After five o’clock: dinner and late-night occasions

Chicago / IL. (tni) After five o´clock in Canada: A new Technomic study reveals what drives restaurant visits for dinner and late-night occasions. Consumers consider dinner their main meal of the day, and rarely skip it. While most dinners are prepared at home, 53 percent of Canadian consumers use foodservice for these occasions at least once a week.

What sends them away from home? Convenience plays an important role. Cravings are another strong driver, as restaurant-goers look for foods they love, but may not be able to duplicate at home. Another key consideration for today´s consumers revolves around the experience-tying together all the ambiance and service elements that contribute to an enjoyable dining occasion.

«Consumers say the sheer enjoyment of dining out is vital for dinner and late-night occasions», explains Darren Tristano, Executive Vice President of Technomic. «Key attributes like attentive service, an appealing ambiance, and a craveable mix of menu offerings can combine to create experiences that attract evening traffic and give operators more opportunities to capitalize on dinner and late-night visits».

View infographic «Spotlight on Canadian Dinner + Late Night Trends» (PDF) on Technomic´s web server.

To help foodservice executives understand the latest behaviours, preferences and attitudes of consumers regarding dinner and late-night dining, Technomic has published its «Canadian Dinner + Late-Night Consumer Trend Report». Interesting findings include:

  • About a quarter of consumers visit restaurants for happy hour (28 percent), late-night snacks or drinks (27 percent), and special-occasion dinners (23 percent) at least once a month.
  • When choosing a dinner spot, good overall value is important to 83 percent of respondents, while just 63 percent cite low prices, stressing the importance of value over cost.
  • Health is more important for dinner than late-night visits: 53 percent of consumers say healthy options are important when choosing a dinner restaurant versus 30 percent who say the same for choosing a late-night spot.
  • Appetizers, snacks and small plates are ideal for evening foodservice visits: 57 percent of consumers order appetizers for dinner at least sometimes, while 45 percent order appetizers and snacks for late-night occasions.
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