Research: “Dining Out is a Quintessential American Pastime, According to Scarborough Research Restaurant Report” (Jul.2006)

excerpt:
“Ninety-six percent of U.S. adults dine out at a restaurant at least once per month. Two-fifths (40 percent) of the population visited a Quick Service Restaurant, such as McDonald’s, Wendy’s or Subway, six or more times during the past month, according to a new report on the restaurant industry from Scarborough Research…

The Restaurant Report analyzes a wide variety of consumer dining-out behaviors, including:

* Demographics of Quick Service restaurant and Sit-Down restaurant
patrons.
* Demographic and lifestyle analyses of consumers who are the most
frequent patrons of Quick Service and Sit-Down restaurants.
* Restaurant patronage by African-American and Hispanic consumers.
* Local market analyses, highlighting the top local markets for restaurant
patrons.”

source: “Dining Out is a Quintessential American Pastime, According to Scarborough Research Restaurant Report” (Scarborough Research, Jul.13,2006)

link: Dining Out is Quintessentially American: The Scarborough Restaurant Report [pdf]

Research: “Dining Out is a Quintessential American Pastime, According to Scarborough Research Restaurant Report” (Jul.2006)

excerpt:
“Ninety-six percent of U.S. adults dine out at a restaurant at least once per month. Two-fifths (40 percent) of the population visited a Quick Service Restaurant, such as McDonald’s, Wendy’s or Subway, six or more times during the past month, according to a new report on the restaurant industry from Scarborough Research…

The Restaurant Report analyzes a wide variety of consumer dining-out behaviors, including:

* Demographics of Quick Service restaurant and Sit-Down restaurant
patrons.
* Demographic and lifestyle analyses of consumers who are the most
frequent patrons of Quick Service and Sit-Down restaurants.
* Restaurant patronage by African-American and Hispanic consumers.
* Local market analyses, highlighting the top local markets for restaurant
patrons.”

source: “Dining Out is a Quintessential American Pastime, According to Scarborough Research Restaurant Report” (Scarborough Research, Jul.13,2006)

link: Dining Out is Quintessentially American: The Scarborough Restaurant Report [pdf]

Article: “Defining fast casual” (Jul.2006)

fastcasual.jpg

excerpt:
“What is fast casual?

As editor of Fast Casual magazine and this Web site, I am frequently asked this question. Sometimes I have to correct people who claim their restaurant is fast casual when it’s really a QSR or casual-dining restaurant. I can’t blame them for miss-categorizing their outfits; fast casual is a hybrid and, well, it’s the hip thing to be called.

With that said, it’s important we are very selective in who we call fast casual…”

source: “Defining fast casual” by Fred Minnick (Fast Casual, Jul.13,2006)

About the publisher:

“Founded in 1997, the foodservice media division of NetWorld Alliance is the leading vertical restaurant publisher in the restaurant industry. Together with Fast Casual magazine, fastcasual.com, Pizzamarketplace.com and QSRWeb.com, we continue to provide the industry with thought-provoking news and updates on the latest trends.”

link: Fast Casual Magazine

Article: “What Your Customers Want” (July 2005)

excerpt:
"…RESTAURANT HOSPITALITY recently commissioned consumer research to provide original and actionable information about consumer usage and ordering habits that you can take to the bank.

The research captured consumer frequency of eating at full-service restaurants on weekdays and weekends; how often they eat at your restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner; the types of restaurants they've eaten at in the past six months and what makes them want to return to a restaurant.

…We, the editors of RESTAURANT HOSPITALITY, hope that this consumer research will give you a better insight into dealing with customers. We're convinced that it will confirm information that you may have already believed in your mind, while also revealing areas of opportunity that you may not have known existed. Use this information wisely and watch your business grow."

source: "What Your Customers Want" (Restaurant Hospitality, July 2005)

Note: Restaurant Hospitality offers a free magazine subscription and newsletter.

Article: “Survey: High levels of tipping at finer restaurants” (May 2005)

survey.jpg

excerpt:
"We learned that 25 percent believe restaurant service has improved over time, compared to only 8 percent who believe service quality has declined," says Thomas Layton, OpenTable CEO, in a written statement. "This raises the bar for restaurants, which now have higher service standards to meet."

According to the survey, spending on white-tablecloth dining is trending upward, with 40 percent of respondents saying they spend more today than they did a year ago. In contrast, only 4 percent say they are spending less than one year ago, while 56 percent say that there has been no change.

Respondents reported that their average dinner tab is $49.37 per person, including taxes, tip, and beverages. In addition, compared to one year ago, twice as many say they are dining out more often as say they are dining out less often (31 percent vs. 15 percent)."

source: "Survey: High levels of tipping at finer restaurants" (Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, May 18, 2005)

WaiterBell Angle: A couple of notes on this survey, it was sponsored by OpenTable.com and it the respondents are OpenTable.com members. Depending on your restaurant and clientele, those details may make the survey more relevant for you. As you can see in this 2005 survey, a higher percentage of respondents believe that restaurant service was improving, meaning that some restaurants are raising their service standards distinguishing themselves from the competition.

WaiterBell helps raise service standards by providing a service safety net for your waitstaff and empowering customers. The result is a consistent dining experience with the right amount of attention from your waitstaff.

Research: “Internet penetration reaches a new high-water mark” (Apr.2006)

excerpt:
"While the percentage of Americans who say they use the internet has continued to fluctuate slightly, our latest survey, fielded February 15 – April 6, 2006 shows that fully 73% of respondents (about 147 million adults) are internet users, up from 66% (about 133 million adults) in our January 2005 survey.

While 88% of 18-29 year-olds now go online, 84% of 30-49 year-olds, 71% of 50-64 year-olds, and 32% of those age 65 and older say they use the internet.

Adults who live in households earning $50,000 or more exceed the national average for internet penetration; 86% of adults living in households with annual income between $50,000 and $75,000 use the internet, compared with 91% of adults living in households earning more than $75,000."

source: "Internet penetration reaches a new high-water mark" by Mary Madden (Pew Internet & American Life Project, Apr.2006)

WaiterBell Angle: The research above shows that more and more potential restaurant customers are using the internet. If someone went online for information about your restaurant, what would they find besides your web site?

The internet is a soapbox for diners, and their comments are indexed to be found by others for years to come. Take a look at sites such as Yelp.com and We8there.com, which are only a few of the many places customers are talking about their dining experiences. 

That is why restaurants need to look for ways to increase customer satisfaction and prevent service gaps. WaiterBell does both, and with a free no-risk trial, there is everything to gain.

Article: “Senior dining rooms rival top restaurants” (Apr.2006)

excerpt:
"Forget that old image of retirement homes serving Jell-O and soup. Today's healthier and wealthier retirees demand better, even gourmet, food. There's a growing trend toward a new class of high-end retirement communitiesDinner serves a social function at these communities.

"They look forward to it all day,'' says Mary Quinlan, sales and marketing director for the Peninsula Regent, a 10-story retirement complex in San Mateo. "It's their primary source of nutrition, but it's also a time for socialization. It's a real form of entertainment.''

Joe Tanton, the director of dining services/executive chef for Los Gatos Meadows, just finished an afternoon wine tasting for residents. "It's a lot of their social life,'' he says. "We want to make sure their dining experience is as if they were going out to a fine restaurant and paying for it.''

"Your food service can make or break a community. Good-quality food is very important,'' says Sara Staton, director of resident services at Tryon Estates in Columbus, N.C. Like other upscale retirement communities, it constantly updates its food. As Staton talks, her chef is off training at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y."

source: "Senior dining rooms rival top restaurants" by Mark Whittington (Apr.19,2006)

WaiterBell Angle: Dining rooms in senior communities are another example of full-service restaurant style venues found in non-traditional settings. The WaiterBell system provides a service safety net for diners and waitstaff in any dining experience with full table service.

One more example of full table service in a non-traditional setting are railroad dining cars.

excerpt:
"The restaurant service provided by rail operator 'one” has been rated the best on the UK network in a new survey.

“We have worked consistently to deliver a high-quality, but good value service, always looking for ways to improve our standards. We have the best breakfast selection of any UK train operator, as well as offering excellent choices throughout the day, for lunch, afternoon tea and dinner,” he said."

source: "Number one nosh from 'one'" (Eastern Daily Press, Apr.13, 2006)