Pizza grabbed four of 10 spots in a recent list of mobile-directory restaurant searches in US metropolitan areas, according to V-Enable, as reported by TechCrunch. Pizza Hut, Domino’s, Papa John’s and Little Caesar’s all made the top six.
Results of the study suggest directory-search trends point to evidence of the lagging economy. Sit-down, full-service restaurants such as Olive Garden, Applebee’s and Red Lobster have dropped in the rankings, while lower-priced, convenience-oriented operations have gained ground.
Some 380% more searches for Pizza Hut were conducted between October 2007 and June 2008 than previously, and searches for Domino’s Pizza have increased 980% during the same period.
Top mobile restaurant searches (Oct. ’07 to June ’08):
- Pizza Hut
- Domino’s Pizza
- Papa John’s Pizza
- Little Caesar’s Pizza
- Taco Bell
- Burger King
People are staying home and ordering in because of the economy, and they are opting for less expensive meal alternatives, according to V-Enable, which pointed to other evidence from searches pointing to the economic downturn:
- U-Haul, which was never in the top 50, is now #23 in general search. V-Enable suggests this might be indicative of more foreclosures and the need to move.
- Macy’s dropped from #17 to #49 in retail searches, possibly suggesting that shopping for discretionary items has slowed.
- Motel 6, which has never been in the top 50, is now #37 in general search. This could be because travelers are looking for budget alternatives to pricey hotels.
About the study: The study was conducted with a random sampling of 20,000 searches in major metropolitan areas from customers of V-Enable partner carriers, including Alltel and MetroPCS. According to V-Enable, mobile search happens in real-time and is unaffected by SEO, making these statistics more reflective of consumer sentiment than web search.