Thursday, January 17, 2013

Customers still seek value when dining out

When dining out, budget-conscious consumers continue to expect the best value for their money, the National Restaurant Association's 2013 Restaurant Industry Forecast has found.

Among operators polled, nine out of 10 said their customers were more value-conscious today than they were two years ago.

Hudson Riehle, Sr. VP
of the NRA's Research
& Knowledge Center
Furthermore, 79 percent of consumers questioned for the report's 2012 National Household Survey said they would consider dining out more often if menu prices were lower during off-peak times. In addition, a slightly higher proportion of frequent quick-service users and takeout dinner customers also said they might go out more often if prices were lower during off-peak periods.

"Offering reduced prices during off-peak meal times is potentially a good way to offer additional value to existing and new customers," said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the NRA's Research & Knowledge Center. "The ability for restaurant operators to shift some current as well as new customers to slower times of the day and week is a well-established practice in other consumer driven industries. In the years ahead, and aided by new technologies, more restaurateurs will consider and offer enhanced value propositions at nontraditional times."

Still, the operators surveyed had mixed opinions regarding whether off-peak dining at lower prices would become a trend. Approximately 60 percent of full-service operators said they thought it would, while just 39 percent of fast-casual and 33 percent of quick-service operators thought the trend would gain in popularity.

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