Are Your Facebook and Instagram Friends Inspiring Your Fast-Food Choices?

Facebook IQ studied the fast-food sector through the eyes of frequent diners and occasional diners

Maybe White Castle is onto something: A recent study by Facebook IQ pretty much confirmed the existence of the “crave.”

Facebook IQ studied the fast-food industry on the social network through the eyes (and posts) of two types of diners:

  • Frequent diners, who visit fast-food restaurants at least twice per week and had done so in the seven days prior to the study.
  • Occasional diners, who eat at fast-food restaurants at least once per month and had done so in the 30 days before the study.

Facebook IQ added:

While frequent diners love fast food and want to try new restaurants and menu items in the category, occasionals want to visit fast-food places on their own terms, when they crave the food. We think the focus on crave goes back to their need for consistency. When they know and like the food—even if they don’t specifically seek it out very often—they remember its taste. Meanwhile, we see that frequent diners are more apt to explore.

Facebook’s research arm found that photos and videos of fast-food restaurants posted by friends sparked the appetites of Facebook and Instagram users—62 percent of frequent diners and 41 percent of occasional diners on Facebook, and 66 percent and 41 percent, respectively, on Instagram.

Other findings by Facebook IQ included:

  • Occasional diners were 1.63 times more likely to say that ambience would encourage them to make future visits than diners who do not frequent fast-food restaurants.
  • Occasional diners were 1.79 times more likely than non-fast-food eaters to visit a particular chain if other people their age did so.
  • At least two out of five users who fit both categories rely on online reviews.

  • U.S. Instagram users who are interested in restaurants are 4.5 times more likely than average Instagram users to like content, three times more likely to post and seven times more likely to comment.
  • 52 percent of frequent diners and 27 percent of occasional diners discuss where they will eat on Facebook Messenger, and 48 percent and 21 percent, respectively, said they would use the application to place orders.

Readers: What are your thoughts on Facebook IQ’s findings?

Image on homepage courtesy of whitewish/iStock.