For U.S. Diners, Experience Is the Influencer
As I was reading through the findings of one of several restaurant and food trend reports to hit my inbox every week, my thoughts kept returning to something millennial researcher Jason Dorsey said at the NRA Show last month. He was talking about the marking tagline that works best on millennials: “Something as unique as you are.”
“As millennials, they want to hear, ‘how am I going to have a unique experience,’” said Dorsey.
But that experiential desire isn’t unique to one age demographic of diners and instead is becoming increasingly important to more consumers, especially as they’re spending an average of $144 per month on food prepared outside the home—that’s 35 percent of U.S. diners’ total monthly food budget.
That assertion comes from this year’s “The Why? Behind The Dine” report, released by food industry research firm Technomic, in conjunction with sales and marketing firm Acosta.
Of those surveyed, 63 percent of diners agree that visiting restaurants is a form of entertainment for them. For franchise restaurants looking to stand out, particularly as dining dollars are being spread across more off-premise channels such as delivery and carryout, this means focusing on differentiating elements such as convenience, atmosphere and social sharing.
Some more insight from the report:
• 42 percent of millennials’ monthly food budget is spent on food prepared outside the home, more than any other generation.
• 35 percent of Gen Xers’ monthly food budget is spent on food prepared outside the home.
• 56 percent of millennial and Gen X foodservice dollars are being spent off-premise (such as through carryout or delivery).
• 28 percent of diners with kids indicate they often tell family and friends about their restaurant experiences on social media, with many including photos of their meals.