Family-style restaurants poised for success

by Bryan Salvage
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CHICAGO – Family-style restaurants that offer reasonable prices, diverse menus served across all dayparts including late-night dining and a family-friendly atmosphere, are well-positioned in this economy, according to new research from Technomic.

More than two-thirds of consumers (68%) surveyed by the firm said they would be highly likely to visit a family-style restaurant when they want an affordable sit-down meal, which indicates consumers think these locations may offer a better value proposition than other types of full-service restaurants.

“Family-style restaurant operators may want to tout this strength and leverage it in their marketing message to compete with limited-service restaurants and appeal to consumers who have cut back on casual-dining concepts,” said Joe Pawlak, Technomic vice president. “Keys for success in this segment will be emphasizing affordable prices, service, and ambiance, targeting selective promotions at certain consumer groups and relaying a strong perception of value.”

Technomic's recent study findings include:

 Seventy-three percent of consumers said they visit family-style restaurants at least once a month, and 38% do once a week or more.

 The Family Dining segment is highly concentrated and reachable by suppliers, with the top 25 chains representing more than 40% of all segment sales.

 More than two-thirds of consumers (68%) said they would be likely or extremely likely to visit a Family Dining restaurant when dining with children.

 Appetizer sales at Family Dining restaurants have done relatively well, outpacing salads, desserts, beverages and soups and equaling more than half of sandwich sales.

 Most consumers (52%) report the availability of healthy food at family-style restaurants is very important.

 Most revenues for Family Dining comes from on-premise dining. Takeout and catering represent very small shares of sales.
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