Value, Value, Value

The good news: consumers expect to eat out as much as in the past.  The bad news: they plan on paying 20% less when they do so.  Current consumers still want to eat out but they are not looking for luxury according to AlixPartners.

As a result we see a rise in fast casual restaurants. Guests want good quality food but don’t want to dress up and they want a place to hang out unlike fast food establishments.  I also think “fast food” is associated with “unhealthy” food but we feel like we are eating lighter and healthier at a place like Panera (regardless of calorie count).  Therefore fast casual restaurant sales are growing.

I wonder if the focus on consuming less and healthier food may start bringing more guests to fine dining with smaller portion sizes.  In order to see the value in spending more money for smaller portions, the food and the service need to be outstanding every time.

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