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Half of U.S. consumers eat out once a week: Technomic


October 7, 2014
By Canadian Pizza

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Oct. 7, 2014, Chicago – Consumers rarely skip dinner, and while most dinners are prepared at home, 53 per cent of
consumers use foodservice for these occasions at least once a week, says Technomic in a new report.

Oct. 7, 2014, Chicago – Consumers rarely skip dinner, and while most dinners are prepared at home, 53 per cent of
consumers use foodservice for these occasions at least once a week, says Technomic in a new report.

What sends them away from home? Convenience plays an important role, suggests a report entitled Canadian Dinner & Late-Night Consumer Trend Report from research firm Technomic.
Cravings are another strong driver, as restaurant-goers look for foods
they love, but may not be able to duplicate at home. Another key
consideration for today's consumers revolves around the experience – tying
together all the ambiance and service elements that contribute to an
enjoyable dining occasion.

"Consumers say the sheer enjoyment of dining out is vital for dinner and late-night occasions," said Darren Tristano, Technomic's executive vice-president, in a news release. "Key attributes like
attentive service, an appealing ambiance, and a craveable mix of menu
offerings can combine to create experiences that attract evening traffic
and give operators more opportunities to capitalize on dinner and
late-night visits."

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The report, which is intended to help foodservice executives understand the latest behaviours,
preferences and attitudes of consumers regarding dinner and late-night
dining, indicated some interesting findings:

  • About a quarter of consumers visit restaurants for happy hour (28
    per cent), late-night snacks or drinks (27 per cent) and special-occasion
    dinners (23 per cent) at least once a month.
  • When choosing a dinner spot, good overall value is important to 83
    per cent of respondents, while just 63 per cent cite low prices, stressing
    the importance of value over cost.
  • Health is more important for dinner than late-night visits: 53
    per cent of consumers say healthy options are important when choosing a
    dinner restaurant versus 30 per cent who say the same for choosing a
    late-night spot.
  • Appetizers, snacks and small plates are ideal for evening
    foodservice visits: 57 per cent of consumers order appetizers for dinner
    at least sometimes, while 45 per cent order appetizers and snacks for
    late-night occasions.