CHICAGO — Millennials with children increased their restaurant visits by 5 percent during 2018 compared to the previous year, reported The NPD Group.
This boost stands in contrast to flat traffic growth for the total foodservice industry in 2018.
Currently, millennials overall make the most restaurants visits per capita, although their visits have been slowing, NPD found. As teenagers and young adults, they influenced the growth of the fast casual category and the "fresh" movement, and were early adopters of the hottest sauces and a variety of ethnic flavors.
As parents, they turn to restaurants for convenience, with quick-service restaurants (QSRs) — including fast casual restaurants — serving as their outlets of choice.
In 2018, millennials with children made 7.3 billion visits to QSRs. They are most likely to visit foodservice outlets for dinner.
The location at which millennial families choose to eat their foodservice meals or snacks varies, with 46 percent of meals or snacks eaten at home; 30 percent eaten at the restaurant; and the remaining percentage spread between in the car, at work and other locations.
At home, millennial parents will often blend a restaurant item with items they prepared. These types of blended at home meals are expected to grow over the next few years, according to NPD's Future of Dinner report.
"Millennials are and will continue to be important to the restaurant industry," said David Portalatin, author of "Eating Patterns in America" and NPD food industry advisor. "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."