Study: Consumers to dine out less often in 2014
Restaurant traffic will be a key concern in 2014 as consumers say they plan to eat out less often — but not necessarily because of budget constraints, as has been the case since the recession.
Instead, consumers say they will dine out less frequently next year because of concerns about health. Financial woes have dropped to second place as a concern likely to dampen restaurant visit frequency, according to an industry survey conducted by consulting firm AlixPartners.
When they do dine out, however, consumers say they plan to spend less, in part because they’re still looking for meal deals and promotions.
In a twice-annual survey, the North American Restaurant Consumer Sentiment Review by AlixPartners looks at the financial health and performance of more than 80 restaurants and foodservice companies representing about $230 billion in annual revenue. It also includes a consumer survey gauging anticipated dining behaviors for the coming year.
Nine months into 2013, the restaurant industry overall is on more solid ground that it was going into the fiscal year, with margins stabilizing, fewer restaurant companies in distress and spending returning to pre-recession levels in some segments, the report found. However, the battle for market share remains a challenge and restaurants will have to be more nimble than ever to compete at a time of shifting consumer preferences.
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[ Reposted with permission from Nation's Restaurant News ]