Lunch is the meal consumers most often eat away from home—a couple of days a week on average—according to Technomic. In its 2014 Lunch Consumer Trend Report, the Chicago research firm reveals that 53 percent of people who have increased their lunch visits at fast-casual eateries in the last two years cite convenience as the motivating factor. Operators who want to grab a larger share of lunch business should take this and Technomic’s other findings into consideration when planning the menu and expediting orders.
- 41 percent of people who eat lunch at restaurants at least once a week do so because it saves time
- 51 percent of the 1,500 consumers surveyed cite taste of food and beverages as a factor for choosing a fast-casual restaurant, while 43 percent say “good value” is driving their visits
- 47 percent say they patronize restaurants within a narrow radius, going to the same few each time they eat lunch out
- However, operators who want to attract new customers should be persistent; 18 percent of consumers say they purchase lunch from a mix of restaurants they have not tried before and places that are familiar
- Menu variety is important; 63 percent of consumers say it is highly important for restaurants to offer a wide selection of items for weekday lunches. But beware of too large a menu that can slow down service, the report warns
- 28 percent of respondents favor frequent or new limited-time offers, which allow them to try new foods and branch out
Technomic’s report concludes that convenience, speed and the right menu mix are the keys to building weekday lunch business.