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Emerging Restaurant Concepts - US - December 2010

Is it over yet? That’s the question about the “Great Recession” being asked by consumers and businesses. Few are as hopeful that the economy has righted itself as are restaurateurs. Higher unemployment, lower disposable income and shaky consumer confidence meant Americans dined out less often and spent less than they did prior to the recession. Restaurants adjusted menus, pricing, service styles or whatever was necessary to survive.

In this report, Mintel provides analysis and insight on the recession’s impact on dining habits and restaurant operations. It examines what we eat, when we eat, and where we eat and offers a look at how restaurants may change in the coming years. This report is meant to answer the following questions:

  • Which age and income groups are returning to restaurants first? Which types of restaurants will that benefit most?
  • How will efforts by governments at all levels to more strictly control menus and restaurant operations affect what we eat? Will consumers applaud or resist such legislative mandates?
  • Will diners’ professed interest in eating healthier significantly influence menu development?
  • What impact will consumer interest in local food sourcing, sustainable farming, and “green” operations practices have on future restaurant development?
  • Will marketing’s social media revolution bring better and closer communication between restaurants and diners, or will it devolve into another one-way tool?

This report also includes insight from the following:

  • Mintel Oxygen, which offers foodservice analyst expertise and a dedicated report series
  • Mintel Inspire, a unique tool that reveals daily influences on brands and people, and helps generate ideas about trend direction
  • Mintel Menu Insights, which provides flavor, ingredient, preparation and price trend analysis, drawing from the largest 350 chain restaurants, as well as 150 independent restaurants, 50 restaurants run by top chefs, and 25 beverage-focused restaurants
  • Custom consumer research on consumer attitudes relevant to topics analyzed in the report

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Data sources
        • Mintel Menu Insights
          • Consumer survey data
            • Advertising creative
              • Abbreviations and terms
                • Abbreviations
                  • Terms
                  • Executive Summary

                    • The recession may officially be over but restaurants still feel its effects
                      • Restaurateurs aren’t sure how much and how permanently consumer attitudes and lifestyles have changed
                        • Government at all levels is indicating a new determination to regulate how and what we eat
                          • What are the forces shaping future restaurant concept development?
                            • How restaurants market themselves and their food has changed dramatically
                              • On the menu: Mintel’s data track what’s hot
                                • Usage and spending patterns: Who dines out?
                                  • Where we dine and why
                                    • What are you having for dinner?
                                      • What is it we want?
                                      • Insights and Opportunities

                                        • Key points
                                          • Opportunity knocks
                                            • Indulge me…
                                              • …but help me eat more healthy
                                                • Fast casual benefits from current trends
                                                  • Opportunities in new dayparts
                                                    • Local news
                                                      • A huge opportunity in new media
                                                      • Inspire Insights

                                                          • Trend: Guiding Choice
                                                              • Figure 1: Attitudes toward nutritional disclosure and brand importance, September 2010
                                                          • Market Drivers

                                                            • The recession proves to be more resilient than expected
                                                              • Figure 2: Unemployment and underemployment rates, January 2007-November 2010
                                                              • Figure 3: U.S. real disposable personal income growth, January 2007-October 2010
                                                              • Figure 4: Food away from home: Total expenditures, 2000-09
                                                            • Coupon clipping makes a surprising comeback
                                                              • A crisis of confidence
                                                                • Figure 5: University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index, March 2007-October 2010
                                                              • Restaurateurs get discouraged, too
                                                                • Figure 6: NRA Performance Indices, January 2009-October 2010
                                                              • Restaurants as a way of life
                                                                • Figure 7: Share of food away from home purchases, 1990-2009
                                                              • Fast casual: Where convenience and value meet
                                                                • Government as nutrition watchdog
                                                                  • Figure 8: U.S. obesity rates, by state, 2009
                                                              • Emerging Concepts: Movers and Shapers

                                                                • Keep it simple
                                                                  • The price/value balance
                                                                  • Emerging Concepts: Styles and Substance

                                                                    • Value as service style
                                                                      • Value as ingredient quality
                                                                        • Value in health
                                                                            • Figure 9: Attitudes toward nutritional disclosure, September 2010
                                                                            • Figure 10: Attitudes toward nutritional disclosure, by gender, September 2010
                                                                          • For some healthy means meatless
                                                                            • Figure 11: Attitudes toward nutritional disclosure, by age, September 2010
                                                                        • Emerging Concepts: You Know When It’s Real

                                                                          • The value of “fresh”; the power of “local”
                                                                              • Figure 12: Interest in local and sustainability, September 2010
                                                                              • Figure 13: Interest in local and sustainability, by age, September 2010
                                                                            • The value of corporate responsibility: Sustainable, organic and green
                                                                                • Figure 14: Interest in local and sustainability, by age, September 2010
                                                                                • Figure 15: Interest in local and sustainability, by household income, September 2010
                                                                              • The value of brands
                                                                                • Figure 16: Importance of brand name on menus, by age, September 2010
                                                                            • Emerging Concepts: External Factors

                                                                              • The value of technology
                                                                                • The wild card: Government regulation
                                                                                  • Figure 17: Attitudes toward nutritional disclosure, by gender, September 2010
                                                                              • Marketing Strategies

                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                  • Channel surfing: Digital media changed the game
                                                                                    • Figure 18: Carl’s Jr. Invitation, posted on its webpage December 15, 2009
                                                                                    • Figure 19: Carlsjr.com monthly visitors, October 2009-September 2010
                                                                                    • Figure 20: Epic Burger email social media links
                                                                                    • Figure 21: Social media usage, by age, September 2010
                                                                                  • Connections made and broken
                                                                                    • Figure 22: Burger King’s “Whopper Sacrifice” online promotion
                                                                                  • More than just friends
                                                                                    • Figure 23: Social media usage, by gender, September 2010
                                                                                    • Figure 24: T.G.I. Friday’s “Woody” promotion
                                                                                    • Figure 25: White Castle Facebook promotion
                                                                                  • Dealing with it
                                                                                      • Figure 26: Wow Bao Facebook promotion
                                                                                    • Foursquare—Checking in
                                                                                      • Email me
                                                                                        • Figure 27: Email as a promotional tool
                                                                                      • Join the Groupon
                                                                                        • Figure 28: Sample Groupon restaurant promotion
                                                                                      • The changing roles of traditional media
                                                                                        • Figure 29: U.S. adspend, by sector, September 2010
                                                                                        • Figure 30: Top 10 marketing claims at Top Chef restaurants, by incidence, Q3 2010
                                                                                        • Figure 31: McDonald’s Angus Third Pounder commercial
                                                                                        • Figure 32: Applebee’s “Flavor Loaded Steaks” commercial
                                                                                        • Figure 33: Denny’s “$2, $4, $6, $8 Value Menu” commercial
                                                                                    • Menu Insights Analysis—Emerging Menu Items

                                                                                      • Cheese is the new wine
                                                                                        • Figure 34: Top 10 menu items at Top Chef restaurants, by incidence, Q3 2007-Q3 2010
                                                                                      • Small indulgences
                                                                                        • Figure 35: Fastest-growing menu items at Top Chef restaurants, by incidence, Q3 2007-Q3 2010
                                                                                      • What we’re made of
                                                                                        • Figure 36: Top 10 ingredients at Top Chef restaurants, by incidence, Q3 2007-Q3 2010
                                                                                        • Figure 37: Fastest-growing ingredients at Top Chef restaurants, by incidence, Q3 2007-Q3 2010
                                                                                    • Menu Insights Analysis—Emerging Flavors

                                                                                      • Everybody loves bacon
                                                                                          • Figure 38: Top 10 ingredient flavors at Top Chef restaurants, by incidence, Q3 2007-Q3 2010
                                                                                        • On the horizon
                                                                                          • Figure 39: Fastest-growing ingredient flavors at Top Chef restaurants, by incidence, Q3 2007-Q3 2010
                                                                                      • Menu Insights Analysis—Emerging Menu Marketing Strategies

                                                                                        • Fresh thinking
                                                                                          • Figure 40: Top 10 marketing claims at Top Chef restaurants, by incidence, Q3 2007-Q3 2010
                                                                                          • Figure 41: Fastest-growing ingredient flavors at Top Chef restaurants, by incidence, Q3 2007-Q3 2010
                                                                                      • Restaurant Usage

                                                                                        • Consumer demand remains strong
                                                                                          • Figure 42: Restaurant usage, September 2010
                                                                                        • Millennials: The restaurant industry’s key clientele
                                                                                          • Figure 43: Restaurant usage, by age, September 2010
                                                                                        • Income often determines dining choices, except with fast food
                                                                                          • Figure 44: Restaurant usage, by household income, September 2010
                                                                                      • Changes in Restaurant Spending

                                                                                        • Consumers are going out to eat, but value is important
                                                                                          • Figure 45: Restaurant usage compared to last year, September 2010
                                                                                        • The gender gap on spending
                                                                                          • Figure 46: Restaurant usage compared to last year, by gender, September 2010
                                                                                        • Spending less maybe, but cutting back less
                                                                                          • Figure 47: Restaurant usage compared to last year, by age, September 2010
                                                                                        • Haves and have-nots
                                                                                            • Figure 48: Restaurant usage compared to last year, by household income, September 2010
                                                                                          • It’s the economy. And the menu. And the prices.
                                                                                            • Figure 49: Reasons for spending less this year, September 2010
                                                                                            • Figure 50: Reasons for spending less this year, by gender, September 2010
                                                                                            • Figure 51: Reasons for spending less this year, by household income, September 2010
                                                                                          • The 2011 forecast: Better but not easier
                                                                                            • Figure 52: Anticipated changes for next year, September 2010
                                                                                            • Figure 53: Anticipated changes for next year, by age, September 2010
                                                                                            • Figure 54: Anticipated changes for next year, by household income, September 2010
                                                                                        • Dining Out Selection Factors

                                                                                          • Good food alone is not enough
                                                                                            • Figure 55: General and main reasons for dining out, September 2010
                                                                                            • Figure 56: General reasons for dining out, by gender, September 2010
                                                                                            • Figure 57: Main reasons for dining out, by gender, September 2010
                                                                                          • All the world a stage
                                                                                            • Figure 58: General reasons for dining out, by age, September 2010
                                                                                            • Figure 59: Main reasons for dining out, by age, September 2010
                                                                                          • Great expectations
                                                                                            • Figure 60: General reasons for dining out, by household income, September 2010
                                                                                          • The rich are different than you and me, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote
                                                                                            • Figure 61: Main reasons for dining out, by household income, September 2010
                                                                                        • Ordering Behavior

                                                                                          • All-American dining
                                                                                            • Figure 62: Menu items typically ordered, by gender, September 2010
                                                                                          • The best of intentions
                                                                                            • Figure 63: Eating healthier next year, September 2010
                                                                                            • Figure 64: Eating healthier next year, by gender, September 2010
                                                                                          • What does healthy mean?
                                                                                              • Figure 65: Ways to eat healthier, September 2010
                                                                                              • Figure 66: Ways to eat healthier, by gender, September 2010
                                                                                            • With age comes moderation
                                                                                              • Figure 67: Ways to eat healthier, by age, September 2010
                                                                                          • Increasing Restaurant Usage

                                                                                            • Just tell us what you want
                                                                                                • Figure 68: Increasing restaurant usage, September 2010
                                                                                                • Figure 69: Increasing restaurant usage, by gender, September 2010
                                                                                              • Answering the call for snack options
                                                                                                  • Figure 70: Increasing restaurant usage, by age, September 2010
                                                                                                • Money changes everything
                                                                                                    • Figure 71: Increasing restaurant usage, by household income, September 2010
                                                                                                • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                    • Healthers
                                                                                                      • Demographics
                                                                                                        • Characteristics
                                                                                                          • Opportunity
                                                                                                            • Utilitarians
                                                                                                              • Demographics
                                                                                                                • Characteristics
                                                                                                                  • Opportunity
                                                                                                                    • Experiencers
                                                                                                                      • Demographics
                                                                                                                        • Characteristics
                                                                                                                          • Opportunity
                                                                                                                            • Cluster characteristics
                                                                                                                              • Figure 72: Emerging restaurant concepts clusters, September 2010
                                                                                                                              • Figure 73: Restaurant usage, by emerging restaurant concepts clusters, September 2010
                                                                                                                              • Figure 74: Reasons for dining out, by emerging restaurant concepts clusters, September 2010
                                                                                                                              • Figure 75: Increasing restaurant usage, by emerging restaurant concepts clusters, September 2010
                                                                                                                              • Figure 76: Attitudes toward dining out, by emerging restaurant concepts clusters, September 2010
                                                                                                                            • Cluster demographics
                                                                                                                              • Figure 77: Emerging restaurant concepts clusters, by gender, September 2010
                                                                                                                              • Figure 78: Emerging restaurant concepts clusters, by age, September 2010
                                                                                                                              • Figure 79: Emerging restaurant concepts clusters, by household income, September 2010
                                                                                                                              • Figure 80: Emerging restaurant concepts clusters, by race, September 2010
                                                                                                                              • Figure 81: Emerging restaurant concepts clusters, by Hispanic origin, September 2010
                                                                                                                            • Cluster methodology
                                                                                                                            • Appendix—Trade Associations

                                                                                                                              Companies Covered

                                                                                                                              • ABP Corporation
                                                                                                                              • American Express Company (The)
                                                                                                                              • Applebee's International Inc.
                                                                                                                              • BJ's Restaurant, Inc.
                                                                                                                              • Bob Evans Farms Inc.
                                                                                                                              • Brinker International Inc.
                                                                                                                              • Bureau of Economic Analysis
                                                                                                                              • Burger King Corporation
                                                                                                                              • CBRL Group, Inc.
                                                                                                                              • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
                                                                                                                              • Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.
                                                                                                                              • CKE Restaurants Inc.
                                                                                                                              • Coca-Cola Company (The) (USA)
                                                                                                                              • Darden Restaurants Inc.
                                                                                                                              • Del Taco, Inc.
                                                                                                                              • Denny's Corporation
                                                                                                                              • Domino's Pizza LLB
                                                                                                                              • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                              • Food and Drug Administration
                                                                                                                              • Food Distributors International
                                                                                                                              • Food Marketing Institute
                                                                                                                              • Foursquare
                                                                                                                              • Fuddruckers, Inc.
                                                                                                                              • Google, Inc.
                                                                                                                              • Groupon, Inc.
                                                                                                                              • Hardee's Food Systems, Inc.
                                                                                                                              • International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC)
                                                                                                                              • International Food Service Executives Association (IFSEA)
                                                                                                                              • International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA)
                                                                                                                              • International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA)
                                                                                                                              • International Franchise Association (IFA)
                                                                                                                              • International Fresh-Cut Produce Association (IFPA)
                                                                                                                              • Jamba Juice Company
                                                                                                                              • KFC Corporation
                                                                                                                              • Kraft Foods Inc. (U.S.A.)
                                                                                                                              • Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises Inc.
                                                                                                                              • LinkedIn
                                                                                                                              • Los Angeles Times
                                                                                                                              • McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurants, Inc.
                                                                                                                              • McDonald's U.S.A.
                                                                                                                              • Metromedia Restaurant Group
                                                                                                                              • MySpace.com
                                                                                                                              • National Council of Chain Restaurants (NCCR)
                                                                                                                              • National Restaurant Association (NRA)
                                                                                                                              • National Retail Federation (NRF)
                                                                                                                              • Noodles & Company
                                                                                                                              • O'Charley's Inc.
                                                                                                                              • Organic Trade Association
                                                                                                                              • P.F. Chang's China Bistro Inc.
                                                                                                                              • Panera Bread Company
                                                                                                                              • Pizza Hut Inc
                                                                                                                              • Produce Marketing Association
                                                                                                                              • Research In Motion (USA)
                                                                                                                              • Ruby Tuesday Inc.
                                                                                                                              • Starbucks Corporation
                                                                                                                              • Subway
                                                                                                                              • Taco Bell Corp.
                                                                                                                              • TGI Friday's
                                                                                                                              • The New York Times Company
                                                                                                                              • The Taco Cabana
                                                                                                                              • The Vegetarian Resource Group
                                                                                                                              • The Wendy's Company
                                                                                                                              • Tim Hortons (USA)
                                                                                                                              • Twitter, Inc.
                                                                                                                              • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                                                                                              • U.S. Bureau of the Census
                                                                                                                              • U.S. Department of Agriculture
                                                                                                                              • University of Michigan, The
                                                                                                                              • USA Today
                                                                                                                              • Walt Disney Company, The
                                                                                                                              • Weight Watchers International Inc.
                                                                                                                              • Whataburger Restaurants LP
                                                                                                                              • White Castle System, Inc.
                                                                                                                              • Yelp Inc.
                                                                                                                              • YouTube, Inc.

                                                                                                                              Emerging Restaurant Concepts - US - December 2010

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