Description

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the How America Dines Consumer market including the behaviors, preferences, and habits of the consumer.

Restaurants quickly evolved and pivoted to survive during the pandemic, and industry changes being made now will shape both the future of the foodservice industry and how consumers dine. The industry will contract, menus will get smaller, and LSRs’ footprints will shrink. The foodservice industry will focus even more on takeout and delivery. Consumers will enjoy restaurant meals and restaurant-like experiences within the home even after the pandemic, and diners will scrutinize restaurants’ treatment of their employees and seek operators that promote equality and environmental stewardship.

Read on to discover more about the How America Dines consumer market, read the How America Eats Market Report 2021 and What America Eats Market Report 2021 reports from this series, or take a look at our other Foodservice research reports.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on how consumers dine.
  • The importance of restaurant value in 2021.
  • The state of the foodservice industry in a post-pandemic landscape.
  • Anticipated consumer dining behaviors and practices.
  • American food consumption statistics.

Covered in this report

Brands include: Chipotle, Panera Bread, Cotona, Samuel Adams, Auntie Anne, DeliverZero, Starbucks, Bloomin’ Brands, Whole 30 Delivered, Brinker International, It’s Just Wings, Cracker Barrell Old Country Store Inc.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by Caleb Bryant, a leading analyst in the Food and Drink sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The pandemic has been an Earth-shattering event for the foodservice industry, one that will reshape the entire industry landscape and alter how Americans dine. The industry will emerge from the pandemic smaller and leaner as FSRs close and new small-footprint LSRs spring up focused primarily on takeout traffic. Consumers will prioritize value and familiarity in the coming year and will seek restaurants that promote best-in-class sanitation practices. The turbulent pandemic also created new opportunities for operators; offerings created to satisfy diners at home during the pandemic will remain and expand in the post-pandemic landscape as the lines between at home and away from home blend.
Caleb Bryant, Associate Director of Food and Drink Reports
Caleb Bryant
Associate Director of Food and Drink Reports

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • Definition
    • COVID-19: market context
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Market overview
      • Figure 1: Total US sales and forecast of restaurants and limited service eating places*, at current prices, 2015-25
    • Impact of COVID-19 on how America dines
      • Figure 2: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on how America dines, January 2021
    • Opportunities and challenges
    • Re-emergence (2021)
      • Figure 3: Anticipated changes in dining behavior and why, November 2020
    • Aggressive promotions are necessary during a recession
      • Figure 4: Restaurant visitation during financial uncertainty, November 2020
    • Recovery (2022-25)
  3. The Market – Key Takeaways

    • Macro-economic factors are detrimental for the market
    • Restaurants move inside the home
    • Remote work alters the industry
  4. Market Size and Forecast

    • Pandemic decimates the foodservice industry
      • Figure 5: Total US sales and forecast of restaurants and limited service eating places*, at current prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 6: Total US sales and forecast of restaurants and limited service eating places*, at current prices, 2015-25
    • Impact of COVID-19 on how America dines
      • Figure 7: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on how America dines, July 2020
    • Lockdown
    • Re-emergence
    • Recovery
    • COVID-19: Market context
    • Learnings from the last recession
      • Figure 8: Annual personal consumption expenditures, foodservice, 2000-2019
      • Figure 9: Annual personal consumption expenditures, foodservice, 2000-2019
  5. Market Factors

    • Change in work paradigms will forever alter the foodservice market
      • Figure 10: Employment during pandemic, among employed consumers, November 2020
      • Figure 11: Anticipated work situation in 2021, among consumers currently working from home, November 2020
    • Food safety and restaurant sanitation take on new importance
    • End of independents?
    • Cooking behaviors established during the pandemic may become engrained
  6. Market Opportunities

    • Ethical eats
    • Bring the restaurant inside the home
    • Need for speed
    • Rethink the office lunch
    • Do the breakfast shuffle
    • Foodservice snacks offer consumers a break
      • Figure 12: Correspondence analysis – symmetrical map – priorities by daypart, November 2020
  7. Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

    • Promotions will get restaurants through the recession
    • LSRs will dominate in a post-COVID landscape
  8. Competitive Strategies

    • Chains double down on value
    • Restaurant segments evolve
    • Ghost stories
    • Comfort foods offer consumers reprieve
  9. The Consumer – Key Takeaways

    • A desire for deals and comforts will define 2021
    • Sanitation takes center stage
    • Troubled times remain for restaurants
  10. Restaurant Segment Visitation and Frequency

    • LSRs lead in visitation incidence and frequency
      • Figure 13: Restaurant visitation, November 2020
      • Figure 14: Restaurant segment visitation frequency, among segment visitors, November 2020
    • Casual dining chain companies need to diversify
      • Figure 15: Restaurant visitation, by generation, November 2020
      • Figure 16: Restaurant segment visitation frequency, once per week or more often, among segment visitors, by age, November 2020
    • Economic hardships challenge restaurants
      • Figure 17: Restaurant visitation, by HHI, November 2020
      • Figure 18: Restaurant segment visitation frequency, once per week or more often, among segment visitors, by HHI, November 2020
  11. Primary Restaurant Associations

    • Affordability and familiarity are consumer comforts
      • Figure 19: Primary restaurant associations, November 2020
      • Figure 20: Primary restaurant associations, by age and HHI, November 2020
    • Restaurant heritage messages are universally appealing
      • Figure 21: Primary restaurant associations, by new restaurant trial, November 2020
  12. Anticipated Dining Behavior Changes and Why

    • Consumers are split on their future dining plans
      • Figure 22: Anticipated changes in dining behavior, by select demographics, November 2020
    • Restaurant recovery entirely depends on the pandemic
      • Figure 23: Reasons for dining out less in 2021, November 2020
      • Figure 24: Reasons for dining out more in 2021, November 2020
  13. New Restaurant Trial

    • Millennials and urbanites are foodservice explorers
      • Figure 25: New restaurant trial, November 2020
      • Figure 26: New restaurant trial, by select demographics, November 2020
      • Figure 27: New restaurant trial, by restaurant segments visited, November 2020
  14. Important Factors When Dining Out

    • Value is the key trend during the pandemic and beyond
      • Figure 28: Important factors when dining out, most important and any importance, November 2020
    • Restaurants need to make Boomers feel at ease
      • Figure 29: Important factors when dining out, any importance, by generation, November 2020
    • Value appeals across consumer segments
      • Figure 30: Important factors when dining out, top five any important factors, by food and drink shopper segments, November 2020
    • A food hall evolution is near
      • Figure 31: Important factors when dining out, any importance, by restaurant segments visited, November 2020
  15. What Consumers Miss about Dining Out

    • Consumers miss the social connections of dining out
      • Figure 32: Miss about dining out, November 2020
      • Figure 33: Miss about dining out, by new restaurant trial, November 2020
  16. Restaurant Visitation during Financial Uncertainty

    • Consumers will drop out of the foodservice industry
      • Figure 34: Restaurant visitation during financial uncertainty, November 2020
      • Figure 35: Restaurant visitation during financial uncertainty, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2020
    • Alcohol promotions and creative thinking is necessary to keep consumers engaged
      • Figure 36: Restaurant visitation during financial uncertainty, by new restaurant trial, November 2020
  17. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Forecast
    • Consumer survey data
    • Food and Drink Shopper Segments
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations
    • Terms
  18. Appendix – Correspondence Analysis

    • Methodology

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.

Market

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Consumer

Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.

Brand/Company

Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.

Data

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