Restaurant Pulse Check: How Dining Out Is Trending Among Consumers
Key Trends, Insights and Analysis to Increase Restaurant Sales, Loyalty and Market Slice
In recent years, the restaurant industry has been hit hard as consumers have started to dine out less frequently.
To win back guests, restaurants are rethinking their pricing strategies and business models by implementing price reductions, incentivizing purchases, and responding to evolving consumer behavior.
There are two primary causes for the decrease in restaurant sales. An increase in restaurant meal prices, brought on by the rising cost of doing business, is one reason why consumers on a tight budget are discouraged. In addition, many consumers have become more comfortable with staying at home and cooking their meals, which they consider more affordable and convenient.
Source: 1 Vericast Awareness-to-Action Study September 2022
The Dish On Today’s Restaurant Consumers
Consumer survey data is a powerful tool for restaurants to revive loyalty, providing valuable insight into their preferences, trends, and behaviors. Scroll down for some of the most significant restaurant-related consumer trends and concerns taken from Vericast’s January 2023 Awareness-to-Action Study of 1,954 consumers across generations and socioeconomic levels.
Warming Menu Prices Put The Chill On Consumers
Consumers have become increasingly sensitive to rising restaurant prices, which has caused them to scrutinize menus and prices more closely, balance them against their dining expenses, and “86” brand loyalty.
Consumers were asked for one word to describe:
Shaking up brand loyalty
Consumers are responding to restaurant price hikes by seeking out more affordable options.
Source: 2 Vericast Awareness-to-Action Study, September 2022
BREAKING THE HOME DINING HABIT
The trend for consumers to stay or “nest” at home has become more ingrained by the recent pandemic, putting the heat on restaurants to find ways to entice consumers who are no longer considering dining out.
Are streaming entertainment through their devices, including at home
Want messages that save time or make life easier3
Source: 3 Vericast Awareness-to-Action Study September 2022
Said their purchases will be more focused on “nesting at home” this year3
Home cooking: A costly surprise for consumers and silver platter opportunity for restaurants
Consumers surveyed who thought cooking at home would save money are finding out it actually may be more expensive than dining out.
OVERCOMING STUBBORN CONSUMER INERTIA
Inertia is a powerful force in the daily lives of consumers. Change is uncomfortable for them and requires great effort. Persuading guests to re-emerge from their homes, return to familiar haunts, and spend more than they planned is a challenging task for restaurants, but the payout is sweet.
Tempt guests to trade up
Wooing consumers to trade up often results in increased revenue, profitability, brand image and guest satisfaction.
Influence Behavior With Savings and Discounts
Source: 4 Vericast Awareness-to-Action Study September 2022
say coupons and discounts …
ENTICE THEM TO TRY A NEW RESTAURANT
HELP THEM CHOOSE BETWEEN RESTAURANTS
MAKE THEM MORE LOYAL4
“I won’t eat/order from a restaurant without a coupon or discount”
“I spend more at a fast-food restaurant when I have a coupon or discount”
INCENTIVIZE LOYAL CUSTOMERS
To combat consumer shifts to at-home dining and increased price sensitivity, many restaurants are turning to loyalty programs and incentives to retain loyal guests. Acknowledging loyalty with rewards and savings is another effective way to entice guests to return to restaurant dining and spend more.
“If a restaurant doesn’t reward my loyalty with coupons and discounts, I’ll switch to one that does”
Heat Up Cold Apps
Restaurants that motivate guests to engage with their apps by offering loyalty rewards gain a significant competitive advantage.
TAP INTO OPPORTUNITY
35% of consumers surveyed said they first check their restaurant phone app when deciding where to dine.
OMNICHANNEL: THE PERFECT BLEND OF CONSUMER ENGAGEMENT
By using an omnichannel marketing strategy, restaurants can influence consumer behavior and price perception. By providing a consistent message and experience across multiple touchpoints — in their homes, mailboxes, email, social media, TV, and on their devices — restaurants can overcome consumer inertia and drive engagement.
Consistent omnichannel messaging instills the level of trust and loyalty consumers need to feel comfortable and confident to engage with a business, even if it requires leaving their home.
about the awesome power of omnichannel engagement
“Which of the following helped you decide where to dine in the past 30 days?”
PRINT AD WITH COUPON
RESTAURANT LOYALTY APP
DRIVE VISITS AND SPENDING WITH REWARDS AND INSPIRATION
Staying current and adapting to consumer trends and changing behaviors allows restaurants to remain relevant in today’s fast-paced and competitive landscape. By knowing the temperature in the room, restaurateurs can craft marketing strategies that drive guest visits and increase sales and market share.
ABOUT THE STUDY
As part of our ongoing TrendWatch series, Vericast recently conducted an Awareness-to-Action Study survey of 1,954 consumers across generations and various financial statuses to learn their attitudes, goals, and mindsets heading into 2023. The restaurant-specific survey was conducted in January of this year.
Gen Z 1997-2005 | Millennials 1981-1996 | Gen X 1965-1980 | Baby Boomers 1946-1964
Frequent restaurant diners: order or visit at least once a week or more often