Darby Sieben - » FourSquare

By: Ks2  09-12-2011

Darby Sieben - » FourSquare

It is no secret that any of the location based services listed above have the highest penetration in major US markets like San Francisco and New York, but what about Canada?

Are Canadians checking in?

So I decided to spot check some businesses in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal to see how active Canadian’s are. I decided to focus on Restaurants. My selection criteria for which restaurants and spas to choose was as following, In Google I did a local search and selected business #3 in their 7-pack. In YellowPages.ca, I selected the #8 business and in Yelp.ca I selected business #6. This would give me a random sample of businesses. I also limited this to FourSquare as this is the most popular check-in service.

Here are my findings.

Vancouver Restaurants:
C Restaurant (selected from ) –
Tojo’s Restaurant (selected from ) –
Top Of Vancouver Revolving Restaurant (selected from ) –

Calgary Restaurants
Calgary Marriott Hotel (selected from ) –
Capo Restaurant (selected from ) – 5 checkins
Karma Fine Indian Cuisine (selected from ) – 2 checkins

Toronto Restaurants
Bistro 990 Restaurant (selected from , this is actually listing #4) –
Pomegranate Restaurant (selected from ) –
The Real Jerk (selected from ) –

Montreal Restaurants
Restaurant Toqué (selected from ) – 5 checkins
Santos (selected from , actually #8) –
Arahova Souvlaki (selected from ) –

The only thing that surprised me about the above results is Toronto. I would have expected to Toronto to come in closer to Montreal in terms of checkins because of population concentration and smartphone penetration. However, this might be a result of the fact that Toronto does not have the density of Montreal (land mass to population size), which might also explain why Vancouver is more comparative to Montreal. Calgary actually holds it own, relative to its population size and the fact that Calgary.

Although comparatively to the US, Canada is not at the 1/10 rule (see some US results below), it is pretty clear to me that Canadians in the large urban markets have started to embrace checkin. This group, like in the US, are the ones at the start of the product curve and the big question going forward is whether checkin services will hit mass adoption.

How does this compare to the top US cities. Here are the results for San Francisco and New York using the same process as above. I used YellowPages.com as the 3rd source.

San Francisco Restaurants
Zuni Cafe (selected from ) –
R & G Lounge (selected from ) –
Cote Sud (selected from ) –

New York Restaurants
Spring Street Natural Restaurant (selected from ) –
La Sirene (selected from ) –
Serendipity 3 (selected from ) –

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