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Big spenders

You’ve got a lot of different people coming into your restaurant, but which ones spend the most money? The data gurus at Claritas Inc. in San Diego crunched some numbers for Restaurant Business and came up with the demographic groups most likely to spend big bucks at casual dining restaurants. Generally, the more affluent are more likely to eat at casual outlets. This is partly due to their spending power, but also the fact that casual dining restaurants locate near these groups. Here are the biggies:

Midlife success. The clear frontrunner in spending at most casual dining categories (Asian, seafood, variety, steak, Italian and bar and grill) is a demographic segment in its thirties and forties, mostly childless singles and couples. They account for about 16 percent of total casual-dining dollars spent. These mostly white, college-educated, six-figure salary holders work executive and professional jobs, live in suburbs and love the hottest technology, financial products, aerobic exercise and travel.

Young achievers. Lead spenders in the casual dining pizza and “other” categories are young, hip singles.
In their twenties and living in metro areas, they have a broad income range, but most rent in or near cities. They are politically liberal, enjoy alternative music and nightlife and are likely to be in college living in group quarters.

Young accumulators. This ethnically diverse group accounts for 15.8 percent of spending on Mexican, the lead group. There are large numbers of Hispanic and Asian Americans in this demographic, with college-educated adults working a mix of white-collar managerial and professional jobs. They are large, suburban families, living comfortable, upscale lifestyles. They lean toward outdoor sports, kid-friendly technology and adult toys like campers, powerboats and motorcycles. Their media tastes lean towards cable networks targeted to children and teenagers.

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