They may not be the largest group, accounting for only 14 percent of today’s diners, but these tech-savvy, on-the-go consumers—or “Busy Balancers” as they’re defined by Chicago researcher Technomic—hit up restaurants a lot. Juggling busy schedules, these typically female millennials of middle to upper income purchase 36 percent of their meals from foodservice spots every week, accounting for 23 percent of all dining-out occasions. And they’re willing to spend. “Busy Balancers tend to be a bit more demanding, especially when it comes to food quality,” says Sara Monnette, Technomic’s senior director of consumer insights and innovation. Asked which aspects of the restaurant experience are most important, 78 percent said food quality; only 11 percent named low prices.
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