Think about your favorite restaurant. Not the one you go to on special occasions to splurge, but the one you know you can count on to satisfy your hunger, thirst, and wallet on a regular basis. What is it about this particular place that keeps you coming back for more? Perhaps you’re part of the 12.5 million consumers who, in the past six months, voiced on social media that menu consistency is one of the top priorities when selecting a restaurant.
Now, consider the recent media firestorm surrounding Chipotle, a byproduct of the concept’s E.coli outbreaks in several cities around the U.S. It’s evident that Chipotle sales will continue to become affected by consumers’ fear of food safety. But in also taking into consideration the Foodable Labs data above, it’s likely that the road back to fair ground is going to be a long one for the fast-casual darling. After all, Chipotle has been a brand rooted in consistency regarding its format, preparation, and, for the most part, its offerings. Until now.
This brings to light more than a few things, but at the core of it is the importance of a menu and all of the things it encompasses: the planning, the development, the ingredients, the sourcing, the storage, and the preparation. While many operations stress the value of ingredients that are locally sourced and fresh-never-frozen, has the restaurant industry hit a turning point? Has our obsession with freshness come to a point where ingredients’ shortened lifetime affects the safety of mass consumption?
In this Foodable Labs report, brought to you by Simplot Harvest Fresh Avocados, we’re pulling unstructured RSMI data from more than 130 million U.S. social consumers tracking 207,679 restaurant industry keywords and 19,392 restaurant brands in 481,203 locations, to dive deep into top restaurant consumer menu trends. Data for this report was pulled from the RSMI during a six-month range, from June 1, 2015 to December 30, 2015.
As the restaurant industry landscape continues to grow, shift, and evolve, what do consumers want now? What do they place value over, what are they talking about, and how are their habits and preferences shaping menu trends?
In this report, you will learn:
- Food Safety Trends
- Menu Consistency Trends
- Chef Driven Menus vs. Chain Menus
- Most Consistent Brands
- Most Loved Ingredients