Nearly 60 percent of consumers recently surveyed by Technomic said they purchase takeout once a week or more. These takeout sales don't seem to be cannibalizing dine-in traffic, but rather adding revenue for restaurants. Sixty percent of consumers who recently purchased a takeout order said that if they had not done so on that occasion, they would have likely made food at home instead.

"In many cases consumers do not view takeout orders as a part of the same consideration set as food purchased to be eaten in the dining room or onsite," said Joe Pawlak, Technomic vice president. "Operators have a real opportunity to gain an advantage if they can respond to consumers' needs for convenience, accuracy and food quality."

In order to help restaurant operators, suppliers and others aligned with the foodservice industry better understand consumer behavior, preferences and attitudes regarding takeout, Technomic has developed the 2011 Takeout and Off-Premise Dining Consumer Trend Report.

Some highlights include:

  • About 60 percent of consumers said that they are willing to pay more for takeout packaging made with sustainable materials. Trends toward sustainable, recyclable materials for takeout containers are taking shape at several major restaurant brands on the chain level;
  • About half of consumers surveyed agree that their takeout occasion could be "ruined" by any of several mishaps: leaking food or liquids (52 percent), deterioration of food taste or freshness (49 percent), food that doesn't stay hot or cold (46 percent) or missing condiments (46 percent);
  • Boxed meals, value meals and snacks stand out as leading take-out options for limited-service restaurants, while full-service restaurants are promoting family dining options.

Technomic's survey included 1,500 consumers.

For the purpose of this report, takeout includes any food or beverage purchased at a restaurant or other foodservice location and eaten elsewhere, including items ordered for carryout or delivery and grab-and-go items.

Read more about trends and statistics.

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