Food is a hot topic of conversation on Twitter and there are millions of food related tweets sent globally each week. In the UK, we have become a foodie nation and more than half of our users (52%) turn to Twitter for information and inspiration about food and restaurants.
That’s one of the findings of new research* Vision Critical conducted as part of our exciting new #RestaurantWeek initiative in order to discover how and what we like to tweet about when it comes to food.
People love eating out and experiencing new cuisine on a regular basis. The research found that 52% of users in their community eat out at restaurants at least a few times a month and 35% eat out at a pub as frequently.
As a mobile platform, our users love to share what they’re doing when they’re on the move. And that definitely includes the places they eat. More than half (55%) of UK users log onto Twitter when they are in a restaurant. Of those who use Twitter to share about food and restaurants: 37% have tweeted a picture of their meal.
More than half of UK users log onto Twitter when they are in a restaurant*#birdsignals Community, Vision Critical, 2014
It isn’t just food we Tweet, but the restaurants themselves. Two thirds of UK users have tweeted about or to a restaurant they were visiting or planning to visit. When they do this, it’s overwhelmingly because they have something upbeat to say: 72% of those who have tweeted a restaurant directly made positive comments.
Discovering new food experiences
Twitter helps our users discover amazing new food experiences. That’s one of the reasons we launched #RestaurantWeek, to shine a light on the diversity of the restaurant industry, and allow owners, chefs and staff to share interesting content and connect with customers. More than half of UK users have visited a new establishment based on a recommendation they’ve seen on Twitter.
To hear the latest news and updates from favourite restaurants, one in three UK users follow restaurants on Twitter. Many also follow individual chefs such as @GordonRamsay, @jamieoliver @jamesmartinchef, @GizziErskine, @JohnTorode1 and @NigelSlater among many others.
Twitter helps restaurants attract new customers
For restaurants looking to attract new customers and keep regulars coming back, the research shows that Tweets about promotions, food and customer service are the most effective ways to encourage Twitter users to visit. Among those who visited a restaurant as a result of something they saw on Twitter, 52% cited promotional offers and discounts; 43% said it was a photo of the food; and 39% said it was great customer service.
The story of Twitter and food is much bigger than the food we eat when we’re out. It is very much about the everyday story — one that centres on our own kitchens.
Twitter is an important part of cooking at home
The research found that 45% of UK Twitter users have tried to cook a new recipe based on something they’ve seen on Twitter and 39% have tweeted photos of meals they’ve cooked.
Our interest in food has become a much more important part of who we are as individuals. It’s a label that many of us take pride in. We found that two thirds of those who responded see themselves as “foodies” in someway. It suggests that as part of that burgeoning foodie identity issues such as food provenance have risen in importance to our users.
The vast majority of UK users (72%) make an effort to understand where their food comes from to varying degrees and this influences the food buying decisions of many.
*#birdsignals Community, Vision Critical, 2014.