Savvy restaurateurs know that they must adapt to the changing consumer trends in an increasingly competitive market or suffer the consequences of being left behind.
Staying informed will allow you to adapt to the changing market conditions. To that end, we’ve devoted this edition of our blog to compiling the latest consumer trends in the restaurant industry.
1. Consumer demographics are evolving
Based on information from the NPD group, the growing influence of Millennials, aging boomers, Hispanics, and smaller households are behind the shift in how and what consumers are eating.
2. Consumers are eating smaller meals and in smaller households
Over 25% of all households contain a single person; this is the highest percentage ever in US history. These smaller households are leading consumption behaviors in the US to become more individualized and less household-centered. This will have wide-ranging implications for restaurants when it comes to menu development and seating design.
3. Fresh ingredients and freshly prepared items are a must
The consumption of fresh organic foods i.e. meat, fish, poultry, eggs, fruits and vegetables, grew by 20% from 2003 to 2013. This trend is being driven by the Millennials and Generation Z; the biggest demographic at the moment.
4. The success of fast-casual brands are rising
Fast-casual brands are dominating Technomic’s Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report; with cumulative annual sales in the segment growing by almost 13% in 2014. This growth rate is nearly double that of any other restaurant segment.
5. Meatless meals are gaining in popularity
Per a recent Technomic report, at least 60% of the general population is eating vegetarian meals at least one day a week in an effort to lead healthier lifestyles.
6. Consumers are hungry for experimental flavors
Based on information from FONA International, consumers are looking to try new dining experiences and are experimenting with various flavors like flamed, fire roasted, smoked, fire charred, and flamed. In fact, smoke is not only used in traditional savory dishes, but desserts, snacks, and cocktails as well.
7. The popularity of food delivery platforms is on the rise
Companies like and are revolutionizing the way that consumers are eating at home. In a report by Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration, it was suggested that personal shoppers that can order delivery from grocery stores may be increasing in number; an eventuality that is bound to cut into the restaurant delivery business.
Keeping abreast of changes in your niche is a part of being an entrepreneur, and we hope that this blog post has helped by presenting the latest consumer trends in the restaurant industry.