Millennials Check Online Reviews, Gen Zs Turn to Influencers for Restaurant Recommendations

Nov 14, 2023
Millennials Check Online Reviews, Gen Zs Turn to Influencers for Restaurant Recommendations
In today’s digital age, consumers have access to a wealth of information that helps them make informed decisions, especially when choosing a restaurant. In this context, online reviews and social media platforms have become vital for diners to share their experiences and gather information.

In “Connected Dining: Word of Mouth in the Digital Age,” PYMNTS Intelligence draws insights from a survey of nearly 2,300 consumers to examine how they use digital platforms and other tools to guide their restaurant journeys as well as how restaurants can leverage social media, search engines and other forms of word of mouth to build their brands in the digital economy.

According to the research study, positive online reviews significantly influence consumers’ dining choices, with nearly half of restaurant-goers more likely to order from restaurants after reading positive reviews. Conversely, negative reviews influence 29% of diners to be less likely to order from a particular restaurant.

The data shows that millennials and bridge millennials are highly influenced by online reviews when choosing where to dine and what to order. Moreover, they are also active contributors, with 74% of millennials and 71% of bridge millennials stating their likelihood to leave reviews based on their dining experiences.

Gen Z consumers, on the other hand, rely more on content creators and influencers for restaurant information. Social media platforms play a crucial role in this regard, with 37% of consumers looking at content shown on restaurants’ social media pages. Platforms like YouTube, Instagram and TikTok are particularly popular among Gen Z consumers for gathering restaurant information.

Overall, Google is the go-to resource for restaurant reviews and all dining-related information, with 56% of consumers using Google to search for restaurant information in the 30 days before the survey. Social media platforms also play a significant role, with 64% of consumers using at least one social media platform to search for restaurant information. Millennials and bridge millennials tend to gravitate toward Google and Facebook, while Gen Z consumers prefer YouTube, Instagram and TikTok.

While good food, high-quality service, and positive customer experiences remain crucial, restaurants must take a multi-pronged approach to customer engagement. This includes proactively encouraging customers to leave online reviews and leveraging social media platforms to enhance their online presence.

McLaren Health Care, a healthcare provider based in Michigan, has reported a data breach that compromised the personal and health information of about 2.2 million patients.

The hackers accessed a wide range of patient information, including names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, billing and claims information, prescription details, diagnostic results and treatment information, TechCrunch reported Monday (Nov. 13), citing a data breach notification and attached notice of data event filed by McLaren Health Care. The breach also affected Medicare and Medicaid patient information.

“Upon learning of the event, we immediately took steps to secure our network and maintain operations in a safe and secure fashion,” McLaren Health Care said in an incident notification statement posted on its website.

The cyberattack, which occurred in July and August, involved a ransomware gang gaining unauthorized access to McLaren’s systems for three weeks, according to the TechCrunch report.

McLaren Health Care became aware of the breach a week later, the report said. The healthcare provider filed a data breach notice with Maine’s attorney general.

The breach came to public attention in October when the Alphv ransomware gang, also known as BlackCat, claimed responsibility for the cyberattack and posted screenshots of the stolen data on the dark web, per the report.

McLaren currently faces multiple class-action lawsuits related to the cyberattack, according to the report.

This report comes on the heels of several other ransomware attacks seen across industries.

It was reported Monday that a hacker group said the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) paid a ransom following an attack last week. The bank, which is China’s largest lender, confirmed the attack in a notice on its financial services website last week, saying that it disrupted some of its systems. However, the hacker’s statement has not been independently confirmed.

Ransomware attacks target any accessible data, including payment information and personally identifiable information, Visa reported in September. Exploited vulnerabilities and compromised credentials are common causes of these attacks, the company said at the time.

Visa also reported that ransomware attacks reached record-breaking numbers in March, with a 91% increase compared to the previous month and a 62% rise compared to the same period a year earlier.