consider going out to restaurants as "part of their lifestyle" use their computer to place orders, while 21 percent use their cell phone or other portable device to do so.
Social media outlets Facebook and Twitter in particular are providing fertile opportunities for innovation. Facebook users are also frequently on the go, so the foodservice industry can use the site to ramp up location-based marketing. Packaged Facts expects such efforts to explode in 2011, as the industry increasingly uses social media to guide patrons to a particular restaurant while they are mobile and deciding where to eat.
Social Media and Technology in the U.S. Foodservice Industry: Trends and Opportunities for an Emerging Market focuses on the quickly evolving social media and technology trends currently shaping the future of the restaurant industry. The report specifically assesses the impact of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, as it relates to consumer-to-consumer interaction, consumer-to-business interaction, and the ramifications and opportunities for the restaurant industry. It also identifies and assesses emerging technologies and smartphone applications that Packaged Facts believes will help reshape the industry within just a few years.