Takeout sales growing rapidly

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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CHICAGO — Takeout sales at causal dining restaurant chains have grown at an annual rate of almost 10% during the last three years, almost twice the rate of overall industry sales growth, according to market researcher Technomic.

"Consumers now have more sophisticated tastes, but even less time to cook," said Darren Tristano, executive vice-president of Technomic Information Services. "Takeout operators that give them convenience without compromising quality will be able to capture substantial incremental sales."

Technomic concluded that because consumer trends driving this growth aren’t likely to change and because many casual-dining chains are finding ways to put new life in their sales formula, chain operators should devote even more attention to takeout sales.

Limited-service operators traditionally have focused on the importance of takeout sales since the drive-thru was invented, and 60% of limited-service restaurant sales come from takeout. Additionally, curbside takeout has become a fast-growing trend at casual-dining restaurants.

Almost 29% of consumers who ordered takeout did so from their cell phone, compared with 16% two years ago. More and more consumers are using takeout as home meal replacements with food taste and integrity being most important to consumers of this market, Technomic’s Takeout Category Report found.

Mr. Tristano also said restaurant suppliers will be important in developing new menu items designed to be eaten at home with packaging that helps preserve freshness.

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