CHICAGO – Considering 57 percent of consumers recently surveyed by Technomic indicated they purchase takeout once a week or more, takeout options are an increasingly important source of revenue for restaurant operators.

Sixty percent of consumers who recently purchased takeout said if they had not done so on that occasion, they would most likely have made food at home and not purchased from a foodservice operator.

“In many cases consumers do not view takeout orders as a part of the same consideration set as food purchased to be eaten in the dining room or onsite,” said Joe Pawlak, vice president. “Operators have a real opportunity to gain an advantage if they can respond to consumers’ needs for convenience, accuracy and food quality.”

Technomic recently developed its 2011 Takeout and Off-Premise Dining Consumer Trend Report. Findings include:

  • About 60 percent of consumers say they are willing to pay more for takeout packaging made with sustainable materials. Trends toward sustainable, recyclable materials for takeout containers are taking shape at several major restaurant brands on the chain level.
  • Approximately 50 percent of consumers surveyed agree their takeout occasion could be ruined by any of several mishaps: leaking food or liquids (52 percent), deterioration of food taste or freshness (49 percent), food that doesn’t stay hot or cold (46 percent) or missing condiments (46 percent).
  • Boxed meals, value meals and snacks are leading take-out options for limited-service restaurants, while full-service restaurants are promoting family dining options.