Posts Tagged ‘dining out’

More on Breakfast Dining

September 6, 2010

We’ve written about the new breakfast craze before and now it’s time to revisit the subject. New information has emerged on exactly how some restaurateurs are pulling ahead of the competition in order to grab more of the breakfast eat out market.

Coupons and WiFi

We recently wrote about the question of Kindles and computers in restaurants. One thing that we didn’t mention in that article is that some restaurants are deliberately installing WiFi. They’re not just trying to attract customers, but also to keep people lingering in the hope that they will continue to order more food as they sit in front of their screens.

This is especially important in attracting the breakfast crowd as this group of people often drops by quickly and then races out the door. By allowing this market segment to get something done while they eat, these restaurants could be encouraging more customers who will stay longer (and hopefully eat more).

In addition to free WiFi services, many restaurateurs are tempting breakfast diners into their establishments by offering discounts and coupons. These coupons include those sent directly to cell phones or e-mail so as to grab customers’ attention quickly and early.

McDonald’s, Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts are Still the Favorites

A recent survey of consumers has shown however that smaller restaurateurs have an uphill battle ahead of them in getting people in the door. Fully 46% of those who said they had eaten out for breakfast mentioned McDonalds as their first choice, with Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks each tying for second with 19%. However, that doesn’t mean that smaller players can’t get in one the game, or that diners cannot be lured away from the more traditional breakfast venues.

What do all three of these heavy-hitting franchises offer that even the smallest independent can match? Free WiFi and occasional coupons that entice people to sit down and stay a while.

New Study Shows Dining Out is Back and Better than Ever

July 26, 2010

The restaurant industry has been in something of an upheaval for a while since the financial crisis hit a few years ago. There has been an increased interest (or at least it was perceived that way) by Americans to stay home and save a few bucks on the cost of their restaurant bills. However, according to a new study from Market Force Information, that perception is dead wrong.

Americans Plan to Eat Out More or At Least Maintain Levels

The study asked 4600 participants whether they planned to eat out more or less at restaurants over the next three months than they did over the previous three months. 25 percent of the respondents said that was their plan, an increase from just 5 percent when the same question was asked back in December 2009.

Even more telling, when asked whether they planned to eat out less in restaurants over the next three months, just 8 percent of those questioned responded in the affirmative. This compares very favorably with a whopping 52 percent who answered yes to the same question back in December 2009.

All of this in spite of the fact that the economy is still quite anemic and shows few signs of the recovery everyone keeps hoping for.

How You Can Cash In

The same report indicates that there is a growing interest amongst Americans in eating out for breakfast. Replacing the coffee and donut on the go, more Americans are choosing to eat a full meal at places like Burger King and McDonald’s. This has, however, been fueled by these restaurants offering special value menus for the still price conscious consumer.

New Methods of Reaching Customers

The way restaurants reach out to customers has also changed, with more restaurants than ever offering discounts and advertising in social media outlets such as Facebook or Twitter. These methods of reaching out to customers have proven particularly effective with the younger, hip 20 and 30 something crowd who has the most money to spend at restaurants and who are most likely to eat out.

How to Use Social Media for Restaurants as Great Recession Comes to an End

July 10, 2010

In December of 2008, at the beginning of the bleak recession, the New York Times featured an article outlining a trend among restaurant customers: eating in.

The Dark Days of the Economic Downturn
Thank goodness we are beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel as the Great Recession begins to come to an end. During the darkest days of the economic downturn, job loss by the hundreds of thousands was a common, monthly occurrence and consumers scrambled to make ends meet.

According to a 2008 New York Times article, one of the most popular methods was most challenging for restaurant owners: eating in. The article underscored the bleak reality by sharing the results of a survey conducted by marketing research firm Mintel International, which discovered that 60% of those surveyed said they had begun to eat in more and dine out less in order to save money.

Customers Return to Eating Out
Although consumers are beginning to take tentative steps toward resuming their pre-recession habits, including dining out more frequently, improvement is slow. Factors like a nearly 17% food inflation rate and a continuing rise in fuel prices are causing growth to stagnate. Capturing those customers ready to trade their kitchen aprons for cloth napkins at their favorite dining establishment may require creativity among restaurant owners.

Using Social Media to Grow Consumer Base
The rise of social media networks like Twitter and Facebook have caused many business owners to consider how implementing the services could grow their consumer base. Those who have successfully used the networking services suggest:

  • Use social networking to create a dialogue beyond the restaurant.
  • Use the sites to send information about news, sales and events related to the restaurant.
  • Avoid too much sale-pitch related information.
  • Cover things going on in the local community.

Using social media allows restaurateurs to connect with those who want to hear from the restaurant. It allows customers to see the restaurant in a new light.