Will Current Trends Bring Back the Luxury Market?

According to the American Express online website, Restaurant Briefing, the current trend in luxury dining indicates consumers are willing to splurge – 83% of those surveyed said they are willing to spend higher amounts for a special occasion. But, those events are typically for very special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, family events or a special holidays.

How Retailers will Identify with the Luxury Market

Knowing how to compete for this luxury market is where the opportunity lies.  Consumers these days have fewer resources and less cash flow, and definitions of luxury aren’t clear. For some consumers, luxury continues to mean a formal activity; for others, it can mean an event like having a celebrity chef involved with a special menu, unique ingredients, or great service.  In any case, consumers are still defining what they consider luxury.

High end restaurants need to narrow down what is considered a premium by their customers.  Customers can all have varying ideas on what is luxury and what is worth spending large amounts of money on. It’s important when marketing to the luxury niche to determine what customers will spend their time and money on.

How to Determine what Makes the Restaurant Experience Unique

Part of the marketing should speak to what makes a restaurant experience unique. It is recommended when marketing to the luxury niche to give customers permission to trade up.  One consideration is to collaborate with a charity.  Sixty-nine percent said that one of the reasons they spend on luxury experiences is due to part of the expense going to a good cause.

Participation in social responsibility goes beyond just supporting charities to include sound business practices and environmental consciousness and sustainability.  This includes no waste and green programs.  Ultimately this speaks to the restaurant’s mission that goes beyond just food.

There is a caution to restaurants. When consumers pick luxury/upscale venues, they expect much more.  Restaurants and establishments, especially fine dining, need to prove the value and make each dollar spent worth it to the consumer.

Data source: The Luxury Market and the Recovery Customer, Yankelovich/The Futures Company

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