The economy may be recovering, but America's moms are keeping tight on their family's dining dollars, with 58 percent saying they will eat out less this year than last, according to a new nationwide survey. The study of almost 600 moms also found that 57 percent intend to use coupons more this year, 63 percent expect to order more often from value menus and 62 percent plan to buy discount, value or less expensive items.
"This survey clearly shows that the restaurant industry still has some big challenges ahead this year," said David Bohan, CEO of Bohan Advertising & Marketing, which conducted the survey for its WhyMomsRule blog. "Restaurants that want to increase their sales need to understand what moms want, and they need to look beyond the family market."
Breakfast takes the biggest hit, with two-thirds of moms saying they plan to cut back on restaurant breakfast purchases. Fifty-nine percent say they will order less food for delivery, while half say they will order less carry-out food.
The study also revealed that when eating out, health considerations are not a priority for moms, despite public health efforts to encourage healthier eating. Currently, 45 percent of moms order healthier food less than once a month. However, 70 percent said it is important that restaurants offer healthy foods for children. An even greater number, 87 percent, simply want food kids will eat.
As for two hot restaurant trends – organic and ethnic foods – moms are turning a cold shoulder to both of them. Currently, 68 percent of moms order organic or all-natural foods in restaurants once a month, while 64 percent order locally grown food once a month. Nearly half (45 percent) choose ethnic/exotic foods twice a year or less. At least 40 percent of those surveyed said they will order organic or ethnic foods less often this year.
"Moms are telling us a very different story than other groups of diners," Bohan added. "More than anything else, they want great deals on good, basic food that their kids will eat, served in a family-friendly environment."
The survey of 585 moms over age 18 with at least two children at home was conducted online in late May. It has a margin of error of 5 percent at a 95 percent confidence level. Click here for the full report and charts.