Smartphone users crave Big Macs
Dying to buy a 4G smartphone? Then there's a good chance you'll dine tonight at a fast-food restaurant.
So concludes a new study. Here's its key finding: "Consumers who are first to buy the latest technologies - from smartphones to social media apps - are also avid restaurant patrons."
The study is from Technomic, a Chicago consulting and research firm that focuses on the restaurant industry.
In surveying 1,000 consumers, Technomic said it paid special attention to two groups - "innovators" and "early adopters."
According to Technomic, 83 percent of innovators and 72 percent of early adopters order from a fast-food restaurant at least once a week, compared with 56 percent for consumers on average.
Innovators and early adopters are also more likely to patronize "fast casual restaurants" such as Chipotle and Panera, Technomic said, but when they eat at home, they're more likely to shop for groceries at places such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe's than the population at large.
Now someone who can afford the latest technology is unlikely to be skimping on the food budget and loading up at home on Hamburger Helper and mac-and-cheese.
Technomic has a different theory about why these folks tend to be restaurant regulars.
As Technomic sees it, early tech adopters are big users of social media, and as such, they're quick to broadcast their opinions about the latest restaurant deals and new restaurant concepts.
In fact, many restaurants are taking steps to ensure that this prized demographic of innovators and early adopters doesn't go hungry.
“Restaurant chains are working hard to tap into the reach of social networks,” Erik Thoresen, director of product innovation at Technomic, said in a statement. “But the opportunity is also sizeable for independent and regional chains that develop a strong local following among early adopters.”