Fourth at NRA Chicago 2017: Everyone’s talking about…#3: US restaurant consumer trends

Written by: Catherine Marshall

Hello from the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago.

The Fourth team has been here to meet old friends and make new ones, listen, learn and see the amazing new developments in the US market, which is about 10x the size of the UK market! Over four days, the organizers claim that nearly 50,000 restaurant professionals from all over the US and beyond will visit.

This is the third of a short series of blogs we hope will provide an interesting glimpse into some of the industry issues occupying the minds of US restaurant leadership.

Many, many of these are similar to the UK’s issues – employee recruitment and retention, labour cost, supply chain pressures, the perpetual battle for customer loyalty in a competitive landscape, legislation, allergens and nutrition to name just a few.

Having looked at both employee turnover and employee engagement in the previous two blogs, this blog looks at the other side of the counter: the consumers and the new trends that are currently surfacing in the US restaurant sector.

#3: US restaurant consumer trends

  1. Restaurant consumer trends40% of consumers say diet-specific food options would make them choose one restaurant over another
  2. 54% of consumers say they would order breakfast items more often if restaurants offered them all day.
  3. 63% of millennials who eat a wider variety of ethnic cuisines now than they did two years ago.
  4. 49% of consumers would buy meal kits to prepare at home if their favorite restaurant offered them
  5. 56% of consumers say their primary reason for preferring locally sourced food is that it supports farms and producers in their communities
  6. 60% of consumers say availability of environmentally friendly food would make them choose one restaurant over another
  7. 80% of millennials have used free Wi-Fi in a restaurant in the last year
  8. 20% of consumers say they would rather use technology than interact with restaurant staff
  9. 30% of consumers say technology makes them dine out or order takeout or delivery more often
  10. 42% of consumers say the ability to order online would make them choose one restaurant over another

And another thing:

45% of consumers say technology makes restaurant visits and ordering more complicated, and 34% of smartphone users have used their phone to pay for a restaurant meal


Source: National Restaurant Association

View all blog posts

Subscribe to blog updates


Related Blog Posts

The Evolution of scheduling

Written by: Jane Handel

Getting the right people on the right shift at the right time can be easier said than done. Operators have been trying different approaches: by budget, SPLH, or by covers, but each has its limitations. Luckily, there is a more effective, scientific approach to scheduling that can help you get ahead.

A secret to success: Integrating back-office systems

Written by: Jane Handel

From easing administrative burdens, to eliminating errors, to uncovering previously hidden insights, to improving customer satisfaction, fully integrating your back-office system will make measurable improvements for your restaurant. Read on to learn how you can help your restaurant run more smoothly, efficiently, and profitably.