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Insight of the Day: Restaurant prices push consumers to grocery store; coupons critical for diners

Main Points

  • Rising Prices Shifting Behavior: Restaurant prices are rising significantly faster than grocery prices. This is causing many consumers to cook at home more, and to "trade down" to cheaper restaurant options (like fast food) when they do eat out.

  • Coupon Reliance: Coupons and discounts remain essential tools for restaurants to attract diners. A large portion of consumers won't try new places without a deal, and coupons often result in larger orders at fast food establishments.

  • Home Cooking Inspiration: The trend of eating at home more is also driving consumers to seek recipes and inspiration.  Social media platforms like TikTok play a role in offering ideas for restaurant-style meals at a lower price.

  • Restaurant Apps are Key: Over half of consumers have multiple restaurant apps. These apps are a crucial way for restaurants to reach out to diners with discounts and promotions in this cost-conscious environment.

Implications for the Restaurant Industry

  • Prioritize Value: Restaurants need to find ways to demonstrate value beyond just price. This could mean better ingredients, special experiences, or unique menu items.

  • Discounting Strategically: Couponing is important, but restaurants need to be smart about using discounts. Consider limited-time deals, loyalty programs, and targeting discounts to times when business is slow.

  • Embrace the Home Chef: Restaurants could benefit from offering meal kits, takeout versions of popular dishes, or even partner with influencers to promote recipes featuring their signature items.

  • Optimize App Presence: Having a strong app and using it for deals and communication is vital. Restaurants may also want to explore partnerships with third-party delivery apps.

Key Takeaway: Restaurants are facing a challenging environment driven by inflation.  They need to adapt quickly by finding creative ways to offer value, attract budget-conscious customers, and leverage technology to stay connected.


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