So you’re a restaurant operator who wants to get inside consumers’ heads and find out what makes them tick, especially when it comes to their purchasing decisions. But to really get a read on them, you need more than basic info like gender, age, ethnicity and income.1 You need the big picture.
In particular, you need to get to know the big 3 archetypes of consumers who make up more than half of restaurant consumers. These are the most loyal restaurant patrons, so it’s smart business to get to know their ins and outs.
- The Busy Balancer: This millennial multitasker feeds off stress but strives to make good decisions when ordering out or on the go. They tend to substitute quick desserts or snacks for meals, so setting up convenient locations for grab-and-go treats may be the way to go with them.1 These dedicated snackers keep sales of portable desserts sweet at both full- and limited-service restaurants. (In fact, when it comes to grabbing afternoon snacks from limited-service restaurants, they lead the pack.) They’re as fast as they are hungry, so be sure to have your treats in plain view and restock before their afternoon snack calling.
- The Functional Eater: These are the pragmatic snackers of the world—the ones who eat whenever it’s convenient and often on the go. Their attitude may be blah when it comes to nutrition or ingredients, but splashy, in-your-face discounts may trigger an “a-ha!” moment since they don’t have the patience to look for deals. Price isn’t their priority, but their insatiable appetite for convenience means mobile deals may score brownie points with them.
- The Foodservice Hobbyist: For this typically middle-aged snacker working a part-time job, restaurants are a gathering place to meet friends on a regular basis and share dishes. Given their social eating habits, it makes sense to offer shareable snacks and appetizers that they can enjoy with their tablemates, like these Sweet Potato and Plantain Croquettes.
What have been your experiences with different snacker personas? Share your stories below.
1 Wirth, Sara Rush, “7 key consumer types,” Restaurant Business, January 5, 2016, http://www.restaurantbusinessonline.com/ideas/consumer-trends/7-key-consumer-types