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Research suggests mood biggest motivation to eat out


December 9, 2014
By Canadian Pizza

Topics

Dec. 9, 2014, Jacksonville, FL, and Chicago – Consumers
cite mood as the biggest driver of going out for dinner, followed by being too
tired to cook, being asked by family to go and celebrating special occasions,
said a new U.S. report on customer motivation.

Dec. 9, 2014, Jacksonville, FL, and Chicago – Consumers
cite mood as the biggest driver of going out for dinner, followed by being too
tired to cook, being asked by family to go and celebrating special occasions,
said a new U.S. report on customer motivation

The Why? Behind The Dine, a joint foodservice report that
analyzes how consumers determine what’s for dinner, has been released by Acosta
Sales & Marketing and research firm Technomic. The research details the
complexities of consumers’ dining decision drivers, the price/value equation
and digital dining tactics, said a news release.

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“Determining what to eat for dinner was once a simple
decision, but today consumers’ ‘path to the plate’ is chock full of
intricacies,” said Colin Stewart, senior vice-president, Acosta, in the release.
“As factors such as family and friends, convenience and value intersect with
the exponential growth of meal solutions, diners are influenced by overlapping
and interrelated variables at every meal.”

“Our research indicates dining decisions are both
situational and budget driven,” added Bob S. Goldin, executive vice-president,
Technomic. “Without a common path across consumer groups, it’s more challenging
than ever for foodservice operators to compete. However, by better
understanding diners’ key behaviors, operators can not only maintain but grow
their share of the plate.”

The report highlights several interesting characteristics of
customer behaviour:

  • In the past 30 days, 86 per cnet of diners ate at a
    restaurant; 71 per cent ordered food for pick-up or carry out, or ordered from
    a drive-thru; 66 per cent brought home prepared foods from a grocery store; and
    48 per cent ordered restaurant food for delivery.
  • State of mind drives dining decisions. The most influential
    drivers behind bringing home prepared foods and determining when and where to
    eat out are reflective of how consumers feel at the time.
  • Consumers cite mood as the biggest driver (44 per cent) of
    going out to eat for dinner, followed by being too tired to cook (42 per cent),
    family asking to go (41 per cent) and special events such as birthdays or
    anniversaries (41 per cent).
  • When it comes to where to go out for dinner, family is the
    biggest influencer (51 per cent), followed by location/travel distance (44 per
    cent) and mailed coupons/flyers (35 per cent).
  • Consumers are looking for value. Younger diners and those
    with children are the most price-conscious and likely to engage in promotions
    and savings strategies.
  • Thirty-five per cent of millennials shop for meal deals
    before they choose where to eat, followed by 29 per cent of gen Xers, 21 per
    cent of boomers and 16 per cent of silents.
  • Thirty-five per cent of millennials eat out at specific
    times to take advantage of meal discounts such as happy hour or early bird
    specials. Twenty-three per cent of gen Xers, 17 per cent of boomers and 12 per
    cent of silents do the same.
  • Digital technology is shaping the dining experience. Diners
    are strategically leveraging digital tactics, from social media to mobile
    technology, to facilitate their experience and especially save money.
  • More than half of diners indicated they were influenced by
    restaurant email with coupons/offers when deciding what to eat or what they
    order.
  • One in five diners has taken a photo of their meal and
    posted it to social media, or sent it to family/friends while dining out. More
    than a quarter of diners have posted on social media about their dining
    experience.

The survey was fielded in July 2014 with a random sample of
1,500 U.S. consumers.