Restaurant visits by families with kids under the age of 13 have been declining since 2008, according to research from The NPD Group. Families with kids made 1 billion fewer visits to U.S. restaurants over the past six years compared to 306 million fewer visits by adult-only parties, finds a new NPD foodservice market report, “Parties with Kids: Motivating More Visits.”
Restaurant visits by families, which represent $83.7 billion or 20 percent of total restaurant sales, have dropped across all segments and meal periods, with supper hit especially hard. Full-service restaurants experienced the majority of the visits losses, accounting for 70 percent of all declines from 2008 to 2013. Traffic losses were observed for both lower- and higher-income households.
A weakened economy factors into the visit declines but the NPD report also finds that there are other barriers limiting families from dining out, including value for the money and restaurant environment. The age of the child also plays a role in which barriers inhibit families with kids’ restaurant visits.
“In order to bring back parties with kids to the restaurant table, operators and manufacturers need to understand what influences and motivates them to visit,” Bonnie Riggs, NPD foodservice industry analyst, said in a news release. “They need to keep in mind that kids are also an important audience since they have considerable influence on restaurant selections.”