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Recommendations From Family And Friends Key To Restaurants' Customer Base

LOS ANGELES, January 15, 2013 () – Last weekend, I had brunch at Cici’s Café, a diner located in the Los Angeles suburb of Tarzana. Now I had never heard of Cici’s and based on what kind of food they had—typically breakfast and lunch fare, with prices on average with other such establishments—I probably wouldn’t have given the place a second thought.

And yet here I was at Cici’s last Saturday, with a pastrami omelet in front of me, for one simple reason:

A friend of mine recommended the place.

Now that alone may not seem like a big deal. But consider this: According to the National Restaurant Association’s 2013 Restaurant Industry Forecast, 94% of U.S. adult consumers said they were likely to base their restaurant choices on recommendations from a family member or friend. The forecast went on to say that one of the best ways to grow a restaurant’s customer base was from word-of-mouth recommendation.

It makes sense: When it comes to trying new restaurants, people will naturally lean toward the opinion of those who know them best. My friend, for example, knew I loved pancakes and thus knew I’d appreciate Cici’s wide varieties of the dish.

And she was right.

And Cici’s just got themselves a new regular.

Nevin Barich is the Food & Beverage Analyst for Industry Intelligence Inc. When it comes to trying out new restaurants, he trusts the recommendations of his family and friends. He can be reached at

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