“Casual dining is in danger and millennials are to blame” says Kate Taylor a retail reporter for Business Insider.
Let me define Casual Dining before I go any further, they are restaurants that serve moderately priced food in a casual atmosphere and typically provide table service.
Kate Taylor reported back in June of this year that brands such as TGI Fridays, Ruby Tuesday, and Applebee’s have been facing sales slumps and struggling to attract customers and increase sales.
Casual dining also represents individually owned places such as Mom and Pop places, diners, cafe, pubs, bar & grills etc.
I’m sure there is some truth to her findings but I don’t believe millennials are the only reason casual dining restaurants are hurting.
When it comes to brands I will admit I stopped going to the Applebee’s in my neighborhood because the service was awful and the food quality was going downhill.
I don’t go to TGIF or Ruby Tuesday very often because there’s not one close by so I can’t really judge their food or service. They all seem to have similar menus with few signature dishes that may set them apart from each other.
To be honest I prefer to support non brand restaurants in my local area, one reason I was once a non brand and brand restaurant have moved away from cooking menu items from scratch.
“All of the casual-dining chains really have to change their game and improve everything service, food, quality and pricing — to get customers back,” said Janet Lowder, president of the consulting firm Restaurant Management Services in Rancho Palos Verdes.
We are living in a fast paced world and when we have to fit in eating, it has work with our schedules. Let’s face it millennials are not the only consumers, that have traded casual dining for eating quickly, in fast-casual or quick-serve restaurants so has the rest of the population. This could be another reason why people are not frequenting casual restaurants; their lifestyles are too busy.
If you are pressed for time, heading to a concert, kids ball game, work or you have only 30 minutes for a lunch or dinner break you’re going to go where you will get served food quickly end of story.
When you have time to relax and enjoy food you go to a places where you can sit, eat and enjoy the company of others.
If you are seriously thinking about opening a casual restaurant in the near future for those customers who want to that style and pace don’t panic; you just have to be sure you know what cuisine customers want, where they live and the atmosphere they would prefer to dine in.
Know your customers, and know how to convey what sets you apart in a crowded industry!
“In spite of the challenges facing the casual dining segment, some chains remain successful and outperform their competitors, largely through differentiation and better understanding of their core customers.” said Ron Paul, president of the food service consultants Technomic Inc.
Remember Americans still love eating out!
When you open your restaurant know the food you customers love and tell them why they should eat at your restaurant.
If you need advice on how to find this information contact us TODAY!
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