Consumer Trends: Page 2


  • Wow Bao's Dim Sum Palace virtual restaurant on Roblox
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    Permission granted by Wow Bao
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    Wow Bao links restaurant rewards to Roblox in platform-first integration

    Metaverse hype may have dissipated, but brands remain interested in leveraging games like Roblox to connect with Gen Z and Gen Alpha.

    By Peter Adams • April 11, 2024
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    Scott Olson via Getty Images
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    Fast food is getting faster, data shows

    Limited-service chains maintained an edge in traffic growth relative to casual dining, likely due to continued improvements in throughput, Placer.ai reported.

    By April 10, 2024
  • An image of a waitress serving three people at a table. Explore the Trendline
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    Hispanolistic via Getty Images
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    Trendline

    Top 5 stories from Restaurant Dive

    Check out a selection of articles about some of the biggest trends — from personalized loyalty programs to a growing catering boom — shaping the restaurant industry during the first half of 2024.

    By Restaurant Dive staff
  • A stock image of a consumer examining a receipt.
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    Patpitchaya via Getty Images
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    Dynamic pricing firm Juicer snags $5.3M in funding

    Restaurant pricing tools may help operators boost sales in lagging dayparts, but consumer sensitivity about these applications is still powerful.

    By April 10, 2024
  • A photo of a breakfast sandwich from Cliff's.
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    Permission granted by Cliff's
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    4 hot c-store flavor trends for summer

    Sweet and spicy pairings, tropical fruits and international influences will see a surge as the weather heats up, experts say.

    By Christine Blank • April 9, 2024
  • A promotional image for KFC's $4.99 two piece meal deal.
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    Courtesy of KFC
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    KFC adds $4.99 meal deal through year’s end

    As restaurants across the board face dwindling traffic, the chicken chain is leaning on aggressive discounting to draw customers.

    By April 8, 2024
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    Permission granted by First Watch
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    How 6 casual dining companies faced falling traffic

    From First Watch to Olive Garden, major casual dining restaurants saw inflation-conscious consumers cut back on visits.

    By April 5, 2024
  • Dave's Hot Chicken food spread out on a table.
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    Courtesy of Dave's Hot Chicken
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    Dave’s Hot Chicken tests kiosks, bigger drinks in face of $20 CA wage

    The fast-growing chain is raising prices 9% and testing tech that it says boosts check but doesn’t cut labor costs.

    By April 1, 2024
  • Two cooks sitting in their restaurant kitchen.
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    Permission granted by Square
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    Sponsored by Square

    The Future of Restaurants Report: 2024 Edition

    The Square Future of Restaurants report will give you insight into how global restaurant owners are staying competitive and what motivates customers to dine with them.

    April 1, 2024
  • An image of a black building with windows and The Cheesecake Factory signage.
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    Maddie Meyer via Getty Images
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    Restaurant sales rose 12% in 2023 compared to 2019: report

    Consumer spending was up 7% year over year among the top 50 restaurant chains compared to 5% within the overall industry, per Circana data. 

    By March 29, 2024
  • Wendy's
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    Thai Phi Le/Restaurant Dive
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    Opinion

    Dynamic offers done right: Why Wendy’s was on the right track

    Unlike surge pricing, dynamic pricing can enhance brand loyalty and foster a sense of community engagement beyond traditional marketing methods, writes Catherine Tabor, founder and CEO of Sparkfly. 

    By Catherine Tabor • March 20, 2024
  • QuikTrip
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    Brett Dworski/Restaurant Dive
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    Growing demand for alternative daypart options brings new opportunities for c-stores

    Thanks to remote work and generational eating habits, consumers increasingly seek quick, flexible meals throughout the day, experts say.

    By Danielle McLean • March 15, 2024
  • Starbucks' new Iced Lavender Cream Oatmilk Matcha and Iced Lavender Oatmilk Latte.
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    Courtesy of Starbucks
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    Starbucks debuts 2 iced lavender drinks for spring

    The matcha and latte LTOs aren’t part of the new beverage platforms announced earlier this year, but capitalize on growing sales of cold beverages and tea-based lattes. 

    By March 7, 2024
  • First Watch restaurant
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    Permission granted by First Watch
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    First Watch will enter New England, Las Vegas as EBITDA nears $100M

    After passing $1 billion in sales, the breakfast chain is eyeing new markets where its suburban-first system could insulate it from high development costs.

    By March 6, 2024
  • McAlister's 500th restaurant in Dickson, Tennessee
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    Permission granted by McAlister's
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    McAlister’s Deli tops $1 billion in sales

    The chain is GoTo Foods’ first restaurant brand to reach this financial threshold thanks to modernization and a new catering daypart that bolstered AUVs.

    By March 5, 2024
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    Courtesy of Chipotle
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    These 4 restaurant companies totaled $50B in 2023 digital sales

    Yum, Restaurant Brands International, Wendy’s and Chipotle continue to invest in consumer-facing features including app enhancements, loyalty offerings and kiosks to grow their digital mixes.

    By March 1, 2024
  • An image of sweetgreen's automated kitchen in Naperville, Illinois
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    Courtesy of Sweetgreen
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    Sweetgreen’s robot kitchens yield 10% higher tickets in test

    The salad chain plans to add its Infinite Kitchen to seven new builds and three to four retrofit units in 2024, after two pilot stores yielded improvements in throughput and labor turnover.

    By March 1, 2024
  • Wendy’s cups made with 20% ISCC-certified, recycled plastic (on a mass balance basis)
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    Permission granted by Berry Global
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    Wendy’s backtracks on dynamic pricing

    The company said Tuesday that it would not charge higher prices during peak hours. This statement follows widespread consumer backlash on social media in response to mention of a dynamic pricing test in its Q4 earnings call. 

    By Feb. 28, 2024
  • An image of a customer entering a Cava restaurant.
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    Mario Tama via Getty Images
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    Cava plots ‘3.0’ store design as Q4 revenue soars 52%

    The Mediterranean chain wants to make its restaurants more comfortable and inviting for customers, most of whom order in-store, to bolster sales.

    By Feb. 28, 2024
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    Maja Hitij via Getty Images
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    How is off-premise diner demand evolving? Here’s what the data shows.

    Convenience and time constraints continue to drive consumers toward delivery and takeout, according to various industry reports.

    By Feb. 26, 2024
  • Starbucks Workers United members picket outside a Starbucks in Watertown, Ma., on August 1, 2022.
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    Permission granted by Kylah Clay, Starbucks Workers United
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    Starbucks unionization efforts

    Starbucks union’s student allies stage national day of action against chain

    Demonstrations are slated at 25 major public and private universities Thursday in a bid to push administrators to break ties with the company, or declare solidarity with Starbucks Workers United.

    By Updated Feb. 22, 2024
  • A mural in a Washington, D.C., Starbucks designed to highlight the chain's efforts at inclusive spatial design.
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    Courtesy of Starbucks
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    Starbucks opens first fully accessible store in DC

    The chain will begin adding inclusive design elements, like wide pedestrian pathways and power doors, to all new builds and remodels in the U.S.

    By Feb. 20, 2024
  • Sliders featuring Beyond Chicken in various preparations with a flag of the company logo in a bun sit on a counter.
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    Courtesy of Beyond Meat
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    Deep Dive

    Plant-based meat needs to beef up its messaging in 2024

    Between slumping sales and shifting consumer mindsets, 2023 proved difficult for the sector. Here’s what analysts and experts say the category can do to recalibrate.

    By Elizabeth Flood • Feb. 14, 2024
  • A photo of Franke bean-to-cup machines in a Family Express convenience store.
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    Permission granted by Franke Coffee
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    4 coffee trends for c-stores to watch

    Whether through new flavors, expanding creamer offerings or including more cold options, there are many ways for retailers to grow their java business throughout the day, experts say.

    By Christine Blank • Feb. 13, 2024
  • A steak meal with wine from Smokey Bones
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    Courtesy of Smokey Bones
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    Smokey Bones revamps loyalty program

    Members now receive five points for every dollar spent compared to one point, accelerating the rate in which points are accrued. 

    By Feb. 9, 2024
  • A $10 family meal deal display at a grocery store.
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    Catherine Douglas Moran/Restaurant Dive
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    How grocers are promoting value among their foodservice offerings

    While price continues to draw in consumers, grocers are also finding more ways to showcase quality and highlight the convenience of their meal options.

    By Catherine Douglas Moran • Feb. 8, 2024