The research, developed on behalf of McCain and showcased at McCain Talking Points Live, an event at Howling Hops Brewery in east London, reveals ‘Micro Moments’ in consumer search habits are impacting eating-out decisions.
With the rise of searching via smartphones, information is always at the consumers' fingertips, hence ensuring your online offer is optimised is vital to securing increased visitors.
The importance of 'best'
One of the fastest-growing trends is the use of the word ‘best’ in searches online, which has risen by 80% in the past two years. Consumers are now confident that mobile search will return them the most accurate results, and are increasingly using the phrase ‘best’ when searching for eating-out options.
More specific searches such as 'best local restaurant' (up 85%) and 'best fries' (up 75%) are also up significantly in the past two years.
Another key insight from the McCain data revealed that consumers now have an ‘expectation of closeness’ when searching for eating-out options online. This means that diners are less likely to write a specific postcode or area name when searching for somewhere to eat, instead relying on location services to provide results that are tailored to where they are currently.
Spur-of-the-moment dining decisions
Restaurant-related searches have seen double-digit growth in the past two years, while those that include a postcode or area have decreased by 30%.
However, the phrase ‘near me’ still does figure in search terms, usually between positions five and 10 in rankings.
Finally, consumers are also increasingly making spur-of-the-moment dining decisions, and using their smartphones to locate and chose a venue. Searches for ‘where can I get great food now’ are up 80% in two years, and consumers expect brands to understand their needs and address them immediately.
More than half of consumers will also leave a website if it takes longer than three seconds to load, showing the importance of having a website that is optimised for mobile use.