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US Restaurant Decision Making Process market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Restaurant Decision Making Process market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

The purpose of this report is to analyze consumers’ attitudes, behaviors, and perceptions surrounding the restaurant decisionmaking process. It will also examine how the restaurant decisionmaking process varies across demographics, generations, regions, and by race.

Market size estimates and forecasts in this Report are segmented as follows:

  • Full-service restaurants
  • Limited-service eating places, including limited-service restaurants, cafeterias, grills/grill buffets, and snack/non-alcoholic beverage bars

What you need to know

Restaurant industry sales are expected to grow in coming years as positive economic conditions spur increased consumer spending on AFH (away from home) dining. However, with consumers having more choices of where to dine, restaurants must emphasize convenience to capture dining dollars. In addition, operators must offer more than quality food, including an enticing dining experience and ambience to encourage on-premise dining.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Hannah Spencer, a leading analyst in the Foodservice sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Restaurant industry sales are expected to grow in coming years as positive economic conditions spur increased consumer spending on AFH (away from home) dining. However, with consumers having more choices of where to dine, restaurants must emphasize convenience to capture dining dollars. In addition, operators must offer more than quality food, including an enticing dining experience and ambience to encourage on-premise dining. Hannah Spencer
Foodservice Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Overview
          • How household income influences the decision process
            • The issue: Less-affluent Hispanics gravitate toward value
              • The Opportunity: Knowing your core target market
                • Figure 1: Types of restaurants Hispanics visit – Past 3 months, by language spoken and home and household income, August 2018
              • How to stand out
                • The issue: Lines between categories are becoming blurred
                  • The Opportunity: Owning expected attributes, delivering more than expected
                    • Figure 2: Correspondence Analysis – Restaurant associations, August 2018
                  • How to drive trial
                    • The issue: Half of Hispanics go to the same restaurants over and over again
                      • The Opportunity: Leveraging recommendations and online reviews
                        • Figure 3: Information sources Hispanics use when choosing a restaurant, indexed to all, August 2018
                      • How to drive repeat visits
                        • The issue: Balancing previous experiences with family preferences
                          • The Opportunity: Both feed each other
                            • Figure 4: Hispanics’ restaurant preferences, August 2018
                          • What it means
                          • The Market – What You Need to Know

                            • Hispanics spend $75.4 billion dining out
                            • Market Size

                              • Hispanics can drive growth when they start closing the gap
                                  • Figure 5: Expenditures by Hispanic consumers at restaurants and eating places,* at current prices, 2013-18
                              • Market Factors

                                • Youthful Hispanics look for value in their foodservice decisions
                                  • Figure 6: Distribution of population, by age and race/Hispanic origin, 2018
                                • The influence of family preferences increases with larger households
                                  • Figure 7: Average number of people per household, by race and Hispanic origin, 2017
                                  • Figure 8: Households with related children, by race and Hispanic origin of householder, 2017
                                • A higher household income prompts Hispanics to be more sophisticated when dining out
                                  • More-affluent Hispanics drive restaurant visitation
                                    • Figure 9: Median household income, by race and Hispanic origin of householder, 2016
                                    • Figure 10: Household income distribution by race and Hispanic origin of householder, 2016
                                    • Figure 11: Consumer reported household income, by Hispanic origin and language spoken at home, April 2017-June 2018
                                • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                  • Health claims not a defining factor
                                    • Focusing on the family, value, convenience can bring Hispanics in
                                      • Provide a comfortable setting Hispanics can see themselves eating in
                                        • Technology can improve the experience
                                        • What’s Happening?

                                          • Hispanics may not feel motivated to eat healthy when dining out
                                            • Figure 12: Hispanics’ attitudes toward dining out – Ease to eat healthy at restaurants, by language spoken at home and household income, August 2018
                                          • Catering to the family resonates with Hispanics
                                            • Figure 13: Hispanics’ visits of IHOP and Denny’s – last 30 days, indexed to all, April 2017-June 2018
                                          • Offering value can pay off – pizza chains are an example
                                            • Figure 14: Hispanics’ visits of most popular pizza chains – Last 30 days, indexed to all, April 2017-June 2018
                                          • Ambiance has to reflect who they are
                                            • Figure 15: Hispanics’ attitudes toward dining out – Importance of ambience and consistency, by gender and age, August 2018
                                            • Figure 16: Hispanics’ visits of select restaurant chains – Last 30 days, indexed to all, April 2017-June 2018
                                        • What’s Next?

                                          • Using technology to enhance the experience
                                            • Figure 17: Hispanics’ perception of options on restaurant menus – Too many options, by gender and age, August 2018
                                        • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                          • Decisions driven by desire for indulgence and value, as well as occasion
                                            • Self-perceptions influence restaurant choices
                                              • Recommendations and reviews have the most impact on decisions
                                                • Ease of routine competes with desire (and risk) of trying something new
                                                  • Family preferences and previous experiences go hand-in-hand
                                                  • The Competitive Landscape

                                                    • Narrowing down the list of options in a crowded field
                                                      • Figure 18: Types of restaurants Hispanics visit – Past 3 months, indexed to all, August 2018
                                                    • Category associations
                                                      • Fast food and fast casual restaurants are about speed and convenience
                                                        • Casual dining, family dining, and independent Hispanic restaurants are perceived similarly
                                                          • Fine dining is for special occasions
                                                            • Figure 19: Correspondence Analysis – Principal map – Restaurant associations, August 2018
                                                            • Figure 20: Restaurant associations, August 2018
                                                          • Category SWOT analysis
                                                            • Fast food
                                                              • Figure 21: Fast food – SWOT analysis
                                                              • Figure 22: Hispanic fast food visitors – Past 3 months, by gender and age and by language spoken at home and household income, August 2018
                                                            • Casual dining
                                                              • Figure 23: Casual dining – SWOT analysis
                                                              • Figure 24: Hispanic casual dining visitors – Past 3 months, by gender and age and by language spoken at home and household income, August 2018
                                                            • Fast casual
                                                              • Figure 25: Fast casual dining – SWOT analysis
                                                              • Figure 26: Hispanic fast casual visitors – Past 3 months, by gender and age and by language spoken at home and household income, August 2018
                                                            • Family dining
                                                              • Figure 27: Family dining – SWOT analysis
                                                              • Figure 28: Hispanic family dining visitors – Past 3 months, by gender and age and by language spoken at home and household income, August 2018
                                                            • Hispanic Independent
                                                              • Figure 29: Hispanic independent restaurants – SWOT analysis
                                                              • Figure 30: Hispanics visiting independent Hispanic restaurants – Past 3 months, by gender and age and by language spoken at home and household income, August 2018
                                                            • Fine dining
                                                              • Figure 31: Fine dining – SWOT analysis
                                                              • Figure 32: Hispanic fine dining visitors – Past 3 months, by gender and age and by language spoken at home and household income, August 2018
                                                          • The Cultural Landscape

                                                            • Hispanics’ self-perceptions influence how Hispanics choose restaurants
                                                              • Figure 33: Hispanics’ cultural attitudinal segments applied to restaurant decision making, August 2018
                                                            • Bride Builders and Soul Finders offer the greatest opportunities
                                                              • Bridge Builders (~36%)
                                                                • Soul Finders (~27%)
                                                                    • Figure 34: Types of restaurants Hispanics visit – Past 3 months, by cultural segment indexed to all Hispanics, August 2018
                                                                    • Figure 35: Information sources Hispanics use when choosing a restaurant, by cultural segment indexed to all Hispanics, August 2018
                                                                    • Figure 36: Hispanics’ restaurant behaviors, by cultural segment indexed to all Hispanics, August 2018
                                                                    • Figure 37: Hispanics’ restaurant preferences, by cultural segment indexed to all Hispanics, August 2018
                                                                    • Figure 38: Hispanics’ attitudes toward dining out, by cultural segment indexed to all Hispanics, August 2018
                                                                  • Soul Searchers and Culturally Detached more difficult to reach
                                                                    • Soul Searchers (~22%)
                                                                      • Culturally Detached (~15%)
                                                                      • Information Sources

                                                                        • Recommendations and positive reviews drive consideration
                                                                          • Figure 39: Information sources Hispanics use when choosing a restaurant, indexed to all, August 2018
                                                                        • Recommendations are important to break dining out routines
                                                                          • Figure 40: Hispanics’ use of recommendations as a source of information, by gender and age, August 2018
                                                                        • Promotions have a moderate effect
                                                                          • Figure 41: Hispanics’ use of promotions as a source of information, by gender and age, August 2018
                                                                        • Social media’s reach decreases with age
                                                                          • Figure 42: Hispanics’ use of promotions as a social media of information, by gender and age and by language spoken at home and household income, August 2018
                                                                      • Restaurant Behaviors

                                                                        • Hispanics balance routine and new restaurant trial
                                                                          • Figure 43: Hispanics’ restaurant behaviors, August 2018
                                                                        • More-affluent English-dominant Hispanics are most satisfied with the places they know
                                                                          • Figure 44: Hispanics’ likelihood of going to same restaurants repeatedly, by language spoken at home and household income, August 2018
                                                                        • The convenience of ordering take-out and delivery can resonate with younger Hispanics
                                                                          • Figure 45: Hispanics’ reporting ordering take out and delivery more often than last year, by gender and age, August 2018
                                                                        • A lack of options in rural settings prompts preference for home cooking
                                                                          • Figure 46: Hispanics’ likelihood of going to same restaurants repeatedly, by urban/suburban/rural location, August 2018
                                                                      • Dining Out – A Break from Routine

                                                                        • Dining out is a time to indulge
                                                                          • Figure 47: Hispanics’ attitudes toward dining out – Routine, indexed to all, August 2018
                                                                        • Hispanic Millennials drive interest in dining out experiences
                                                                          • Figure 48: Hispanics’ attitudes toward dining out – Routine, by gender and age, August 2018
                                                                          • Figure 49: Hispanics’ attitudes toward dining out – Routine, by language spoken at home and household income, August 2018
                                                                      • Restaurant Preferences

                                                                        • A positive experience is key, but it can mean many things
                                                                            • Figure 50: Hispanics’ restaurant preferences, August 2018
                                                                          • Older Hispanics give significant weight to previous experiences
                                                                            • Figure 51: Importance of previous experiences, by gender and age, August 2018
                                                                          • Traditional Hispanic dishes can be risky if they are not part of the usual offering
                                                                            • Figure 52: Importance of traditional Hispanic and Hispanic-inspired dishes, by gender and age, August 2018
                                                                          • Moms choose with their families and children in mind
                                                                            • Figure 53: Importance of family’s preferences and kids menus, by gender and parental status, August 2018
                                                                        • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                          • Data sources
                                                                            • Consumer survey data
                                                                              • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                • Abbreviations
                                                                                  • Terms
                                                                                    • A note about acculturation