Angelsmith’s recent survey results exploring how diners make restaurant decisions revealed the declining influence of the newspaper food critic in that process.
Newspaper critics were ranked behind friends (49 percent), user-generated review sites (22.8 percent) and bloggers (9.4 percent). Only 7.6 percent ranked newspaper critics as influential when looking for a new restaurant.
Does this mean it’s curtains for the local paper’s restaurant critic? Although some might prefer critics to disappear, they still have some sway, particularly among top restaurant influencers.
Based on the survey data, top restaurant influencers consume both newspapers and blog content at considerably higher rates than average diners. 52.5 percent of all survey respondents reported frequently reading the dining section of their local newspaper, versus 70.4 percent of top influencers who reported frequently reading the newspaper.
There was an even greater divide for blog readership, 68.1 percent was the overall reported rate while those who we identified as highly influential in their peer group, topped the chart at 92.9 percent.
Our analysis is that although restaurant newspaper critics are not a top spot to search for a restaurant, they do play a role in influencing the influencers and therefore the overall dining decision ecosystem. However, given that blogs are both an initial place to look for a new restaurant and are revisited to validate a trusted recommendation far more frequently than newspapers, we believe that blogger relations will potentially drive a much better return on investment for most restaurants.
We would be happy to share our restaurant blogger program case studies with you. Just contact Bill[at]Angelsmith.net