Starbucks Has More than 1,700 Facebook Friends Per Restaurant, Most Foursquare Check-ins Per Week

Restaurant use of location-based services for advertising is expected to ‘explode’ in 2011, according to a new report by Packaged Facts, as check-in services such as Foursquare, Gowalla, Facebook Places, and Twitter geolocation continue to grow. The report shows that having a significant Facebook presence allows restaurant brands to connect with consumers and build a large base that can be further engaged through location-based advertising and promotions.

Starbucks has more than 1,700 Facebook friends per restaurant unit, and the report reveals that Facebook users are over 70% more likely than average to visit Starbucks. Other restaurant brands with over 1,500 friends per unit include Buffalo Wild Wings, The Cheesecake Factory and Chick-fil-AChipotle Mexican Grill follows closely behind with nearly 1,200 Facebook friends per unit. MediaPost reports that “engaged” Facebook users are nearly 70% more likely than average to patronize this chain, and “hyper-engaged” users are more than 85% more likely.

With their success on Facebook, it’s not surprising that both Starbucks and Chipotle continue to show in the top 10 for weekly Foursquare check-ins. With 158,197 check-ins on Foursquare in the week before Valentine’s Day, Starbucks had as many check-ins as the next 5 top retailers combined (McDonald’s came in 2nd with 54,599).  The next restaurant on the list was Chipotle at 12,080 (an impressive 15% increase from the week before) and Burger King with 11,224 check-ins, according to weekly stats from Advertising Age.

Click here to view an overview of the Packaged Facts report “Social Media and Technology in the U.S. Foodservice Industry: Trends and Opportunities for an Emerging Market.”