Quick service restaurants strategically invest heavily in TV and digital advertising, in efforts to push cheaper value meals than competitors and new menu items. It's safe to say, given NPD Group's data, that the strategy has worked. The question is how much lower can prices go before companies start shooting themselves in the foot?
— Danni Santana
Call it convenience, or maybe thanks to new and healthier menu items or successful advertising initiatives, but new research shows millennial parents look to quick service restaurants more than any other food concept to feed their families.
That’s according to new research published by The NPD Group, which finds millennials with children increased their quick service restaurant visits by 5 percent in 2018 compared to the year prior. The jump in traffic also exceeds the relatively flat growth the overall foodservice industry experienced over the same period.
Millennials with kids made 7.3 billion visits to fast food chains in 2018, the majority of which occurred at dinner time. The next closest industry sector was casual dining, with 243 million guests — over 30 times fewer. NPD said in an email that fast food chains stood out to consumers because of price, convenience to get to due to store count, and a dedicated kids menu.
Keeping with current off-premise trends, 46 percent of parents choose to eat their meals at home, according to the researcher, followed by 30 percent as dine-in customers. The remaining few ate their meals on the go, which gave quick service restaurants a distinct edge over casual dining or fast casual counterparts.
“Millennials are and will continue to be important to the restaurant industry,” said. “Not only are they a large generational group but their attitudes about food and eating, which they’ve taken through life stages, have a tremendous influence on the foodservice industry.”