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It’s True: Americans Love Bacon

Square data provides insights into consumer preferences and behavior.
July 17, 2014

​NEW YORK – According to a report from CNN Money, Square, the mobile payments company used by millions of small businesses, has been compiling information on customer ordering behavior since April 2013. That's when it released an item modifier tool as part of its point-of-sale product to help businesses — especially cafe and restaurant owners — customize orders.

From ice cream toppings, to condiment choices, to types of milk with your iced coffee, looking at the most commonly used modifiers reveals customer tastes and can clue business owners in to what people really want. The data, which is based on tens of millions of orders, reveals that — among other things —  in five out of eight major U.S. cities, bacon was among the top 20 most commonly used modifiers in foodservce operations.

So, if you're a foodservice operator in those five cities (Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and Minneapolis), it would behoove you to boost your bacon inventory. In fact, across the country, customers are 145% more likely to choose bacon over sausage and 38% more likely to want bacon instead of tomato.

CNN Money says that Square's findings also reveal that customers prefer to be highly, highly caffeinated  — they're more than 132% more likely to add a shot of espresso than to opt for decaf. And, not surprisingly, bigger is better. Customers are 58% more likely to choose a 16 oz. beverage than a 12 oz. one.

Square spokeswoman Faryl Ury told CNN Money that the company's real-time data can really benefit small businesses if used smartly: "A seller might be wondering, ‘Should I offer customers the option of adding bacon to any sandwich?’ As the data shows, the answer is yes."