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New findings from a Nielsen & Yahoo study find a previously undiscovered, strong connection between the mobile phone and eating out. The facts are quite interesting and important, particularly for popular restaurant chains, and they also shed light on the amount of distance that people will travel for a good deal on a meal.

The demographic used within this study was 34 million Americans who seek information about restaurant deals on their mobile phones. This population is skewed with a majority falling within the ages of 13-34. A surprising 58 percent of these people live in the suburbs, highlighting an opportunity for restaurants outside the city limits. Incomes for this population were on average $87K USD, and the majority is classified as married. Forty-one percent have one or more children in their house. (Mediapost)

The positive finding within this study is that 34 percent of respondents saw a dining ad or coupon on their phone, and 77 percent of these people sometimes or always looked at it.

The issue of location was an interesting factor as well. Sixty-seven percent of consumers said that they focused on options within their area. Since the majority of respondents were in the suburbs, this tells suburban restaurant locations that text can be an extremely successful means to get consumers in the door. Seventy-seven percent of people surveyed said that they wanted ads that were “relevant to my current location” (Medipost). The study drives home the importance of location to consumers and is inofrmation that you take to heart. It may be easy to make the assumption that you are within walking distance of consumers and they remember you, but in reality, this study shows that a slight nudge in the form of a mobile coupon could result in more folks walking in.

The type of restaurant was also addressed in the study, which found that most respondents were much more interested in local, popular chains such as Applebee’s and The Olive Garden than in three star restaurants like Morton’s Steakhouse. Almost half of respondents, about 49 percent, preferred these locations, with 30 percent preferring fast food locations like Subway and McDonalds, and only 23 percent looking for high class dining opportunities. Again, this data outlines an opportunity that has not been exploited fully. Popular restaurant chains have everything to gain by sending out text messages to their consumers, especially those within close proximity to their locations. This “special” market could be easily identified within Opt It Mobile as a sub-keyword group as the name of the Suburbs you are currently located in, and this group could receive messages from you with last minute specials, as they are the most likely to have the ability to stop in with a minutes’ notice.

This study shows that mobile marketing has reached a point where all consumers, not just early adapters, are now aware and actually using this medium for information. This is a clear opening for marketers to reach their consumers faster and more effectively than ever before. Since people on the go will make dining decisions quickly, sending a last minute special into the hands of your target market is actually the best way to communicate with them in today’s mobile age.

Tags: Media Post, Nielsen, restaurants, Yahoo

Posted in: Educational, Industry specific, Mobile news, Mobile statistics