The NPD Group has offered advice on how foodservice operators can attract Hispanic consumers.
The NPD Group has reported that Hispanics have increased their visits to restaurants and foodservice outlets last year while total restaurant traffic was flat. Hispanics are a major growth target for restaurant chains. NPD’s ongoing CREST Hispanic foodservice market research revealed that, last year, Hispanics made 10.5 billion visits to restaurants and other foodservice outlets, increasing visits by 1% over a year ago.
Quick service restaurants (QSRs) remain the outlet of choice for the average Hispanic consumer. Hispanic foodservice customers visited QSRs more than the average non-Hispanic consumer last year. English-oriented Hispanics increased visits by 2% in 2015 over year ago, making up for a loss in visits by Spanish-oriented Hispanics. Non-Hispanics increased their QSR visits by 1% in the year ending December 2015 period compared to year ago. U.S. Hispanics still under-index in terms of visits to full service restaurants and often cite cost and language barriers as the reason.
U.S. Hispanics favor major chains and visit chains 74% of the time compared to the 60% of visits non-Hispanics do. They particularly like chains that offer a family-friendly environment since more Hispanics dine with their children than non-Hispanics. Hispanics dine with their children 42% of visits compared to non-Hispanics who do so 30% of the time, according to NPD’s foodservice market research.
Applebee’s, which was recently cited by The NPD Group and Univision for its Hispanic outreach, is an example of a chain that recognizes the value of understanding and meeting the needs of its Hispanic customers. The chain reached out to Hispanics by extending the invitation to visit in Spanish through advertising. As a result, Applebee’s grew Hispanic visits by 7% and they now represent one out of every four visits made to the chain. Spending by Hispanic patrons at the chain grew by 9%.
“Applebee’s is a great example of how the investment in understanding what Hispanic customers are looking for when they dine out and reaching out to them directly, results in increased visits and spending,” said Bonnie Riggs, restaurant industry analyst, The NPD Group. “This is an important and large audience and their influence on the foodservice industry will continue to grow over the coming years.”