Trends That Affect the Restaurant Business
This has driven people to seek easier ways of coping with the many demands on their time. Consequently, convenience has become a major factor when making consumption decisions. The challenge: How can you make your restaurant more accessible and time-efficient for your target clientele? • A growing awareness of the importance of health maintenance has raised the demand for healthier choices in restaurants as well as in take-out foods.
Health issues and diet consciousness increasingly influence what and where people choose to eat. The challenge: How can your restaurant attract and better serve this growing segment of the market by offering healthier choices? • Many people are defying the stereotypical patterns linked with their age group. These behavioral changes express themselves as older adults become more accepting of casual dress wear and activities usually associated with younger adults, teens walk around with wallets full of allowance money, and young people with first-time credit cards are eager to exercise their spending power.
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The marketing strategies and advertising pitches that have been used to attract these groups must be reassessed. The challenge: How can your restaurant keep up with the products and services that these groups now seek and expect? • Modern lifestyles, such as younger people not marrying until later in life, single-parent households, and gender complexities are also affecting spending patterns, requiring businesses to evaluate how well they meet the needs of these groups.
The challenge: How can your restaurant broaden its appeal to give these groups more reasons to favor you with their patronage? • Many people seek relief from daily stress through small indulgences, such as comfort foods that help them escape the day’s pressures. The challenge: How can your restaurant satisfy those needs through in-house or take-out offerings? • Consumers are bombarded with commercials touting the good life and increasingly want to participate in it. Lower- and middleincome earners are searching for experiences that give them a taste of luxury on a low budget.
The challenge: How can you upgrade your menu, service, or ambiance to satisfy those desires while keeping your prices affordable? • Diners appear to be seeking greater sensory fulfillment and are more willing to experiment with new foods. Your guests’ experience includes what they see, hear, touch, taste and smell at every point in your restaurant. The challenge: How can your restaurant match their expectations? • The growth of ethnic populations in America presents opportunities to restaurants that are welcoming and address their wants and needs.
These market segments represent a huge volume of buying power. The challenge: How can your restaurant extend its marketing outreach to these groups and capitalize on the opportunities they present? Reports on these and other trends are available from Datamonitor. The National Restaurant Association also informs its members on industry trends through its newsletter, SmartBriefs; its annual Restaurant Industry Operations Report; and its Educational Foundation publications.