nina | January 17th, 2013 - 9:00 am

Those pesky boomers. Always breaking the mold.

Baby Boomers and their seniors, called “Mature Traditionalists,” are making more visits to every segment of the restaurant industry than prior to the recession, a recently reported.

Viewing visits per capita, “older Boomers” are now more frequent users of restaurant morning meals and supper than any other age group.

Historically, older consumers were less frequent restaurant visitors than those in younger age groups and so received less marketing attention as efforts generally were made to reach the heaviest buyers.

The visit rate for older restaurant consumers is now the same as it is for those younger. Boomers and older have increased their share of restaurant traffic by 6 percentage points since 2008 and Millennials have decreased their share of traffic by 6 percentage points.

Restaurant traffic was up 1 percent for year ending September 2012, according to a foodservice market research, although levels remain below pre-recession levels in 2008.

Morning meal visits have completely recovered to pre-recession levels (up 2 percent for year ending September 2012) traced entirely to increased visiting by “older Boomers” and “Mature Traditionalists,”.  These older consumers are also providing support for recovery of lost supper visits.

A lot of restaurant marketing dollars are aimed at Millennials but market share capture remains the growth path for restaurant operators, just as it has been for the past five years. Gaining market share among population segments increasing in both number and their use of restaurants, like Boomers, eases the struggle. Operators just need to keep in mind that reaching the older customers requires recognizing what it is they want from their restaurant experiences.

Source:, 1.16.2013

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