TikTok is changing the restaurant business.
That’s the takeaway from a recent report published by MGH. The marketing communications agency, which works with food and restaurant businesses like Utz and 16 Handles, surveyed 1,100 participants about TikTok’s influence on their culinary habits.
The results are clear: Members of the Millennial and Gen Z cohorts are using the content they see on social media to update their dining preferences. 53% of Millennials reported that they ordered food from a restaurant after seeing a video about it on TikTok. For Gen Z, that figure came in at 38%.
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TikTok is leading young consumers to new restaurants, and those epicures are going to great lengths to taste the sensations that are depicted on the ByteDance-owned app. The MGH survey revealed that 30% of respondents have traveled farther than they normally would to try a TikTok-famous bite, while 28% of them have exceeded their normal food budgets in order to eat at those establishments.
“What this survey shows is that this once-dismissed social network, TikTok, has completely changed the way people behave, where they spend their time, and more importantly, how they spend their money,” said Ryan Goff, EVP, Social Media Marketing Director at MGH, in a statement. “TikTok truly is a restaurant marketer’s dream come true.”
Savvy food and drink brands have capitalized on the marketing opportunity TikTok presents. Taco Bell, for example, got more than 57 million views when it used vertical video to advertise the return of its Mexican pizza.
@tacobellWelcome back forever, Mexican Pizza.
TikTok affects high-end eateries, too. Nation’s Restaurant News cited a video review of Michelin-starred spot Pastis as evidence of TikTok’s redefinition of food criticism.
@theviplist Is Pastis worth the hype?! #french #hype #celeb #nyc #steak #burger #roast #bigmac ♬ original sound – The VIP List
This shift in consumption has been partially driven by TikTok’s emergence as a prominent search engine. Gen Z uses the social video hub to look up nearby restaurants, and multiple tools encourage that behavior. TikTok has tested a feed that turns up content within each user’s general vicinity. Meanwhile, hungry viewers who want to cook a dish they see in a video can create a shopping list thanks to an Instacart integration.
For more info from the MGH survey, including an infographic that summerizes the results, check out the firm’s website.