Marketing to Moms: 2010 Family Vacation Restaurant Usage

March 9, 2010 § Leave a comment

When the family loads up for vacation this year, they will be looking for mid-priced and Quick Serve restaurants that won’t break the bank. That’s because this year’s vacation is about “good value for the money.”

In the WhyMomsRule.com 2010 Family Travel Survey, Moms say they will be looking for value in all parts of the vacation.  Some 22 percent of Moms say they will eat out less while on vacation to help conserve dollars.

Families will likely be eating at Quick Serve (47 percent) or mid-priced casual dining  (53 percent) restaurants during their travels.

Two interesting trends to be noted are the interest in eating at local independent restaurants and the importance of free hotel food offerings.  Eating local is a chance to enjoy part of the local culture and food offerings, and free hotel foods like breakfast bars and snacks are welcome to families with young children.  Gen Y Moms are more likely to eat at high-end restaurants while on vacation; yet, they are also more likely than others to take advantage of free hotel food offerings.  Baby boomer Moms are the biggest supporters of local independent restaurants.

The attitude toward vacation saving is also seen in the everyday sacrifices that Moms are making.  To help pay for this year’s vacation, 42 percent of Moms say they are eating out less during the year to help save up for the needed getaway.

According to The NPD Group, consumers in 2009, particularly families, were making fewer visits to restaurants overall, and when consumers dined out, they favored lower priced options. Overall restaurant visits declined 3 percent in 2009 with upscale dining showing the most decline.

Restaurant Strategies for Driving Traffic

Restaurants will need to keep the value equation high for families by offering bundled meals, special promotions, kid-friendly menu items, and cater to the needs of children in the restaurant.  Restaurants should make menus and take-out services available to hotels and lodging.  Loyalty programs should prompt Moms to use your restaurant as they travel.  And restaurants must make sure their promotions are visible from the street, as many diners make up their mind as they drive by.

And since Moms read user reviews, it is important to do an audit of all social media reviews to see how your brand stands up.  Families will be dining out and family vacation restaurant usage will depend on your targeted strategies.

To get a copy of the 2010 Family Travel Survey, click here.

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