CHICAGO — As full-service restaurants continue to experience slow growth due to increased competition from the fast-casual segment, FSRs will need to meet growing demand for a convenient, differentiated dining experience, says Technomic’s newly released 2017 Canadian Future of FSR Consumer Trend Report.
“While today’s consumers crave convenience, they also want a unique meal in a unique setting. Innovating menus with new ingredients, flavours or preparation styles and integrating distinctive decor elements such as art, furniture and glassware can help provide the unique experience that will draw in consumers,” says Anne Mills, manager of Consumer Insights at Technomic. “Amenities such as the ability to make reservations and pay tableside boost the convenience of dine-in occasions while takeout and/or delivery helps meet demand for convenient, off-premise occasions.”
Key takeaways and opportunities from the report include:
- 60 per cent of consumers visit family-style restaurants at least once a month, up from 55 per cent in 2014; these patrons increasingly desire offerings that are trending across the industry, such as customization and small plates
- More consumers now than in 2014 believe traditional casual-dining restaurants lack differentiation when it comes to the overall dining experience and food offered — as a result, these consumers are also increasingly likely to visit independent restaurants
- Upscale casual-dining consumers say the ability to make a reservation and order/pay using tableside technology are the top concept attributes that would be most likely to make them visit more