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Study Says Attracting Teens and Tweens To Restaurants Need Youth-Focused Marketing Strategies

How influential are the teen and tween demographics when it comes to restaurant dining?

“Very,” Technomic says. Teens (12 to 19 years old) and tweens (9 to 12 years old) appear to be quite influential in the decisions that their family and friends make, including their restaurant-dining choices.

In a report done by Technomic and C3, a brand marketing firm that focuses on kids, 58% of teens and 54% of tweens said that their family often makes a unified decision in which full-service dining place to visit. These two demographics are said to possess very distinctive foodservice behaviors and attitudes, compelling restaurateurs to have a special marketing strategy that solely caters to their specific desires and needs.

And in order to better understand the lifestyle and eating habits of these two, which comprises today’s youth, Technomic and C3 made a survey of 1,500 of them and released The Dining Habits of Tweens and Teens, a report which allows us a glimpse of the American youth’s views and outlook on several matters that involve them as consumers. It shows their notion towards restaurant chains, their dining-out attitudes when they are with their family and friends, their food preferences, menu preferences, patronage of convenience stores, snacking behavior, music preferences and purchases, technology usage and clothing brand choices.

Remarkable results of the study include:

• Teens are speculated to be getting tired of fast-food—they are more interested to go after new and stimulating foodservice concepts.

• While snacking is most popular with the tweens, this eating behavior tends to be practiced less frequently as a youth gets older. Among the youth who snacks everyday, 60% are kids with ages 8-9, 47% are those with ages 10-12, and 38% are teens. But it’s also been noted that although teens snack less frequently, the quantity of food that they eat have increased.

• Majority of tweens say that they prefer restaurants which provide their customers a separate menu, in outstanding restaurant menu covers, for kids their age.

• The report also saw that the eating attitudes and conduct of today’s youth vary according to their life stages. With this, Technomic and C3 recommend that foodservice operators plan their marketing strategies and design their menu offerings, in elegant menus with well-designed restaurant menu covers, to accommodate these stages.

“We all realize that our youth plays an important role as consumers, being an important part of the family dining experience—they have an influential say on where or what to eat,” said Sara Monnette, Technomic’s Director of Consumer Research. “But a large part of their dining behavior comes from external influences, mostly from friends, and we need to better understand those.”