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Family Midscale Dining - US - September 2016

"The midscale chain is in a state of flux; while some of the biggest names in midscale dining are doing well, other chains are on the brink of bankruptcy. The successful midscale restaurants have upgraded their units and menus and have fully embraced social media as a way to connect with younger consumers. Midscales may increase visitation while still staying true to their identity by adding healthy sides, sending consumers deals, and making their restaurants more convenient for rushed consumers. "
- Caleb Bryant, Foodservice Analyst

This report discusses the following key topics:

  • Midscale visitation falls behind competitors 
  • Midscale chains need to adapt

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

Family Dining/Midscale Restaurants: Family dining and midscale restaurants are used interchangeably in this Report as they are the same restaurant segment. Midscale restaurants have the smallest check size of any FSR (full service restaurant), meaning midscales do have a wait staff. Midscale restaurants do not serve alcohol. Examples of midscale restaurants include: IHOP, Denny’s, Cracker Barrel, Bob Evans, and Perkins. Buffet restaurants such as Golden Corral, Old Country Buffet, and Ryan’s are also midscale restaurants.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Midscale visitation falls behind competitors
            • Figure 1: Segment visitation in the past three months, any daypart, June 2016
          • Midscale chains need to adapt
            • Figure 2: Midscale chain visitation, 2012-16
          • The opportunities
            • Coupons get consumers in the door
              • Figure 3: Midscale visitation motivators, June 2016
            • Midscales can upgrade their kids meals
              • Figure 4: Midscale visitation motivators: kids menus, June 2016
            • Consumers want healthy side dishes
              • Figure 5: Midscale side dish interest, June 2016
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Competing restaurant segments threaten midscales
                • Midscales can leverage commodity prices
                  • Changing families impact family dining
                    • Midscales should target the fast growing Hispanic population
                      • Consumers are drinking fewer CSDs
                      • Market Perspective

                        • QSRs are stealing breakfast business
                          • Fast casuals continue to drive innovation
                            • Casual dining focuses on convenience
                            • Market Factors

                              • Low commodity prices benefit the entire restaurant industry
                                • Figure 6: US city average for one dozen grade A eggs, Jan 2010-Jun 2016
                                • Figure 7: Changes in food prices, May 2015 to May 2016
                              • The changing American family
                                • Figure 8: Average household size, 2005-15
                                • Figure 9: Number of live births in thousands by year, 2000-14
                              • Hispanics are a fast growing segment of the population
                                • Figure 10: US population by Hispanic origin, 2011-21
                                • Figure 11: Average household size, by Hispanic origin, 2015
                              • Soda struggles
                                • Figure 12: Carbonated soft drink consumption among users, trended 2011-15
                            • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                              • Midscales reinvent themselves both physically and digitally
                                • Many midscales face an uncertain future
                                  • Midscales can make small changes in order to stay competitive
                                  • What’s Working?

                                    • Midscale restaurants get a facelift
                                      • Midscale chains leverage social media
                                        • Figure 13: The Grand Slams trailer – Meet the Slams, September 2014
                                      • Midscale social media metrics
                                        • Figure 14: Total audience on social media by platform, August 14th 2016
                                        • Figure 15: Total activity on social media by platform in the last 90 days, August 14th 2016
                                      • Midscale menus shrink dramatically
                                        • Figure 16: Incidence of all food items on menus by segment, Q1 2013-Q1 2016
                                        • Figure 17: Average number of items on menus by segment, Q1 2013-Q1 2016
                                        • Figure 18: Incidence of top 10 most common items on midscale menus, Q1 2013-Q1 2016
                                      • Bringing dessert to breakfast
                                      • What’s Struggling?

                                        • Major midscale chains are struggling to stay relevant
                                          • Figure 19: Midscale chain visitation, 2012-16
                                      • What’s Next?

                                        • Technology improvements can increase convenience
                                          • Deliberate international dishes
                                            • Hedging bets with fast casual spin-offs
                                              • Midscale menus get specific
                                                  • Figure 20: Change in incidence of select ingredient claims/descriptors on midscale menus, Q1 2013-Q1 2016
                                                • Midscale chains to watch
                                                • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                  • Midscales are most visited for breakfast
                                                    • Deals may get consumers in the door
                                                      • Price is very important to older consumers
                                                        • Parents want healthy options for their kids
                                                          • Consumers are interested in healthy sides
                                                          • Midscale Visitation

                                                            • Midscale visitation trails casual dining and LSRs
                                                              • Figure 21: Segment visitation in the past three months, any daypart, June 2016
                                                            • Midscales have a strong hold on the breakfast occasion
                                                              • Figure 22: Correspondence analysis, segment visitation by daypart, June 2016
                                                            • Midscale visitation by demographics
                                                              • Figure 23: Segment visitation in the past three months, any daypart, June 2016
                                                              • Figure 24: Buffet restaurant visitation, any daypart, by parent types, June 2016
                                                          • Midscale Visitation Motivators

                                                            • Coupons may increase midscale visitation
                                                              • Figure 25: Midscale visitation motivators, June 2016
                                                              • Figure 26: Denny’s email example, “20% Off! Exclusively for you!”
                                                            • Buffet diners want options and deals for kids
                                                              • Figure 27: Midscale visitation motivators, by midscale visitors, June 2016
                                                            • Motivate women with coupons; men with late night
                                                              • Figure 28: Midscale visitation motivators, by midscale visitors, June 2016
                                                            • Visitation motivators by generation
                                                              • Figure 29: Midscale visitation motivators, by generation, June 2016
                                                              • Figure 30: Midscale visitation motivators, reduced prices for children with a paying adult, by age of child(ren), June 2016
                                                              • Figure 31: Midscale visitation motivators, by age and income, June 2016
                                                            • Hispanics are motivated by a variety of offerings
                                                              • Figure 32: Midscale visitation motivators, by Hispanic origin, June 2016
                                                            • Midwesterners are motivated by coupons
                                                              • Figure 33: Midscale visitation motivators, by census region, June 2016
                                                          • Restaurant Association

                                                            • Midscales garner many positive associations but there is room for improvement
                                                              • Figure 34: Correspondence analysis, restaurant segment association, June 2016
                                                              • Figure 35: Restaurant associations, June 2016
                                                          • Midscale Senior Menus

                                                            • Price is by far the most important aspect of senior menus to older consumers
                                                              • Figure 36: Midscale visitation motivators: senior menus, June 2016
                                                            • Healthy eating is top of mind for older women
                                                              • Figure 37: Midscale visitation motivators: senior menus, by gender, June 2016
                                                            • Interest in international dishes lies in the west
                                                              • Figure 38: Midscale visitation motivators: senior menus, internationally-influenced entrees, by census region, June 2016
                                                          • Midscale Kids Menus

                                                            • Parents want a variety of options for their kids
                                                              • Figure 39: Midscale visitation motivators: kids menus, June 2016
                                                              • Figure 40: Midscale visitation motivators: kids menus, by age of child/children, June 2016
                                                            • The Millennial parent effect
                                                              • Figure 41: Midscale visitation motivators: kids menus, by age of child/children, June 2016
                                                          • Midscale Side Dish Interest

                                                            • Consumers are interested in veggie sides at midscales
                                                              • Figure 42: Midscale side dish interest, June 2016
                                                            • Appealing to parents through side dishes
                                                              • Figure 43: Midscale side dish interest, by parental status and gender, June 2016
                                                            • Hispanics express interest in indulgences
                                                              • Figure 44: Midscale side dish interest, by area, June 2016
                                                            • Rural midscales should highlight potato sides
                                                              • Figure 45: Midscale side dish interest, by area, June 2016
                                                          • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                            • Data sources
                                                              • Consumer survey data
                                                                • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                  • Abbreviations
                                                                    • Terms
                                                                      • Mintel Menu Insights
                                                                      • Appendix – Correspondence Methodology

                                                                        • Correspondence analysis methodology
                                                                        • Appendix – Consumer

                                                                            • Figure 46: Carbonated soft drink consumption among users, trended 2011-15
                                                                            • Figure 47: Midscale visitation, trended 2012-16
                                                                        • Appendix – Social Media

                                                                          • Methodology
                                                                            • Figure 48: Total audience on social media by platform, August 14th 2016
                                                                            • Figure 49: Total activity on social media by platform in the last 90 days, August 14th 2016

                                                                        Companies Covered

                                                                        To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                        Family Midscale Dining - US - September 2016

                                                                        £3,277.28 (Excl.Tax)