U.S. Modern Cafeteria & Buffet Restaurants: Understanding consumer perceptions and wants with detail on best-in-class operators

Dec 2018| MDK022A| Datassential

Report Highlights

The vast majority of consumers are familiar with cafeterias, and more than half have positive attitudes toward them — though Millennials have particularly strong affinity.

Consumers rate cafeteria-style dining high across a range of metrics, with value and number of food options coming out on top, while freshness and cleanliness are the top concerns.

Consumers want to know that food is made on the premises, so marketing materials, open kitchens, and menu board language should all reflect this desire.

Consumers want both healthy and indulgent offerings from cafeteria-style restaurants, while more than half want to see more global flavors and dedicated non-alcoholic beverage bars.

Cafeteria lines are blurring. Consumers expect more from cafeteria-style restaurants and buffets than the school lunch experience they remember. Modern foodservice concepts are redefining the service style to not only capitalize on the menu variety and value inherent to cafeterias, but also to inject new global flavors, new technology, and new features like greater customization and personalization. See why consumers are giving buffets and cafeterias another look, and understand why rapid changes in the space are likely to impact every segment in the industry.

Consumer Attitudes Toward Cafeteria-Style Restaurants
Note the differences between how much consumers are familiar with cafeteria-style restaurants and how they rate their satisfaction with these eateries. Examine findings by demographic group to see which generations are most likely to like or dislike buffets and cafeterias.

Interest in Specific Cafeteria-Style Offerings
Gauge the appeal to consumers of certain features, such as customization, scratch cooking, and locally sourced or seasonal ingredients. Read consumer verbatims offering their exact reasons why they love or hate cafeterias.

Key Operators Innovating in the Cafeteria Space
Browse the menus of new and growing cafeteria and buffet restaurant chains o see innovators in the space that have debuted coast to coast in the past few years.

Menu Insights to Attract Consumers to Buffets and Cafeterias
Discover consumer preference data for salad bars and healthful options, proteins and carving stations, and dessert bars. Learn from Datassential’s Menu Adoption Cycle the fastest-growing flavors in global cuisines like Asian, Latin American, and Middle Eastern / Mediterranean.

Datassential, a Chicago-based food industry research and consulting firm, brings clients real-world information on foodservice and consumer packaged goods in the U.S. and around the world. The company’s services, including its extensive MenuTrends database, provide in-depth reporting on trends in menu offerings, flavor profiles, ingredients and preparations. Datassential helps operators, retailers, and suppliers understand and capitalize on these important trends.

Datassential makes the food industry smarter. We provide trend software, predictive analytics, and consumer insights that help manufacturers, food retailers, and chain restaurants innovate and sell more intelligently.

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