Stat of the Week: Less Than Half of Independent Restaurants Have a Website

Filed in Small Biz Marketing, Statistics by Matt McGee on June 1, 2012 4 Comments

restaurant-foodCan you imagine running a restaurant and not having a website? Especially running an independent website that doesn’t have the marketing muscle that chain restaurants usually have?

I found that stat this week in an article on SmartBlogs Food & Beverage that references a study done earlier this year by a company called Restaurant Sciences.

The study looked at the online presence of more than 2,000 restaurants and bars across the U.S. and found:

  • Less than 50 percent of independent restaurants have a website
  • Of the independent restaurants that do have a website, only 40 percent display their menu online

The article goes on to mention that “many independent restaurants without a website have set up a Facebook page,” and points out why that’s not wise. Agreed. As I’ve said before, social media should never be the primary online business asset.

I don’t have a copy of the full study, but there a few more stats available in the news release and the Executive Summary:

  • Less than five percent of full-service, independent restaurants have a mobile website. (Less than 12 percent of full-service chain restaurants have one.)
  • Just more than one of every eight restaurants has a blog.
  • No specific numbers, but “both chains and independents have a strong Facebook presence.”
  • Independent restaurants are more active than chains with local/social services like Foursquare, Yelp and Twitter.

I’m hoping to get a copy of the full report and will write more about it if I do. In the meantime, it seems like the National Restaurant Association really ought to get its members out to one of the upcoming Local University workshops coming up this month.

(Stock image via Used under license.)

Comments (4)

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  1. Anthony Pensabene says:

    This is so “wow” to us, but not very much thought about by owners. I often spark up online marketing convos with restaurant/coffee shop owners. Their world is very offline focused and ours is very..

    I’m shocked but not shocked by the statistic. In the very least, I hope more marketers tell store owners of the recent G places/G+ shift. Also, in the very least, they should be optimizing for mobile..

    A response I get often is, “yeah, the locals already know about us..” My response (immediately I live near Aspen) “yeah, but how about all those people rolling through town/visiting who are hungry? How about them apples?”

  2. Jeanna says:

    What I find interesting is that the majority have Facebook pages… but not static websites. Is there a trend where restaurants are giving up static websites and opting for Facebook? It’s cheaper and where their customers are located, right? Maybe that’s the thought there. This would make an interesting survey or study for those restaurant businesses. Thanks for the stats!

    • Matt McGee says:

      Jeanna – I don’t know specifically about restaurants, but there have been some studies in the past year or two that suggest a small percentage of SMBs, in general, are skipping websites in favor of Facebook pages.

  3. Jeanna says:

    Thanks Matt! I wrote a three-part series on the SAIL blog, based off the study and your blog post. I was sure to throw you a mention. 🙂 Good stuff!

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