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Over Half of Singaporeans Rely on Social Media to Discover New Restaurants

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Jun 18, 2023

Over Half of Singaporeans Rely on Social Media to Discover New Restaurants
  • 59% of Gen Z Singaporeans rely on restaurants and influencers’ social media posts to hear about and discover new dining options 
  • 59% of  Singaporeans prefer making reservations directly with the restaurant, rather than with a third-party reservation platform
  • Convenience, cuisine and personal referrals are the top three most important factors for Singaporeans when dining at a new restaurant

SINGAPORE (18 JUNE 2023) – Singaporeans rely heavily on social media and personal referrals when it comes to discovering new restaurants, according to new research by SevenRooms, a guest experience and retention platform for the hospitality industry. 

According to the research, which sought to understand the relationship between venues and consumers, over half (52%) of Singaporeans use restaurant profiles on social media and 43% use influencers on social media to hear about and discover new dining options. Social media discovery was surpassed only by personal referrals from friends and family at 71%. Gen Zs over-index on both counts, with 59% relying on restaurants and influencers social media posts. In Singapore, social media topped Google as a primary discovery channel, which came in at 43% of Gen Zs. 

Despite the substantial reliance on social media for discovery, Singaporeans differ drastically when it comes to how they classify their dining personalities. “Spontaneous diners”, someone who dines out frequently but rarely books ahead, make up 28% of Singaporean diners. “Special occasion diners”, defined as someone who dines out largely for special occasions and who spends ample time researching which venue (and menu) is the perfect fit for the outing, accounts for 23% of the population. A further 23% consider themselves a “less is more diner”, someone who has a small handful of go-to venues, rarely deviates from them and who always books ahead to ensure the restaurant is ready to welcome them. 

The research highlights how the way consumers discover, book and order from restaurants has changed as Singaporeans of all generations and diner types now rely on social media for discovering new restaurants,” comments Paul Hadida, General Manager APAC at SevenRooms. “Consumers  are  demanding ​​high-quality, personalised dining experiences, and those venues who are meeting them where and when they want to be engaged are going to win on the current competitive battleground for consumers’ attention.” 

“Dining out is a significant part of the city’s culture. Regardless of the type of diner, booking direct gives Singaporeans and restaurants the ability to provide a better experience as they’re able to build a direct, more meaningful connection with them from the first interaction. At the same time, Singaporeans get more bang for their buck, a better overall dining experience and a more meaningful connection with Singapore’s hospitality industry,” concludes Hadida. 

In terms of booking reservations, Singaporeans prefer booking their upcoming meal directly with a restaurant via their website (59%), a phone call (45%) or in person (24%). This sentiment is supported by SevenRooms internal data, showing that direct bookings account for 97% of all covers booked with Singaporean venues. 

To book a reservation directly, Singaporeans are more likely to be incentivised by a better seating location (44%), a better overall dining experience (40%), or a complimentary drink or appetiser (39%). Additionally, 52% of Singaporeans said they would be more likely to book directly if it made it easier for staff to manage their reservation preferences, such as allergies or preferred seating location.

“The restaurant business is tough, and getting tougher; not just in Singapore, but everywhere,” said Michael Goodman, Chief Visionary Officer at The Dandy Collection. “We learn so much from meeting our guests in person, but there is also so much we can learn from their consumer behaviour: from how they are discovering us, what content drives their curiosity, and if what we think our guests want actually aligns with what they want. By using direct booking channels, we gain valuable insight and are able to better understand our guests. Hence, we are able to create a better guest journey; from initial thought, to booking, to in-venue experience and beyond. At the end of the day, the important thing is to make sure we’re up to date on what our current and future guests’ interests are, so we can create the most meaningful experience for each and every one of them. Having these tools at our fingertips is a very powerful colour in that palette.”

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About the research
The survey was produced by SevenRooms in partnership with independent consumer research agency Antenna. In total, the research team interviewed 1,021 Singaporeans nationwide aged 18+ between the 10th and 19th of March 2023.  

About SevenRooms
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-premises. 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, mobile order & pay, review aggregation, email marketing and marketing automation. Founded in 2011 and venture-backed by Amazon, Comcast Ventures, PSG and Highgate Ventures, SevenRooms has dining, hotel F&B, nightlife and entertainment clients globally, including: MGM Resorts International, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Wynn Resorts, Jumeirah Group, Wolfgang Puck, Michael Mina, Bloomin’ Brands, Giordano’s, LDV Hospitality, Zuma, Australian Venue Company, Altamarea Group, AELTC, The Wolseley Hospitality Group, Dishoom, Live Nation and Topgolf.

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