Deal-Seeking Diners Go Digital

food and dining survey

RetailMeNot, Inc., a leading digital savings destination connecting consumers with retailers, restaurants and brands, both online and in-store, recently released the results of a survey titled “Dining Out Goes Digital” to showcase updated consumer habits as it relates to eating outside the home in 2017.

In 2016, sales at restaurants and bars outpaced sales at grocery stores for the first time ever, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Additionally, a survey from RetailMeNot released last year showed consumers are turning to their mobile devices to decide where to eat and how much to spend. Today, consumers are looking to save money on food. In fact, RetailMeNot’s latest food and dining survey data shows more than 1 in 3 restaurant goers have searched, or plan to search, for deals ahead of dining out.

Further, more than half (53%) of consumers surveyed have at least one food and dining app on their phone, with about 20% of those apps focused primarily on saving money. Download the results of the full 2017 survey here.

Dining on Deals

Consumers are more likely to explore a new restaurant or cuisine if offered a deal or a discount: 80% of consumers indicated they’re likely to try a new restaurant if they’re offered a promotion.

“When choosing a restaurant, customers are faced with many choices, and a promotion or discount can help diners decide where to eat,” said Marissa Tarleton, CMO of RetailMeNot. “We know customers are using their mobile devices to search, review, and rate their experience while dining out. It’s important for restaurant marketers to reach these consumers on their mobile devices in the moments they are planning where to dine.”

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How Far Are Consumers Willing to Go?

Consumers go the distance to get a deal on restaurants, with 62% indicating they are willing to travel up to 10 miles to eat at a restaurant offering a deal or discount.

On the other hand, today’s digital world also helps food come to them, rather than having to go out. The survey revealed that 61% of men have food delivery apps on their phone, compared to only 39% of women.

A Look at What’s on the Menu

A majority of consumers (72%) would prefer dining in at a restaurant versus using delivery and take-out options, and they’re hungry for discounts on a variety of foods. American food captured the biggest share of desired discounts (42 percent), with pizza, Italian food and Mexican food all tied at 39%.

More specifically, millennial diners have a greater craving for savings on burgers (44%), while Gen Xers are on the hunt for a good deal on Mexican food (38%).

RetailMeNot can help quick service, casual dining and fast-casual restaurants reach more than 9 million diners seeking deals through promotions and campaigns. With actionable insights, our team of data experts can help connect your restaurant with deal-seeking diners. For more information on working with RetailMeNot, contact


This RetailMeNot Google Survey was conducted in April 2017 among 1,010 nationally representative U.S. consumers. The purpose of this research was to collect insight from restaurant patrons aged 18 to 65-plus on their digital savings habits and preferences. Survey results have been weighted for gender, age and geographic region. Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding.

RetailMeNot, Inc. is a leading savings destination connecting consumers with retailers, restaurants and brands, both online and in-store. The company enables consumers across the globe to find hundreds of thousands of digital offers to save money while they shop or dine out. To learn more, please visit their website