Freshness and Choice = Value

How do restaurant customers define value? While "quality for the price" tops the list, fresh ingredients and a variety of choices are close behind, according to a recent NPD report entitled Defining Value: Where Consumers Choose to Eat Out. The report identifies five segments of diners, the largest of which are not driven by low pricing and deals.

  • Two of the largest consumer segments—foodies and restaurant regulars—together comprise 58% of the market. They care most about quality of their meal, fresh ingredients and freshly prepared food
  • About 50% of consumers say they want choice. When it comes to combo meals, almost 66% agree that they'd rather have choice than pre-determined meals
  • Consumers visiting fast casual, midscale/family dining and casual dining restaurants are the most likely to seek choice

"Quality remains the most important value-driver when choosing restaurants and should be viewed as a cost of entry," says Bonnie Riggs; NPD restaurant industry analyst. "Operators must go further, however, and deliver on customization and fresh ingredients as these are other important factors in the value equation."


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