Consumer Trends

Consumer trends, insights and preferences

Consumer Trends

Vegetables grow more interesting

Move over carrots and broccoli. A variety of “new” vegetables is showing up on restaurant plates. And it’s not happening in fine dining alone. Many chain and casual concepts are incorporating items like kale, beets and Brussels sprouts on their menus—inspired by chef-driven dishes at more upscale spots.

Consumer Trends

Valentine's Day: The second-busiest day of the year

While mothers continue to trump sweethearts when it comes to the most popular holiday to dine out, one-quarter of Americans will be sitting in restaurants on February 14, according to research from the National Restaurant Association (NRA). As Valentine's Day falls on a Thursday this year, the annual reservation survey from OpenTable also shows diners will be celebrating love well into the weekend. Results from both sources revealed a number of different dining trends and habits operators can use to sweeten the holiday for everyone

A recent Technomic study found that healthy meal options for kids are more important to parents than expansive kids’ menus. Combined with the current issues around children and obesity, updating your menu offering for young guests may seem daunting. Several industry programs have not only been created to help operators approach these issues, but are celebrating successes.

The beef on that burger is costing restaurants more this year, but asking customers to pay for the ketchup or mayo they squirt on top is not the way to offset high prices.

The NRA’s annual forecast of restaurant-menu trends, based on a survey of 1,600 chefs, listed a number of familiar currents. But then there were the jaw-droppers, including these.

Some are big hitters from big names, and others we’re just plain curious about.

In addition to measuring chains’ operational attributes, Technomic also rated their connections to consumers through a series of questions designed to gauge loyalty and perception of a brand.

Eateries are extending the daypart by catering to consumers who eat two small morning meals.

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