No two diners are the same, but like any groups, different styles of diners may have similar nutrition needs during dining.  Here are some of the groups and trends that I have observed: 

 

The Business Lunch Crowd: 

 

  • Who they are:  If you operate in a metro area you know them well.  Smartly dressed, they either come in to grab a quick desk meal, or come in and sit down for a business lunch/meeting.  Whether in a group or on their own, one thing is for sure – they mean business. 

 

  • Likely Nutrition Requests:  This group probably eats lunch out most days of the week, and for this reason they are likely to be looking for healthier options. 

 

  • Offer Them:  Try salads and wraps, also consider custom options (see my post about Build-your-Owns).  These guys also value speed and convenience, so have plenty of grab and go items for the desk diners, and food that will come out quickly for those who only have an hour for a sit down lunch. 

 

Families with Kids:

 

  • Who They Are:  Families come in all shapes and sizes are usually hungry, and busy keeping children entertained.  They want their food to come out yesterday to keep hungry little ones from causing a scene.    

 

  • Likely Nutrition Requests:  Kids are much more likely to have food allergies than adults, so look out for special preparation requests.  While kids will want fun classics like grilled cheese and chicken fingers, parents may push healthier choices. 

 

  • Offer Them:  Make them both happy by offering healthier versions of classic kiddy meals.  Maybe grilled chicken fingers with dipping sauce, mini grilled cheese sandwiches cut into fun shapes on whole grain bread with a side of veggies, and fun fruit kabobs for a healthy dessert.  Also make sure that you have cross contamination prevention policies in place in case food allergies come up. 

 

Date Night:

 

  • Who They Are:  The pairs making googley eyes at each other over nice wine.  Or the first daters who giggle nervously at each other and avoid awkward silence at all costs.    

 

  • Likely Nutrition Requests:  Not many here, date night is generally a time to indulge and enjoy good food without worrying about diet.  Although she might order a salad on a first date. 

 

  • Offer Them:  Items to share: appetizers, finger foods, tapas…etc. 

 

 

Senior Diners: 

 

  • Who They Are:  A more mellow diner with time to spare.  They may not be in a hurry like other diners, but they will want things their way. 

 

  • Likely Nutrition Requests:  Seniors are likely more concerned with their health than the young darters, and may be looking for healthier options that are lower in fat and sodium.  The may also be looking for comfort foods that remind them of home cooking. 

 

  • Offer Them:  Classic flavors with a healthy twist.  Make sure to point out if you are using any low fat or low sodium items, the will appreciate it. 

 

By recognizing these types of diners and anticipating their needs, restaurant operators can design menus to maximize customer satisfaction and loyalty.  These stereotypes may not hold true for all diners, but it never hurts to be prepared.  

 

Views: 362

Tags: date, diet, health, healthy, kids, nutrition, ordering, seniors, trends

Comment

You need to be a member of FohBoh to add comments!

Join FohBoh

Comment by Martin Szalay on November 23, 2011 at 1:59pm

I have always said healthcare foodservice has got to be one of the most difficult disciplines out there when it comes to preparation, plating and transport.  

The ability to serve hundreds of unique meals in a timely manner is mind blowing to me.Each meal has to accommodate dietary restrictions, compensate for nutritional deficiencies, be acutely aware of known allergic reactions and even contraindications to prescribed medicines.  Even color, and texture play a role so that it aesthetically pleasing and palatable.

My company makes transport cabinets, warmers and refrigeration for Healthcare foodservice and I never realized how important all these factors were until I began dealing with more RD and foodservice professionals in hospitals and senior care centers.

I also believe overall, the quality of the food being delivered to patients, staff and visitors has improved vastly over the years.  But it is sure hard to shake that old "hospital food" stereotype. 

Advertisments

 

DEPARTMENTS

Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries

Smartbrief

Kids LiveWell atwitter over Twitter party

In its continuing effort to promote more nutritious and flavorful children's menu options, the NRA will hold a Twitter party  -More

Starbucks could become top on-premise wine seller in U.S.

Starbucks is planning to slowly expand its evening sales of wine, beer and small plates to thousands of selected stores throu -More

The evolving nature of snacks

Snacks have shifted from an after-school treat to a meal alternative as meal times become more fragmented.  -More

JOBS & CAREERS

Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $25 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

Wahlburgers Announces Expansion Plans Including Franchise Agreement in Philadelphia

Wahlburgers has signed a franchise agreement with Hingham Associates, LLC that will bring five Wahlburgers to the metropolitan Philadelphia area over the next several years. The franchise group is actively looking at sites and is targeting a late 2014-early 2015 opening for its first restaurant.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. First Quarter 2014 Revenue Up 24.4%

Comparable restaurant sales increased 13.4% - Restaurant level operating margin was 25.9%, a decrease of 40 basis points

Jamba Juice Announces Grand Opening of New St. Louis, MO Location

Jamba Juice Company announced the brand’s continued expansion in the St. Louis market with the opening of a Jamba Juice® store at 11477 Olive Blvd. on April 16, 2014.

Expert in Real Estate Analytics Joins Luna Grill

Luna Grill, the San Diego-based Mediterranean restaurant chain, is welcoming retail real estate industry veteran Greg Thorburn to its leadership team. Thorburn has been brought on board to fill the newly created position of Vice-President of Real Estate.

Rita's Italian Ice Awards Area Development Agreement for Kansas

Rita's Italian Ice has awarded franchise and area development agreements for Kansas and the Kansas City area, which extends to the Missouri side of the city, to franchisees and local residents Jay Miller, Jeff Miller and Pat Reilly.

CROWD FUNDING

If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.

TED TALKS VIDEO

TED: Matthew Carter: My life in typefaces - Matthew Carter (2014)

Pick up a book, magazine or screen, and more than likely you'll come across some typography designed by Matthew Carter. In this charming talk, the man behind typefaces such as Verdana, Georgia and Bell Centennial (designed just for phone books -- remember them?), takes us on a spin through a career focused on the very last pixel of each letter of a font.

TED: Jeremy Kasdin: The flower-shaped starshade that might help us detect Earth-like planets - Jeremy Kasdin (2014)

Astronomers believe that every star in the galaxy has a planet, one fifth of which might harbor life. Only we haven't seen any of them -- yet. Jeremy Kasdin and his team are looking to change that with the design and engineering of an extraordinary piece of equipment: a flower petal-shaped "starshade" that allows a telescope to photograph planets from 50,000 kilometers away. It is, he says, the "coolest possible science."

TED: Norman Spack: How I help transgender teens become who they want to be - Norman Spack (2013)

Puberty is an awkward time for just about everybody, but for transgender teens it can be a nightmare, as they grow overnight into bodies they aren't comfortable with. In a heartfelt talk, endocrinologist Norman Spack tells a personal story of how he became one of the few doctors in the US to treat minors with hormone replacement therapy. By staving off the effects of puberty, Spack gives trans teens the time they need. (Filmed at TEDxBeaconStreet.)

TED: Jennifer Senior: For parents, happiness is a very high bar - Jennifer Senior (2014)

The parenting section of the bookstore is overwhelming—it's "a giant, candy-colored monument to our collective panic," as writer Jennifer Senior puts it. Why is parenthood filled with so much anxiety? Because the goal of modern, middle-class parents—to raise happy children—is so elusive. In this honest talk, she offers some kinder and more achievable aims.

© 2014   Created by FohBoh.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service