By tabulating the number of check-ins received, Facebook Places is now able to unveil to the world the favorite eating habits of the Facebook user base. The result? Topping out the list is everyone’s favorite coffee shop turned expensive bagel shop Starbucks. But the rest of the list might surprise you. Or not. Depending, y’know, your opinions on the average Facebook user.
Created almost a year ago in an attempt to compete with current reigning check-in champion Foursquare, Facebook Places allows users to alert their friends and family whenever they’ve arrived at a given location.
The list is as follows:
2. Buffalo Wild Wings
8. Olive Garden
9. T.G.I. Friday’s
10. The Cheesecake Factory
With its massive 170,000 locations nationwide (and let’s face it, free Wi-Fi) Starbucks tops out the list but what’s slightly surprising is that ranked right below it is Buffalo Wild Wings – a popular chicken wing stop with a mere 700 outlets. Quite a discrepancy.
Yet if there’s one thing the list clearly lacks is… well, a sense of culinary diversity. I don’t want to use the words “homogenized tacky chain restaurants” or “crappy diner food” to describe most of the entrants on the list, but well, I guess I just did. Chilli’s, Applebees, McDonalds, IHOP and even Denny’s fill out the list. Don’t get me wrong, I love Moons over My Hammy as much as the next guy but they all seem to suggest a lack of sophistication and say a lot about the general user base that Facebook caters to. Or does it?
I’m sure that to a portion of the Facebook users, a night out at the local Applebees is certainly something special and worth noting and bragging about to your friends. But I think what’s missing is the larger picture here. Let’s face it, no one is going to be spending their money going to some place like Nobu and taking the time to fiddle with their cell phone to let everyone know about it. And even if they do, places like Nobu and other fine dining establishments are vastly out-numbered by the national chains that dominate the list. So does this ultimately say more about the culture of Facebook or the culture of America at large?
One thing that it does seem to suggest however is that Facebook Places seems to be doing quite well. Although Facebook declined to provide specific numbers, it’s clearly enough of a data pool to derive some pretty accurate statistics. What this says to us is that if you have a restaurant or small eatery of any kind, you should consider signing up for a Facebook Page immediately.