The economic recovery may still be a bit uneven, but more consumers plan to dine out in the months ahead. These intentions hold true for all sectors of the restaurant industry according to the most recent American Express MarketBriefing based on Technomic data. In addition, consumers are not making dining out decisions solely based on special deals or promotions.
When Technomic surveyed consumers, the data revealed an increase in plans to eat out at least once a week by restaurant type as follows.
- Full service restaurant 16% (10% increase from last year)
- Quick serve restaurant 32% (21% increase from last year)
- Fast casual restaurant 12% (9% increase from last year)
During the recession, restaurant operators were forced to promote special deals and discounts to bring diners through the door. While consumers may still be focused on meal value, they are not always basing their dining decisions on deals and promotions. Here are the numbers of consumers who will visit a full service restaurant for dinner despite the lack of deals:
- Very likely 46%
- Somewhat likely 40%
- Not very likely 12%
- Not at all likely 2%
Technomic analysts suggest that restaurant operators may be able to build traffic once again by promoting new menu offerings. Ad campaigns that show healthful foods, locally-sourced foods or items that are unique or international may tempt consumers to go out for a meal.
[Source: Consumers’ Resistance to Spending Starts to Ebb. American Express MarketBriefing. June 2010. Web. 19 Jul. 2010]