Key to Growing Restaurant Business Is Getting Lighter Users to Visit More

One more visit per year by half of light users would be incremental sales increase $1.1 billion

Chicago, January 25, 2017 — Getting customers who visit restaurants less to visit more may be overstating the obvious in terms of boosting sluggish U.S. foodservice traffic growth.  It turns out that it’s not.  If half of the light restaurant users made one more visit per year it would be an incremental increase in sales of $1.1 billion, finds a new report from The NPD Group, a leading global information company.  The report, which is based on NPD’s receipt mining service, Checkout TrackingSM, and its ongoing foodservice market research, examines the reasons why consumers have cut back on foodservice visits and which type of users —  heavy, medium, light, and super light —decreased their visits the most.  

The majority of consumers (75 percent) who have decreased their restaurants visits say they watch how they spend their money on most or all purchases, and a high percentage of these respondents think that restaurant prices are too high, according to the NPD report, Losing Our Appetites for Restaurants.  Of the consumers who have cut back on restaurant visits the most are heavy restaurant users, who typically visit restaurants three or more times per week. Heavy restaurant users are the perceived low-hanging fruit for many restaurant operators and the target for promotional efforts.  This user group’s visit cutback was a major factor in foodservice traffic growth coming to a halt, says NPD.

Although they may not visit often, NPD finds that super-light and light users, who typically visit restaurants one time per week, and super-light users, who visit less than one time a week, are extremely valuable customers. Combined, these two groups account for 47 percent of all restaurant customers in a year, and they spend more per visit than heavy users.  If half of light users made just one more restaurant visit each year, NPD calculated that there would be an incremental sales increase of $1.1 billion. These users told NPD that regular discounts and, more importantly, discounts of their choosing would entice them to visit more.

“Many restaurant operators have spent much of their resources and time in rewarding heavy buyers,” says Bonnie Riggs, restaurant industry analyst at NPD and author of the report. “It’s important to continue recognizing heavy buyers, but to grow their business operators need to increase visit frequency from all user groups, including light and super light users.”


Related Press Releases

Korean Barbeque — K-BBQ — Is Spicing Up America’s Adventurous Taste Buds
Korean Barbeque — K-BBQ — Is Spicing Up America’s Adventurous Taste Buds

The Korean wave swept in with K-pop, K-beauty, K-drama, K-food and now Korean barbeque, K-BBQ, according to The NPD Group, a leading global information company.

U.S. Consumers Are Increasingly Eating and Preparing Their Meals At Home Often With The Help Of Foodservice
U.S. Consumers Are Increasingly Eating and Preparing Their Meals At Home Often With The Help Of Foodservice

The NPD Group shows that four out of five meals are prepared at home, and although the relationship of in-home prepared meals versus those sourced away-from-home has been stable for a few years, Americans still prepare more meals at home than they did a decade ago. This is not to say that they don’t look for shortcuts. Close to half of dinners purchased from a restaurant are consumed at home and a growing number of in-home meals are a blend of dishes prepared and items purchased ready-to-eat from a foodservice establishment.

Fast Casual Is Only U.S. Restaurant Channel to Increase Traffic Over Past Five Years
Fast Casual Is Only U.S. Restaurant Channel to Increase Traffic Over Past Five Years

Visits to fast casual quick service restaurants have grown 6 percent annually over the last five years, stemming in large part from store openings, but growth has slowed in recent quarters, reports The NPD Group, a leading global information company.

Plant-Based Proteins Are Harvesting Year-Over-Year Growth in Foodservice Market and Broader Appeal
Plant-Based Proteins Are Harvesting Year-Over-Year Growth in Foodservice Market and Broader Appeal

Plant-based proteins aren’t just for vegans anymore as U.S. consumers seek more protein in their diets and plant-based foods become more available and tastier. The higher demand for plant-based proteins is evidenced by growth in the foodservice market and consumption in-home, according to The NPD Group.


Press Contact

Kim McLynn
847-692-1781
kim.mclynn@npd.com

@npdfood

The NPD Group, Inc.
900 West Shore Road
Port Washington, NY 11050

Want more?

Complete this form to hear from NPD.

Newsletter

Subscribe and get key market trends and insights relevant to your industry each month.

We will not sell your information. View privacy notice.

Follow Us

© The NPD Group, Inc.