How technology is reshaping the way Americans dine

SNAP HAPPY: Snapping photos of food has become a mainstream activity in restaurants across the US.

It’s official. More and more US diners are become unabashed food pornographers.

According to market research firm Mintel, 13% of Americans who dined out in the past month and who use social media reported posting a food or drink photo on sites like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

In hard numbers, that translates to an impressive 29.2 million Americans.

Before pulling out the smartphone, however, make sure to comply with restaurant policies, as more and more fine dining establishments are implementing no-photo rules, citing fears of culinary plagiarism or disruptions to fellow diners, or simply to quash the intent of braggarts who are more interested in boasting about their meal online than eating it.

If they’re not snap-happy, meanwhile, 14% of diners are also engaging with restaurants via their social media page, posting positive comments on Facebook or Twitter.

Meanwhile, the Mintel report also revealed consumer preferences for perks and services, with the buy-one-get-one-free deal the most popular type of incentive (46%), followed by value and dollar menu options (33%).

Men are also more likely to choose a restaurant if it has free Wifi connectivity and a big screen compared to women, who are more likely to choose a restaurant to fill up their loyalty cards or if it features digital tablet menus. – AFP Relaxnews

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