Will Restaurant Dining Dwindle this Holiday Season?

Dec 01, 2023

The holiday season represents a golden opportunity for restaurant owners to entice and captivate both loyal patrons and eager newcomers. For restaurant owners, this time offers a platform to elevate dining experiences and capitalize on the spirit of celebration, drawing in crowds through enticing promotions, tailored offerings, and an array of memorable culinary delights.

The PYMNTS Intelligence study with i2c surveyed over 3,300 U.S. consumers to grasp holiday spending patterns. Around 79% plan to cut spending on restaurant food this season, particularly older generations. This aligns with a September CNBC-Morning Consult survey that found 62% of those surveyed cut back on restaurant and bar spending in the last six months.

Despite this, restaurants aim to attract more holiday spending by adapting menus for digital orders. HAAM, a New York restaurant, adjusted its menu for quick, reheatable meals for digital orders, boosting productivity. Disney offers dining promos at its resorts, providing incentives for consumers during the holiday season.


It’s All About Experiences

A recent AlixPartners research sheds light on the evolving consumer behaviors within the restaurant industry. The study highlights a significant and lasting shift in consumer spending patterns toward a more intentional and experiential mindset, favoring quality dining experiences over frequent, mindless consumption. Despite this positive inclination towards meaningful dining, the research forecasts a potential decrease in frequency, posing challenges for restaurant traffic. As consumer preferences evolve, the industry needs more significant differentiation, heightened focus on customer loyalty programs, and adaptations in operational strategies, encompassing menu engineering and staffing adjustments.