Low-Income Tourists Steer Clear of Digital Tools When Picking Restaurants

Low-Income Tourists Steer Clear of Digital Tools When Picking Restaurants

While many consumers use websites and apps to find restaurants when they are traveling, PYMNTS Intelligence found that lower-income consumers tend to hold off.

Use of apps and websites to find restaurants

By the Numbers

Last month’s installment of the PYMNTS Intelligence Connected Dining series, “Tracking the Impact of Digital Tools on Food Tourism and Travel Preferences,” drew on a survey of more than 2,000 U.S. consumers conducted in September, seeking to better understand how their dining habits while traveling compared to their restaurant habits in their daily lives at home.

The results revealed that nearly half of all consumers said they always use apps or websites to find restaurants while traveling. Yet lower-income consumers — those who earn less than $50,000 a year — are the least likely to do so, with only 37% reporting that they rely on these digital platforms to choose where to eat while they are away from home.

The Data in Context

Consumers’ use of digital platforms to find restaurants can range from leveraging navigation tools such as Google Maps to find spots in the vicinity to turning to social media sites to track down buzzed-about spots.

“Obviously, a lot of restaurants are being searched for on Google, and [we enable] the customers who are searching for those restaurants to order directly on Google,” Vishal Agarwal, founder and CEO of order integration technology company ItsaCheckmate, told PYMNTS in an interview published in October 2022. “It’s an extremely effective way for restaurants to get direct orders from the customers who are searching for them.”

Meanwhile, younger consumers are more likely to take the latter approach.

“People, especially Gen Z, are doing this today on social networks, and they find themselves dealing with incredible content and amazing recommendations on the wrong platforms,” Uriel Maslansky, CEO and co-founder of social media mapping platform Atly, told PYMNTS in an interview posted in June. “It’s very, very hard to find the right restaurant around you, the right coffee shop around you, on these endless feeds.”