Study: Consumers Hungry for Restaurants

As restaurant recruiters, this is especially great news for us to hear! 

Consumers’ appetite for restaurant dining out has grown significantly from six months ago, according to a new study from consumer research firm Market Force Information.  This is another great indication that the restaurant industry is strong and can survive anything the economy tends to throw at it.  Americans love food and love to eat out!

About 25 percent of the 4,600 respondents to a Market Force poll indicated that they plan to eat at restaurants more in the next three months than they did during the previous three months, compared with only 5 percent of consumers surveyed in December 2009.

Only 8 percent of respondents projected that they would eat at a restaurant less than they did the past three months, compared with 52 percent who said so in December 2009, while two-thirds of consumers said their eating-out habits would stay the same, an improvement from the 44 percent who responded that way six months ago, according to Market Force.

The study indicating growing consumer hunger for dining out comes amid broader signs of a sluggish economic recovery. While the Department of Labor reported last week that the national unemployment rate fell from 9.7 percent in May to 9.5 percent in June, much of that decrease was attributed to 652,000 people dropping out of the labor force. Private employers added 83,000 jobs in June, while government payrolls decreased 125,000 after 225,000 census jobs were phased out.

The way restaurants attract those diners also is starting to change. Some of the industry’s biggest companies are shifting their marketing from aggressive traffic-driving deals to new products. For example, quick-service chains Subway and Taco Bell, which have long focused on value offerings, are looking to make in-roads at breakfast. Burger King pivoted from value offers like $1 double cheeseburgers to a limited-time offering of Fire-Grilled Ribs, a more premium product with a higher price point.

The Market Force survey also found that healthful restaurant menu options remain important to consumers as they express a willingness to dine out more. Forty-two percent of respondents said it was extremely important that restaurants post information on calories and nutrition, while 45 percent said it was somewhat important. Similarly, 36 percent of consumers said it was extremely important that restaurants serve appropriate portions, with 45 percent saying it was somewhat important.

Organic and locally sourced products are not as crucial to consumers, however. Forty percent of respondents said the use of organic products was not at all important, while 21 percent of consumers responded that local sourcing was not at all important.

Market Force’s survey was conducted among the firm’s network of more than 300,000 independent mystery shoppers and merchandisers. Of the 4,600 people selected for this study, which was conducted in May and June, 80 percent of them worked part time or full time, and 60 percent reported incomes of more than $50,000 a year. Seventy-six percent of respondents were women, and half the participants reported having children at home.
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What Clients Say About Patrice & Associates

  • Ms. Ross was great!

    First and foremost, I want to thank Carla Ross for helping me get the opportunity I was looking for. I was looking for a good job back in my home town and she definitely delivered. She was so nice and professional, and she made the process so fast and easy. I also love the fact she checked on me after I got hired.   Shareef Phillips Ms. Ross was great!
  • James was a true professional! 

    From to the first time we spoke, he knew the right questions to ask to help me refine my presentation.  He kept me informed every step of the way of my interview process and followed up after my employment started.  He deserves all my thanks.
    Jeremy Slade
    James was a true professional!
  • Working with David at Patrice and Associates was an excellent experience!

    David is super professional and really took a lot of time to talk with me, get to know what my needs are and match me with the best possible position. I always received speedy replies to any questions I had, and he was always accessible and accommodating to me throughout the process. I highly recommend working with this group for your needs, and would happily work with them in the future should I ever look for new opportunities. Thank you, Johnny Morgan Working with David at Patrice and Associates was an excellent experience!
  • Margo was fantastic!

    Throughout the process, she was able to get and keep me prepared and ready to answer any questions or curveballs that came my way.  I was better prepared during this interview process than I have ever been before.  A normally stressful process was made less so thanks to Margo.  She was the one that initially brought the opportunity to my attention and was there every step of the way to ensure I was successful.
    Thank you,
    Adam Saia
    Margo was fantastic!
  • I would like to say thank you for this great opportunity and helping me with the next mile stone on my career path.

    At first when I received the email I was uncertain that this would work. Upon talking to Michelle I discovered that not only was she really nice, but also quite resourceful. I started the process on a Tuesday and literally one week later I was offered a job on the spot, thanks to all of her assistance. We talked and I was able to be open with her.  She was able to put me in the mindset of my now area manager to go over what to say and do, and what to leave out during the interview. We went over resumes and she showed me how to improve mine so that I stood out. Overall if I ever had to do this again I would gladly work with Michelle but I’m secure in my career path.  Thanks again to Patrice and Associates, and Michelle! Keyona Ellis