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Are you attracting the after-dinner crowd?

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Consumers consider dinner their main meal of the day, and rarely skip it. While most dinners are prepared at home, 53 per cent of consumers use foodservice for these occasions at least once a week.


by Technomic Inc.

What sends them away from home? Convenience plays an important role. Cravings are another strong driver, as restaurant-goers look for foods they love, but may not be able to duplicate at home. Another key consideration for today’s consumers revolves around the experience—tying together all the ambiance and service elements that contribute to an enjoyable dining occasion.

“Consumers say the sheer enjoyment of dining out is vital for dinner and late-night occasions,” explains Darren Tristano, Executive Vice President of Technomic Inc. “Key attributes like attentive service, an appealing ambiance, and a craveable mix of menu offerings can combine to create experiences that attract evening traffic and give operators more opportunities to capitalize on dinner and late-night visits.”

Did you know:

  • About a quarter of consumers visit restaurants for happy hour (28 per cent), late-night snacks or drinks (27 per cent), and special-occasion dinners (23 per cent) at least once a month.
  • When choosing a dinner spot, good overall value is important to 83 per cent of respondents, while just 63 per cent cite low prices, stressing the importance of value over cost.
  • Health is more important for dinner than late-night visits: 53 per cent of consumers say healthy options are important when choosing a dinner restaurant versus 30 per cent who say the same for choosing a late-night spot.
  • Appetizers, snacks and small plates are ideal for evening foodservice visits: 57 per cent of consumers order appetizers for dinner at least sometimes, while 45 per cent order appetizers and snacks for late-night occasions.