Consumers' Positive Outlook Indicates They May Increase Restaurant Spending in Next Year

Consumers' positive outlook on the future indicates that they may increase spending on foodservice in the next year. Half of Millennials (50%) expect their personal financial situation to improve in the coming year while only a fifth of all consumers surveyed (21%), think their financial situation will worsen over the next year. In order to appeal to consumers and win their foodservice dollars, operators and suppliers need to consider attitude and lifestyle differences by generation, particularly as this translates into their foodservice needstates, preferences and expectations. 

"As Millennials begin to shift into new life stages, it is vital for restaurant chains to stay on top of their changing needs and preferences, particularly in the areas of health and wellness, quality and value," says Director of Consumer Research Sara Monnette. "Millennials are a critical consumer group to the foodservice industry and finding ways to market to them can be difficult because they have high and varied expectations. Earning their dollars goes deeper than the quality of food."

To help operators and suppliers understand each generation's usage and attitudes toward foodservice, Technomic has developed The Generational Consumer Trend Report. Interesting findings include:

  • Although Millennials earn a lower income than older consumers, a greater percentage of Millennials (42%) than Gen Xers (33%) and Boomers (24%) report visiting upscale casual-​dining restaurants at least once a month.
  • Of all generations, Millennials are most influenced by coupons and discounts when choosing a restaurant. 43% agree that coupons and discounts influence where they purchase food.
  • A substantial percentage of Millennials (32%) and Gen Xers (26%) say they are overwhelmed by their daily responsibilities and indicate that they do not have time to cook at home as often as they would like. However, just 13% of Boomers are in agreement.
  • 31% of Millennials chose either "often" or "very often" when asked "How often do you choose restaurants based on the healthfulness of their menu?" Only 21% of Gen Xers and 18% of Boomers made that choice, aligning with data showing that more Millennials say it is important to eat healthy.
[Source:  "The Generational Consumer Trend Report."  Technomic.  8 Aug. 2012.  Web.  9 Aug. 2012.]