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What Consumers Want When Dining Out

A Technomic study explores consumer behavior, attitudes and more about their dining habits.

While a multitude of reasons lead to consumers to purchasing meals prepared outside the home, foodservice operators need to develop a working knowledge of the behavior, preferences and attitudes regarding a variety of key dining occasion needs. And a Technomic study, "Menu Positioning & Occasion Driver Consumer Trend Report," helps shed some light on consumers' dining related behaviors.

Findings from the study include:

  • 70 percent of consumers say they order shareable meals so they can try more than one item on the menu.
  • Although 58 percent of convenience-driven meal occasions are for takeout or delivery, 42 percent are for dine-in, indicating that speed of service is also a key factor for dine-in occasions.
  • Cravings are strong foodservice purchase drivers; 50 percent of all consumers' — and 59 percent of younger males' (aged 18-24) — foodservice occasions are driven by cravings.
  • 55 percent of consumers look for combo meals when seeking strong overall value for their money at restaurants and other foodservice locations.
  • More than any other factor, 69 percent of consumers report that dining with friends contributes to a fun, exciting restaurant experience.
  • When having a regular meal with family or friends, 58 percent prefer comfort foods.