Why eat out? New report from Technomic explains consumer behaviour

70% of consumers say they order shareable meals so they can try more than one item on the menu.
70% of consumers say they order shareable meals so they can try more than one item on the menu.

Consumers decide to eat away from home for many different reasons. Maybe they’re looking for a fun-filled environment or a family-friendly atmosphere. Or perhaps they crave a favorite menu item or simply a convenient, budget-friendly meal. Often, the decision to eat out stems from more than one reason.



26 February 2013

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Restaurants that genuinely understand consumers’ most significant ‘visit drivers’ can take important steps to tweak their operations and win incremental business.

For example a new report from Technomic,  a leading US fact-based consulting and research firm serving the food industry, finds that 70% of consumers say they order shareable meals so they can try more than one item on the menu.

“We see a strong relationship between different consumer dining occasions and the re-engineering of operators’ menus,” says Darren Tristano, Vice President of Technomic, “We’ve identified several distinct dining occasions and they’re directly influenced by consumer needs and industry trends. As operators and suppliers recognise how these occasions differ, they can spot opportunities to not only reposition menu offerings but to update and revamp service elements in order to meet the direct needs of customers for each occasion and gain valuable foodservice dollars.”

To help foodservice executives better understand consumer behavior, preferences and attitudes regarding a variety of key dining-occasion needstates, Technomic has developed the Menu Positioning & Occasion Driver Consumer Trend Report.
Among the report’s interesting findings:
            *    Cravings are strong foodservice purchase drivers; 50 percent of all consumers’ foodservice occasions are driven by cravings. In younger males (aged 18 to 24) this figure rises to 59%

            *    55% of consumers look for combo meals when seeking strong overall value-for-money at restaurants and other foodservice locations

            *    More than any other factor, 69% of consumers report that dining with friends contributes to a fun, exciting restaurant experience

            *    When having a regular meal with family or friends, nearly three-fifths of consumers (58%) prefer comfort foods.

Technomic’s report provides information on today’s developments around how food and beverage offerings are being promoted on the menu to directly appeal to consumers for specific occasions.

Its Menu & Dining Occasion Trends section provides a comprehensive overview of current trends for key dining occasions while the Consumer Insights section examines consumer definitions, patronage, purchasing behavior and preferences based on findings from an exclusive survey from 1,500 consumers in the US.

Finally, the report’s appendices feature detailed concept and menu profiles for 10 concepts that reveal how operators are positioning brands and menus to cater to consumers.



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