Family eating takeout food at home

Kids are back in school, adults are navigating return-to-office mandates, and life just feels busy right now. When the pressure of hectic schedules brings convenience to the forefront, consumers often turn to the experts: restaurants. According to Hartman’s Compass Eating Occasions Database, convenience is consistently ranked as one of the top consumer need states among total adult eating occasions — and it’s even more important on restaurant-sourced occasions.

How consumers fulfill their convenience needs can be impacted by multiple factors, like whether a restaurant offers takeout or delivery, how it fits within their routine, or certain aspects of the actual physical location.

For example, parents have a multidimensional view of what makes a restaurant convenient. Wrangling children into a booth for longer than 5 minutes might feel more like a game of rugby than a simple dinner solution, which may be why parents are more likely to prefer the convenience of delivery: 29% of restaurant-sourced occasions among parents involve delivery, vs. 15% for non-parents.*

But when dining in is a must, parents are understandably more likely to select restaurants that are kid-friendly…for everyone’s sake. Providing ways to entertain children so that parents and other diners (including parents dining without their children) can also enjoy their experience is key to being considered a convenient option.

On occasions like date nights when parents may want a break from kids altogether — not just their own — they are more likely to actively seek out places that are meant for adults. Factors like not needing a reservation and a quiet, peaceful ambiance are crucial ingredients to a convenient night out in these cases.

Almost half of all restaurant-sourced occasions involve parents,* offering a large opportunity to those who get it right. But would you be surprised if we told you convenience isn’t the number one need state parents consider when sourcing food from restaurants? They actually have heightened expectations across all six Restaurant Need State Pillars.

Learn what’s most important to your core consumer in Reliance on Restaurants: An American Eating Occasions Perspective and how you can capture additional eating occasions by meeting the right mix of needs, on the right occasion, during the right daypart.

*The Hartman Group: Reliance on Restaurants: An American Eating Occasions Perspective