Health a key motivator for people eating out

Healthy food continues to be a key driver for diners when they’re choosing a place to eat out, according to a new study commissioned by Fairway Foodservice.

The research revealed that menus carrying health alternatives was most likely to inspire consumers to select somewhere to eat out, with the boom of vegan and vegetarian eating showing no sign of slowing.

The importance of an up-to-date and enticing website also ranked highly in the survey, with online channels being identified as the main access point for younger diners, with many other 18-24 year-olds checking a caterer’s Instagram page before visiting.

But although online was recognised as being key, the study found that quality of food, customer service and value for money remain big factors when choosing somewhere to eat out.

Peer-to-peer recommendations are still key, with diners listening to friends or family if they have had a good or bad experience visiting particular venues.

“The research is valuable insight into consumer behaviour and will help operators pull together business and marketing plans to support their growth aspirations,” said Fairway Marketing Strategist, Toby Jordan.

“For example, 50% of the 35-44 age group said they’re actively trying to increase the number of healthy options they choose. With this in mind, caterers should ensure such meals are clearly visible on menus, as well as prominent in their marketing campaigns.

“In addition, British cuisines remain the most popular with consumers while budget eateries and fast food continue to reign supreme. Vegan and vegetarian-friendly fast food options are now enticing meat eaters, with their appetite for meatless burgers helping drive sales.

“In total, 16% of all diners said they are eating less meat than a year ago and for many diners, this is as much about environmental impact and health as it is about animal welfare.

“However, 29% of all age groups say they are trying to cut down the amount they eat out – which suggests healthy options are less available in restaurants. With this in mind, as well as the increase in people choosing to go vegetarian, plant-friendly menus can give restaurants a welcome boost.”

buying group caterers Fairway Fairway Foodservice Foodservice research study Toby Jordan wholesale wholesaler