Understanding Take-Out Customers

Research conducted by the National Restaurant Association is a strong indicator of the popularity of off-premises consumption of restaurant food. Of respondents to a National Restaurant Association survey, 21 percent who use off-premises restaurant service purchase one or more such meals a day; 26 percent purchase off-premises meals every other day; 22 percent purchase meals for off-premises consumption about twice a week; and 31 percent make purchases for off-premises consumption less than once a week.

Fast-food restaurants capture the largest share of off-premises dining occasions (52 percent) and dollars (41 percent). Carryout restaurants capture 10 percent of off-premises dining patronage and 15 percent of sales. Full-service restaurants account for six percent of off-premises dining patronage and 11 percent of sales.

What motivates consumers to buy prepared food to consume elsewhere? They're in a hurry and want easy access, fast service and reasonable prices. Another reason is that they're just too tired to shop for and prepare food themselves.

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