Consumer Trends of Eating Out


Eating out of home has become more established nowadays. Busy lifestyle and much more pressure on their work has reduced the time in eating. On the other hand, it is not easy to plan and prepare for a meal daily and it requires lots of time to hang around all day in the market. Even fewer people only know the basic cooking techniques; as a result they prefer to have more snacks or having quick and easy meals rather than cooking at home. For this reason, the popularity of eating outside is increasing and they prefer that eating in the restaurant is more fast and convenient than eating at home and also save time in doing their works.

According to Jones (1993) the factor of startling growth of the sector and diversification into new product areas has been a result of several factors:

  • A change in eating habits. First, people are tending to spend less time eating lunch and second, there is a modern preoccupation with eating less.
  • Forty percent of the working population is women, and convenience foods have experienced a growth due to demand from women who do not have the time to prepare meals.

As result, these facts will bring challenge to the restaurant industry, as emerging trends will dictate consumer demand and therefore it will appear a damaging effect in the industry.


Eating away from home has become the needs of the consumer who want to experience new, delicious and exotic cuisines from the elegant or the small-scale restaurants. Since the eating behavior has changed and there has an increase in eating outside, so people are looking for the products that can give them back the time and they are willing to spend more or pay extra money on eating outside. Although it will spend more than cooking at home, however it is really real to say that eating outside is more convenience since people need not to cook in order to save more time do other things. Eating outside is a delightful things.

There are varieties of reasons why people are choosing to eat outside. When people feel that they are having better in financial situation, they are willing to spend money and more likely to eat outside. With their expectations, customers want to receive what they are pay for.

Social occasion is the most common reasons for eating outside. People may eat out frequently for celebrations and anniversaries. People are more likely to celebrate special events or ceremonies which can improve their family relationship. Like meetings, wedding events, birthday parties or family day. It is a public and social occasion that can increase and improve the relationship between other. Convenience and time are also the essential elements of eating outside. Food service is convenient because of its location and speed of service. People don’t have much more ideas on planning and preparation for their daily meals. People may think it is inconvenient in washing tableware after finished the meal. Being guests is a pleasure and they also want to be serving by someone. On the other hand, level of quality service and the atmosphere with interior design are also showing the impression to the customers. Level of service shows the standard and quality of a restaurant. Server will carry the food to the table after ordering, clear their dishes from the table at the end of their meal. People spend money not just eating food; what the customers expecting is good guest service quality with satisfaction. With a smile of contentment, it will bring the customers into good memories. Also, the atmosphere of a restaurant is affected by many different aspects of the operation. The outfit of a restaurant can affect the impression from the guests. With good interior design, the dressing and attitude towards the staffs, the décor of the restaurant, they are more willing to come and feel relax to enjoy their meals.

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Today in our world, there is a growth of the people who do not have time to prepare for their meals. Besides that, there is also a group of people tendency toward eating in a healthy way.

According to Davis Bernard, (1999)., general trends in eating out include the following:

  • “An increase in interest in healthy eating by general public.”
  • “An increase in awareness of hygiene and cleanliness.”
  • “An increase in the demand for vegetarian foods, particularly by young people.”
  • “A decline in the general demand for red meats, with an increase in the demand for white meats, fish and pasta.”
  • “A growing demand for organically produced fresh foods, with a resistance to food containing artificial additives, flavorings and colorings.”

In the real world, not many restaurants are preparing the food in a healthy and hygiene way. Moreover, the food is always being kept for a long time and it will destroy its freshness. Although the food is delicious, it is not wholesome. Eating out frequently may cause health problems and may gain bodyweight. So many people decide to choose healthy food in their meal so that they can be eating healthier. Everyone knows that eating outside is not healthy because people start to pay attention on diet and nutrition. As everyone knows that it is the process which can receive from the food and to get healthy, so the objective that people shouldn’t lose from the food is proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, vitamins and also minerals. As people want to have food and drinks in a healthy and regular way, they will try to regulate their dietary guidelines into their lifestyle in order to absorb more nutrition from the food.

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With the trend of people looking forward to healthier menu items, many restaurants and organizations have suggestions and ideas on offering more nutrition on food. Suppliers can help managers plan a menu. Their input and suggestions can help make a restaurant more profitable while enhancing guest satisfaction. The most important consideration is preparation methods and menu management. Restaurants should take good control over the preparation of the food and observe good hygiene. Preparation methods will have a vast effect on food nutrient content. According to Paul, Ware and Claudette, (2001)., “Avoid overcooking food” and “Cut foods into medium-size pieces for cooking.” Because of this reason, it is desirable using fresh food to cook and maximize the amount of all the minerals, fiber and vitamins and minimize calories, fat, salt and sugar. So the guests will feel more safety and secure and ensure they can enjoy their meal to healthier living. According to Ronald and Paul, (1999)., “For example, a heart logo can draw guest attention to healthy choices.” Using nutrition labeling can let the customers definite the listing of food with nutrition content. Promote more nutritious food on menu which can be help to eat healthier. Staff training is the basic elements for a restaurant turns into success in business operation. After training on staffs, guests also can be invited to request asking nutrition information and cooking procedure from the staffs. With more promotion on nutritious menu items, guests can easily make their own decision during ordering and it can be more satisfy their expectations, preference and needs. So that they also can have more choices and options from choosing the food they want to eat. According to Ronald and Paul, (1999)., “Guests’ needs can differ by age, meal time, regional location, or special dietary considerations.” Looking at the point of view from the author, it means that recognizing what kind of overall appeal the restaurant has for guests. Restaurants can know more information and ideas by the identification from the guests which attain the marketing objectives. Discovering what guests want and providing for guest needs at prices they are willing to pay. Good menu planning also can give the positive moment of truth with delightful experience at a restaurant. These may lead to many repeat guests whom they may come at the second time and an excellent reputation for the restaurant.

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In my opinion, I think all managers in restaurants should have a basic knowledge on nutrition and the service behavior. Managers must make it personally advantageous and service personally to provide quality service to customers. He must create an atmosphere in which managers and staffs can work together toward the same goals. Customers are more welcome in giving critical comments and feedbacks after experiencing. As result, managers also can benefit from clear and concise feedback from customers. The more aware managers are receiving about the level of service, the more they reward the behavior by taking actions. Provide an opportunity for customers to tell managers how well the service they received to their expectations. Doing evaluation and future planning is essential for the improvement of a restaurant. It is easier for a manager to know what is going on the food market trend in management. Try to making plans and develop strategies for dealing problems simultaneously. It is the best solution for a business turn into success and show guarantee and promises to the career success in the future.

Book References:

  • Bernard, D., Andrew, L. and Sally, S. 1999. Food and Beverage Management. 1st ed. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data: A division of Reed Educational and Professional Publishing Ltd.
  • Jones, P. 1993. Food Service Operations. 2nd ed. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data: Great Britain. Catering industries Management
  • Ronald, F. Cichy. and Paul E. Wise. 1998. Managing Service in Food And Beverage Operations. 2nd ed. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data: Educational Institute of the American Hotel & Motel Association.
  • Paul, J., Brandley, J. and Claudette, L. 2001. Fundamentals of Menu Planning. 2nd ed. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data: United States of America.

Online References:

  • The Association for Dressings & Sauces, 2009 The Press Room General Trends
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  • Anonymous, 2000 Popular Culture, Food and Current Trends
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  • Anonymous, 2009 Emerging Trends in the Restaurant Industry
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  • Data monitor, 2005 The Future Of Eating Meals On-The-Go
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  • Charlene C. Price, 2009 Trends in Eating Out
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  • Anonymous, 2009 Eating Out in Argentina
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  • Brett, 2008 6 Reasons to Forgo Eating Out
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