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Consumer Trends

Restaurant traffic to increase at a slower rate than U.S. population over the next decade

Although the industry is slowly showing improvements after being hard hit by the recession, there remains cause for concern. According to NPD, a leading market research company, restaurants are expected to grow by only 1 percent a year while the country’s population will grow by 1.1 percent per year over the next decade. Based on this statistic in The NPD Group’s A Look into the Future of Foodservice report, the aging of Americans will have a negative effect on the industry. The report points out the reasons behind this trend:

  • Older consumers dine out less frequently than younger consumers
  • Restaurateurs will depend more on “lighter buyers”
  • Trends and promotions seen in the past are no longer working in the industry’s favor
  • There are now more people dining at home
  • Fewer women are entering the workforce and that has impacted restaurant traffic

Opportunities for restaurants to attract Baby Boomers and more customers in general include breakfast and afternoon snacks.

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