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Casual Dining - US - October 2016

"Consumers are increasingly seeking the opportunity to customize their meals, through build-your-own meal options, but they also crave dishes that can’t be replicated at home. When it comes to technology, diners are more interested in having their basic needs met, such as free WiFi and electronic chargers, before restaurants offer more advanced offerings."

- Diana Kelter, Foodservice Analyst

This report will cover the following areas:

  • Casual dining cuisine types facing blurred lines
  • Technology offerings are a nice to have
  • Classic dishes still important to diners

The purpose of this Report is to analyze consumers’ attitudes, behaviors, and perceptions surrounding casual dining restaurants. Casual dining restaurants for the purpose of this report are defined as full service restaurants that serve alcohol. The report will also examine how interest in casual dining varies across demographics, generations, regions, and by race.

For the purposes of this Report, Mintel has used the following restaurant definitions:

  • QSRs (quick service restaurants) – Used interchangeably with “fast food,” QSRs specialize in inexpensive, convenient meals. There is no waiter service, no alcoholic beverages, and low price point. Examples include: McDonald’s, KFC, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, and Pizza Hut.
  • Fast casual restaurants – These establishments are characterized by a higher price point than QSRs though not as high as full service restaurants. Fast casuals do not offer waiter service and may or may not serve alcohol. Examples include: Chipotle, Panera Bread, Shake Shack, and Blaze Pizza.
  • LSRs (limited service restaurants ) – These establishments provide food services where customers usually select and order items and pay before dining. Food/drink may be consumed on the premises, offered as carryout, or delivered to the customer’s location. These may also sell alcoholic beverages. LSRs include both QSRs and fast casual restaurants.
  • FSRs (full service restaurants) – These establishments have waiter/waitress service in which customers order and are served while seated. These may also sell alcoholic beverages and offer carryout services and include the restaurant segments: midscale, casual dining, and fine dining.
  • C-stores (convenience stores) – Convenience stores are establishments that retail a limited line of goods, primarily groceries and ready-to-consume beverages and snacks, in easily accessible locations. The majority of convenience stores also sell motor fuel.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Casual dining cuisine types facing blurred lines
            • Figure 1: Casual dining visitation, by restaurant cuisine type, any visitation, August 2016
          • Technology offerings are a nice to have
            • Figure 2: Technology based visitation motivators, by generation, August 2016
          • Classic dishes still important to diners
            • Figure 3: Menu characteristics, any rank, August 2016
          • The opportunities
            • iGens creating their own dining preferences
              • Figure 4: Casual dining visitation motivators, by generation, August 2016
            • Keeping consumers connected for the restaurant experience
              • Figure 5: Social media users, August 2016
            • Consumers treat themselves when dining out
              • Figure 6: Statement agreement, casual dining preferences, any agree, August 2016
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Urbanization impacts the dining out scene
                • Fine dining gets more casual
                  • Retail influencing beverage shifts
                  • Market Perspective

                    • Specialty snack shop competition
                      • Figure 7: Any specialty snack shop visited, by generation, April 2016
                    • LSRs strive for value and innovation
                      • The rise of meal kits and delivery
                      • Market Factors

                        • Millennials living in urban settings
                          • Figure 8: Living area, by generations, August 2016
                        • Retail variety shifts beverage preferences
                          • Figure 9: Percent of flavored water beverages launched in retail, North America, January 2011 - September 30, 2016
                          • Figure 10: Share of population, by generation, 2011 - 21
                        • Fine dining gets more casual
                          • Figure 11: Restaurant segment visitation, by typical weekend, by generation, May 2016
                      • Key Trends – What You Need to Know

                        • A value deal strategy
                          • Casual dining restaurants collaborate and grow
                            • A focus surrounding what’s not on the menu
                            • What’s Working?

                              • Elevated sauces, spreads and ingredients
                                • Customization on the menu
                                  • Entertainment and dining all in one
                                  • What’s Struggling?

                                    • Traditional Service Elements
                                      • Value deals
                                        • Defining a focus
                                        • What’s Next?

                                          • Secret menus
                                            • Brand extensions
                                              • Online ordering and delivery
                                              • Social Media Analysis

                                                • Social media demographic overview
                                                  • Figure 12: Social media, net any use, August 2016
                                                  • Figure 13: Social media usage, by generation, August 2016
                                              • Competitive Analysis

                                                • Rival IQ methodology
                                                  • Social audience
                                                    • Figure 14: Total audience on social media, by platform, August 10 – September 8, 2016
                                                  • Social engagement
                                                    • Figure 15: Total social engagement, across social platforms, August 10 - September 8, 2016
                                                  • Social activity
                                                    • Figure 16: Number of social posts, across social platforms, August 10 – September 8, 2016
                                                  • What it means
                                                  • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                    • The atmosphere is as important as the menu for diners
                                                      • Men visit casual dining restaurants more frequently than women
                                                        • Pizza is a popular choice for Millennials and iGens
                                                        • Casual Dining Visitation

                                                          • Despite competition, casual dining restaurants maintain weekly visitors
                                                            • Figure 17: Casual dining visitation frequency, any casual dining restaurant, August 2016
                                                          • Casual dining restaurants face blurred lines with cuisine types
                                                            • Figure 18: Casual dining visitation, by restaurant cuisine type, any visitation, August 2016
                                                          • Pizza leads in high frequency visitation
                                                            • Figure 19: Casual dining restaurant visitation, by restaurant cuisine type, high frequency visitation (one to three times a week or more), August 2016
                                                          • Men are dining out with greater frequency
                                                            • Figure 20: Casual dining restaurants visitation, by restaurant cuisine type, by gender, high frequency visitation (one to three times a week or more) august 2016
                                                          • Millennials showcase varied interest in cuisine types
                                                            • Figure 21: Casual dining restaurants visitation, by restaurant cuisine type, by millennials, high frequency visitation (one to three times a week or more) , August 2016
                                                          • Urban areas drive the greatest visitation
                                                            • Figure 22: Casual dining visitation, any visitation, by restaurant cuisine type, by area, August 2016
                                                        • Attitudes and Preferences

                                                          • The atmosphere is as important as the menu
                                                            • Figure 23: Statement agreement, casual dining preferences, any agree, August 2016
                                                            • Figure 24: Statement agreement, attitudes towards casual dining, any agree, by gender, August 2016
                                                          • Older consumers find casual dining affordable, but still dine out less frequently
                                                            • Figure 25: Statement agreement, attitudes towards casual dining, any agree, by age, August 2016
                                                          • Blacks and Hispanics value delivery
                                                            • Figure 26: Casual dining visitation motivators, by race and Hispanic origin, August 2016
                                                          • Millennials still view casual restaurants as a treat
                                                            • Figure 27: Statement agreement, any agree, attitudes towards casual dining, by Millennials, August 2016
                                                            • Figure 28: Statement agreement, “I enjoy going on dates at casual dining restaurants,” Any Agree, by Generation, August 2016
                                                          • iGens value trendy ingredients and preparation methods
                                                            • Figure 29: Casual dining menu visitation motivators, by generation, August 2016
                                                        • Menu Preferences

                                                          • Health remains a top priority on the menu
                                                            • Figure 30: Menu characteristics, any rank, August 2016
                                                          • Parents value healthy ingredients, classic dishes and build-your-own meals over menu options for kids
                                                            • Figure 31: Menu characteristics, any rank, by parents versus nonparents, August 2016
                                                          • Women value health and men value spicy flavors and indulgence
                                                            • Figure 32: Menu characteristics, any rank, by gender, August 2016
                                                          • Younger Millennials place increased value on unique menu dishes
                                                            • Figure 33: Menu characteristics, any rank, by Millennials and non-Millennials, August 2016
                                                        • Role of Technology

                                                          • Consumers want to stay connected while dining out
                                                            • Figure 34: Technology based visitation motivators, August 2016
                                                          • Men are motivated by technology
                                                            • Figure 35: Technology based visitation motivators, by gender, august 2016
                                                          • Lower income brackets motivated by functionality versus luxuries
                                                            • Figure 36: Technology based visitation offerings, by income, August 2016
                                                          • Older consumers lack interest in any form of technology
                                                            • Figure 37: Technology based visitation motivators, by generation, August 2016
                                                        • CHAID Analysis – Online Delivery

                                                          • Analysis
                                                              • Figure 38: Casual dining behavior – CHAID – Tree Output, August 2016
                                                          • Alcohol on the Menu

                                                            • Consumers enjoy ordering craft beverages with their meal
                                                              • Figure 39: Interest in ordering alcoholic beverages, August 2016
                                                            • Men and Millennials value craft beverages on the menu
                                                              • Figure 40: Statement agreement “I enjoy ordering craft beers and cocktails at casual dining restaurants,” by gender, August 2016
                                                              • Figure 41: Statement agreement, “I enjoy ordering craft beer and cocktails at casual dining restaurants,” any agree, by generations, August 2016
                                                            • Millennials show an increased interest towards an extensive bar menu
                                                              • Figure 42: Casual dining visitation motivators, extensive bar menu, by generation, august 2016
                                                          • TURF Analysis

                                                            • Convenience ranks high in importance for consumers
                                                              • Figure 43: Turf analysis, increased visitation motivators, August 2016
                                                          • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                            • Data sources
                                                              • Consumer survey data
                                                                • Mintel Menu Insights
                                                                  • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                    • Abbreviations
                                                                    • Appendix – TURF Analysis

                                                                      • Methodology
                                                                        • Figure 44: Table - TURF analysis – Increased visitation motivators, August 2016
                                                                    • Appendix – CHAID Analysis

                                                                      • Methodology
                                                                        • Figure 45: Casual dining behavior – CHAID – Table output, August 2016

                                                                    Casual Dining - US - October 2016

                                                                    US $3,995.00 (Excl.Tax)