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Americans dined away from home an average of four meals per week in 2013—a 60 percent increase since the end of the recession, according to a recent report by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).
Many operators have discovered the power of leveraging premium-brand products on the menu and tabletop. Front-of-the-house branding can take various forms, such as showcasing a brand-name cookie or candy ingredient in a dessert recipe, placing brand-name condiments on the table, or menuing the customer-preferred brand of iced tea by the glass and pitcher. Each is a way of showing a commitment to quality and not coincidentally, boosting sales and profits.
Restaurant operators will agree that providing nutrition information so that customers can make informed ordering decisions is a reality of business in these health-conscious times.
Southwest Airlines passengers now sip the airline's signature LIFT® coffee from an improved new cup. It's easy to hold, heat retaining, environmentally friendly and sends an updated brand message for the airline as well.
These days, consumers are not only eating away from home more often, but they’re paying more attention to what they’re eating, a realization that hasn’t gone unnoticed by savvy operators.
Most restaurant operators are looking long and hard at flavor profiles and calorie counts in this age of menu labeling. Posting the calories of restaurant menu items has been the law in parts of the country for several years, and before long, it will be required nationwide for chains with 20 or more units.