Consumers Seeking Greater Value, More Diverse Kids’ Menus

CHICAGO -- Consumers continue to dine out, but are seeking greater value and more diverse kids’ menus, while using the Internet to find deals and menus they desire, according to a newly released series of foodservice reports by Kairos Consumers, a market research firm.

In the first report, entitled “Menus and Restaurants: Filling Restaurants and Making Healthy Palatable,” respondents to the study voiced confusion and skepticism about restaurants going green, and said they are reluctant to pay more for sustainable restaurant practices unless the benefits are made clear to them.

“People still want to eat out, but are more price conscious than in the past and are actively seeking out coupons and discounts using online media. Consumers also told us they are concerned about nutritional labeling and want more ability to customize their meals, regardless of the type of restaurant they choose for their dining experience,” Katerina Makatouni, co-founder of Kairos Consumers, said in a statement.

In addition, many families are placing a high priority on a restaurant’s children’s amenities, since keeping the kids happy and calm during mealtime is a key influencer for dining decisions. Parents are choosing restaurants that offer healthier kids’ menus while still providing a fun factor, according the second Kairos report, “Kids Dining Experience: Small Consumers, Big Business.” The full study elaborates on parents’ responses regarding the best kids’ menus, and the type of restaurants that get high marks for family dining.

The company’s third report, “Sustainability in Consumer Foodservice: A Rainbow of Green,” found consumers in the study expressed confusion about the meaning of sustainability and how it relates to health and environmental concerns. In addition, respondents reported restaurants clearly demonstrating sustainable practices are more likely to gain their trust than those that solely use marketing tactics.

“The consumers we spoke to seem very clear-cut on what they want in menu options when it comes to choice and their children; however they are not as certain of the benefits of sustainability or a restaurant’s motives behind it,” Makatouni said of the research.

All three of the Kairos reports include comprehensive findings from consumer focus groups and interviews with restaurant operators, as well as other research, according to the company.

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