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Restaurants Encouraged To Develop Takeout Options

Sometime last September, we reported here a survey done by the National Restaurant Association regarding the growth of take-out only restaurants in the country as a response to the needs of today’s market.

Today, we shall feature another study done by widely-used market research firm Technomic about restaurant consumers’ views and behavior about takeouts, the 2011 Takeout and Off-Premise Dining Consumer Trend Report. The report examined the outlook, preferences and buying behavior of 1,500 survey respondents, which led them to yield important findings such as:

Takeout as an important source of revenue. Takeout, as it turned out, has been a significant source of income for restaurants, with 57% of the respondents saying that they buy takeout food at least once a week.

Takeout sales do not cannibalize dining room traffic. Contrary to what most restaurant operators worry about, takeout sales was found out to hold its own and does not cannibalize dining room traffic at all. 60% of customers surveyed who recently bought takeout claimed that takeout was their original intention for coming to the restaurant–if they were not able to do so during that time, they would have just gone home and made their own food. The option of staying to eat at the restaurant to dine and be served by the restaurant’s able servers in restaurant aprons did not come up at all.

“In several cases, restaurant consumers do not regard takeout in similar consideration as sit-down or onsite dining,” said Joe Pawlak, Technomic’s vice president. “This means that operators would stand to gain a lot if they grab the opportunity of catering to the needs of the takeout market, responding to customers’ needs for accuracy, food quality and convenience.”

Customers support sustainable takeout packaging. When customers were asked about the kind of materials they want to be used for their takeout packages, 60% of consumers said they wouldn’t mind shelling out more money for takeout containers made with materials that does not destroy our ecological balance. Several major restaurant chains now make use of recyclable, sustainable materials for their takeout packages.

Takeout “mishaps” can ruin the experience. Takeout consumers agree that their takeout experience is destroyed when mishaps happen. 52% says foods or liquids that leak from its packages can really be devastating, while 49% thinks that they find it disastrous when the food flavor or its freshness has deteriorated. 46% says that they get upset when the food they purchased does not stay cold or hot, and another 46% says they hate it when the wait staff in restaurant aprons who serve their takeout does not include condiments.

Top takeout options. For limited-service restaurants, top takeout options are boxed meals, snacks and value meals. For full-service restaurants, customers love to takeout family dining food items.