Operators Would Be Wise To Appeal to the Working Mom When Planning Menus, Promotions


It’s no surprise the modern mom is busy shifting her time between work, the family and homemaking, but are restaurant operators remembering to respond to that market? These days there are an estimated two-million families in Canada with parents who both work. As a result, going out to dinner becomes a time-saver, which means it’s important for operators to capitalize on that market.

It turns out tough time-management decisions are resulting in 45 minutes less family time per working day, compared to two decades earlier, according to StatsCan. The main reason for this decline is an increase in the number of working moms.

But, whether working or not, the NPD’s “Eating Patterns in Canada” report shows 80 per cent of women are responsible for planning and preparing dinner. With increased time pressures, it makes sense that working moms tend to feel more time-crunched than men, and this is leading to changing behaviour in terms of eating patterns for working parents and their families.

Restaurants have always been viewed as a solution to a family dinner crises, which is why convenience is the number-1 reason moms surveyed say they take the family out to a restaurant, according to NPD CREST research.

CREST findings show family dining occasions represented 30 per cent of restaurant traffic in 2012, generating $12 billion in annual revenue. Quick-service restaurants capture the majority share of these restaurant occasions, especially at dinner, a time when traffic volumes have increased eight per cent in the past year.

Mom’s use of quick-service restaurants is also heavily influenced by what her kids like. In fact, appealing to what the kids enjoy is a key component of the top five selection-criteria motivators influencing her decision. Although convenience always ranks high when it comes to eating out, mom’s also looking for quality, healthy food, too.

Restaurant operators aiming to attract families would be would be wise to promote chicken offerings since the protein is amongst the most popular menu items for this group. Other popular menu items that would interest mom include burgers, salads and deli meat sandwiches. What’s more, research shows the family matriarch is increasingly picking a particular restaurant to reward herself. Capitalize on that by promoting dessert, and focus on providing exemplary customer service to reward her for choosing your restaurant.

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