It can be exhausting trying to keep track of restaurant-goers’ ever-changing wants—especially when the “when” comes into question. The idea of three square meals at certain times and lasting for a set time is gone. Here, a look behavioral shifts that may impact restaurants this year.
2. Calories. Carbs. Cholesterol.
While the definition of better-for-you continues to shift, consumers are seeking out food low in these three attributes more than ever. Baby boomers are especially citing low-cholesterol foods as healthy more often—though they are the least likely to pay more for low-cholesterol claims.
3. Boost in off-hour traffic
Brunch patronage has increased at both casual-dining and upscale restaurants compared to two years ago, driven largely by younger consumers. These diners are also more likely to visit casual-dining spots for late-night meals after 10 p.m., often eating out with adult friends during these visits.
5. Discounts could drive catering
Two-fifths of consumers say they would order catered meals more often if restaurants offered specials and other discounts. In particular, 43% of both women and consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 say discount initiatives would boost their catering order habits.
6. Lunchtime slowdown
Contrary to service time guarantees like Buffalo Wild Wings’ promise of lunch in 15 minutes, the importance diners place on the speed of weekday lunch service has decreased since 2014, slipping 7%. Today’s customers may be OK with waiting longer if that means fresher, higher-quality food on the other end.
7. Add the snacks
Rising snack consumption will likely reshape how consumers view midday meals, as diners are replacing lunch with snacks about two days a week. In addition, 30% of consumers say they expect restaurants to provide lunch in small snacklike sizes such as mini or half portions.
8. Ladies love loyalty
More women than men currently participate in restaurant loyalty programs, and slightly more women also say that loyalty programs are very likely to influence them to visit a certain restaurant. They value exclusive offers, too, like first tastes and private events.