Food Trend: Restaurant Sales on the Rise

August 3, 2015 Rieva Lesonsky

food trend

There’s good news for restaurant owners, who sure could use a dose of positivity. According to research giant The NPD Group, more consumers are eating in restaurants instead of ordering takeout.

The real upside is NPD says consumers who eat at restaurants spend more than $223 billion a year, while takeout revenues come in at slightly more than $200 billion.

According to a report in Restaurant Hospitality, on-premise restaurant visits have grown for the past three years, while takeout traffic has remained flat or down over the same time period.

The biggest gainer were quick-service restaurants, which experienced a 5 percent increase in on-premise diners, while family dining/midscale restaurants had fewer customers eating on premises.

How can you encourage diners to stay in your restaurants instead of getting takeout? The consumers polled told The NPD Group they’re “hanging out” because:

  • It’s good to get out and meet someone
  • Fun to do
  • I don’t need to worry about anything
  • Spend time with my family

Restaurant Hospitality says this makes sense and is “in line with the ‘experiential purchasing’ trend—the idea that consumers want to do something, not just buy something—that marketers are seeing across consumer sectors.”

To encourage consumers to eat at your restaurant, you need to create an enjoyable experience for them. This, of course, is in addition to giving them the top three things they say helps them decide where to eat:

  1. Food that tastes good
  2. Convenience
  3. Service

There was a downside to The NPD Group’s report. Restaurant goers are not particularly loyal customers. Only 42 percent claim to be “somewhat loyal,” 34 percent swear their loyalty and 24 percent say they have no loyalty to restaurants they eat at.

As Restaurant Hospitality notes, this “meh” audience is your chance to make these casual diners fans. As the survey shows, it’s all about offering good food and service and a creating a memorable experience.

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Author information

Rieva Lesonsky

Rieva Lesonsky

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at, follow her on Google+ and, and visit her website,, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.

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