CHICAGO — While some family-dining restaurant chains need to revitalize their menu and decor, this foodservice segment has managed to weather the recessionary storm better than their casual dining counterparts, according to Chicago-based Technomic.

Recent company research indicates many of today's value-conscious consumers actually prefer family-dining restaurants for several dining occasions.

Due to their kid-friendly menus and atmospheres, as well as the real value offered by these restaurants, moms are often likely to choose a family-dining restaurant, said Ron Paul Technomic president. "At this time, we believe our supplier-clients should pay special attention to family dining," he added. "Few other operator-customers offer the breadth of menu items, often serving at least three meals a day."

The current state of affairs for the family dining segment will be explored in Technomic’s current study, Family Dining: The Next Generation. Related findings fueling the need for this research include:

  • More than half of consumers (51%) view family-style restaurants as the most suitable restaurant choice for breakfast.
  • Family-style restaurants have experienced slightly fewer consumers cutting back by visiting less often, but they’re purchasing less-expensive food items than at casual dining restaurants.