U.S. Hispanics Grew Restaurant Visits Last Year While Non-Hispanic Visits Declined, Reports NPD

Chicago, April 15, 2015 — The U.S. Hispanic population is growing exponentially compared to non-Hispanics, and the group’s overall restaurant visits outpaced population growth, reports The NPD Group, a leading global information company. Last year Hispanics’ per capita visits to restaurants and other foodservice outlets increased by 4 percent compared to a 1 percent decline in visits by non-Hispanics, according to NPD’s CREST® Hispanic foodservice market research.

The average U.S. Hispanic consumer visits quick service restaurants (QSR) more than the average non-Hispanic consumer. In 2014 Hispanics per capita visits to QSRs increased by 4 percent compared to a 1 percent decline in visits by non-Hispanics. U.S. Hispanics use full service restaurants less than non-Hispanics and their per capita visits to these restaurants dropped by 7 percent compared to non-Hispanics who decreased visits by 1 percent last year.

In addition to increasing overall visits, annually, U.S. Hispanics’ per capita spending at restaurants increased by 4 percent last year, compared to 3 percent increase in per capita spending for non-Hispanics. Spanish-oriented Hispanics increased their per capita spending by 8 percent, and spent about the same at commercial foodservice outlets as the average Non-Hispanic consumer. Hispanics typically have larger party sizes, more visits with children, which contributes to higher spending.

U.S. Hispanics increasing use of restaurants and their brand-friendly behaviors — like choosing chains (75 percent Hispanics vs. 62 percent non-Hispanic) and dining out with children more often (40 percent of the time versus 29 percent for non-Hispanics) — is being recognized by restaurant chains and these trailblazing chains are investing in reaching them. Papa John’s, a quick service pizza chain with 4600 units in 34 countries around the world, began its Hispanic marketing efforts in 2006 by expanding its 24/7 online ordering capabilities to include a Spanish-language website. In 2014 the chain shifted more of the marketing focus to Hispanic consumers by growing its Spanish-language TV spend to 13 percent of total, Papa John’s now has a consistent presence on national and local Spanish-language TV, according to Univision Communications Inc. The brand’s investment in marketing to Hispanic customers has paid off. Hispanic sales at Papa John’s grew 43 percent, traffic rose 18 percent, average eater checks went up $1.50, and items per eater moved from 2.07 to 2.25, reports NPD’s CREST Hispanic.

“We put a Spanish-language strategy in place, but the message hasn’t had to change,” said Papa John’s Chief Executive Officer, John Schnatter. “Papa John’s goal of bringing family and friends together resonates with Hispanics who are very focused on getting together with family.  Similarly, it wasn’t necessary to change any of our menu items; we just needed to communicate to Hispanics in a way they understood in order to build their confidence in the Papa John’s brand.”

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