Gen Z is highly influenced by ‘social media famous’ restaurants and 92% are willing to travel to visit a social media famous venue, yet over half never end up booking to visit the hotspots.
LONDON (15 NOVEMBER 2022) – As the cost-of-living crisis continues to dampen consumer confidence and spending in the hospitality sector, new research from SevenRooms reveals almost two-thirds (58%) of restaurants are missing out on an opportunity to maximise the power of social media to capture crucial bookings – particularly from younger diners.
Social media has become a key driver of restaurant inspiration – a quarter (24%) of consumers would be more likely to visit a restaurant if it had gone ‘viral’, and this figure almost doubles to 47% for Gen Z diners. The ‘Making Booking Social’ study of 2,012 UK consumers aged 16+ looks at the opportunity to turn social media from a resource for restaurant discovery into a powerhouse for bookings.
Going viral on social media can change the game for restaurants – particularly with video content on newer platforms like TikTok gaining potentially hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of views:
- Almost half of socially-savvy Gen Z (49%) have visited a venue just because it had gained fame on social media
- More than 1 in 5 Brits (21%) and 38% of Gen Z would spend more in a restaurant if it had gone viral
- More than one-third of Gen Z (36%) have visited a restaurant just so they could post about it on their own social accounts
- Plus, this generation will go to great lengths to visit these destinations, with 92% willing to travel to visit a social media famous venue
Crucially, however, the study found that for Gen Z, making the decision to visit the hottest new restaurant they spot on socials depends on whether they can book there and then:
- Over half (56%) say they find restaurants they want to visit on social media, but don’t get around to making a booking
- Almost 2 in 3 (58%) Gen Z Brits say they’d be more likely to book a restaurant they found on social media if they could reserve directly on the platform
Booking data from the guest experience and retention platform reveals that while reservations through social media platforms have increased in recent years, the figure is still extremely low. According to SevenRooms’ research, almost two-thirds of the UK’s top restaurants don’t take any direct bookings through channels such as Instagram, Facebook and TikTok2.
For restaurants, this is as easy as enabling a ‘Reserve’ button on their Instagram or Facebook page – when linked through to a direct booking platform, reservations can be set up and taken through social media in a matter of minutes.
And the chance for restaurants to capture the always-online Gen Z audience is seemingly too good to miss. With an average of £68.02 spent per week in restaurants, pubs and bars, they are spending 68% more than the average consumer3. Given there are an estimated 12.6 million Gen Zs in the UK, the generation is worth a huge £857 million a week3 to the hospitality sector – if it is capitalised upon.
Danilo Mangano, Managing Director, International at SevenRooms, comments: “Following a turbulent time, and especially as we approach the crucial festive period, restaurants must do all they can to capture diners. From longstanding platforms like Facebook and Instagram to newer players like TikTok and BeReal, social media is an integral part of restaurant marketing to build both brand awareness and loyalty with diners, particularly with the highly-valuable younger generation.
Fundamentally, however, social media should not just be a vanity exercise; it should be leveraged to increase bookings wherever possible. “Reserve” or “Book Now” buttons via Instagram and Facebook through platforms like SevenRooms should be prominently featured on profiles, allowing followers to make reservations without ever leaving an app. In addition, operators who leverage a direct reservations solution are able to capture valuable guest data — including email and phone number — that helps them grow their guest database automatically. When used to its fullest capability, social media can drive more reservations, more orders and ultimately more revenue for any hospitality operator.”
For more information on the SevenRooms, please visit our website.
SevenRooms is a guest experience and retention platform that helps hospitality operators create exceptional experiences that drive revenue and repeat business. Trusted by thousands of hospitality operators around the world, SevenRooms powers tens of millions of guest experiences each month across both on- and off-premise. From neighbourhood restaurants and bars to international, multi-concept hospitality groups, SevenRooms is transforming the industry by empowering operators to take back control of their businesses to build direct guest relationships, deliver exceptional experiences and drive more visits and orders, more often. The full suite of products includes reservation, waitlist and table management, online ordering, review aggregation and marketing automation. Founded in 2011 and venture-backed by Amazon, Comcast Ventures, Highgate Ventures and PSG, SevenRooms has dining, hotel F&B, nightlife and entertainment clients globally, including: Hilton Hotels, Harrods, The Langham London, MGM Resorts International, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Jumeirah Group, Wolfgang Puck, Michael Mina, LDV Hospitality, Zuma, Altamarea Group, AELTC, D&D London, JKS Restaurants, Marcus Wareing Restaurants, Dishoom, The Wolseley Hospitality Group, Live Nation and Topgolf.
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from Censuswide Research – a third party, professional research and consulting organisation. Total sample size was 2,012 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 4th – 10th October 2022. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 16+).
1 Data gathered via desk-based research, auditing the social media accounts of the top 100 restaurants listed in the Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards, in October 2022
2 Figures are from Censuswide Research. Total sample size was 2,008 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 18th – 20th May 2022. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 16+).
Bianca Esmond | Director, Brand Marketing