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Leftovers, Mini-Dates and the Hidden Opportunities for Food Service and Restaurants


Dinner and a movie. Dinner and a concert. Or just dinner at a fine dining restaurant loaded with romantic ambience. Mention “going out on a date” and one might conjure up these images. But what of the “mini-date?” A “date” that consists of a snack? Should you care about this eating occasion? If you are courting Millennial consumers, you might want to know more about how America has also evolved an approach to eating out on dates that embraces our snacking-oriented food culture.

And what of those leftovers from a restaurant meal? Are they harming your business? We know that America’s consumers have a sort of love affair with bringing home leftover food from restaurant visits. Golden Corral, the family-style restaurant chain that features a large buffet, has a TV commercial with celebrity spokesperson Jeff Foxworthy that taps into this phenomenon:

“Have your fill at the endless buffet, then fill up your Take Home Box for just $1.99 more! It can be tomorrow’s snack box or lunch box, you decide!”

Great for consumers, but at what price to food service operators and restaurants in the long run?

Channels across the broad swath of the food and beverage industry are locked in an intense battle for share of wallet not only with restaurant competitors but also with emerging threats like grocery-prepared foods and, ironically, the persistent consumption of restaurant leftovers at home.

In this macro-environment, we believe that restaurant chains, both quick service and full service restaurants, will benefit from learning something that legacy packaged food and beverage brands (e.g., Kraft, Nabisco, Pepsi) learned long ago. If your brand is iconic, do not radically change your food offerings. Keep the menu focused and find additional occasions for those who love you to spend their money at your restaurants.

In our Q3 edition of Hartbeat Exec, we explore “the Power of Marketing to Restaurant Occasions.” We have mined three years of data in our Hartman Food & Beverage Occasions Compass database to bring you a fresh perspective on restaurant going. It examines new approaches to restaurant marketing strategy for a new era of digital marketing.

As restaurants explore new ways to capture share in a highly competitive market, we believe the power of occasion-based analytics is key to connecting more deeply with restaurant customers and, potentially, to tailoring loyalty and other promotional activities to strategic occasions for your brand.

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE COPY OF THE POWER OF MARKETING TO RESTAURANT OCCASIONS: Q3 2015 HARTBEAT EXEC

Categories

Food & Beverage Occasions Trends Foodservice/Restaurant


FOOD SHOPPING IN AMERICA 2017

As leaders in the study of American food culture, The Hartman Group has been tracking how Americans shop for food since the 1990s. From one-stop shopping to multichannel shopping to online markets and click-and-collect, we continue to track consumers’ evolving perceptions, needs, habits and relationships with food retailers. New to the 2017 report is a special section on the expansion of the discount grocery channel, the emerging fresh-format channel and smaller-footprint retail formats.

DOWNLOAD REPORT OVERVIEW AND ORDER FORM »

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