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In Solitary: Most Meals Eaten Alone

For most Americans, eating a meal is a solitary rather than social occasion. More than half (57%) of all eating occasions (both at-home and away-from-home) in the U.S. are people eating alone, according to data from The NPD Group. It notes that 27% of U.S. households now consist of a single person, the highest level […]

Can the Diner Reinvigorate Restaurants?


Two new marketing campaigns that draw on the timeless appeal of the American diner manifest the restaurant industry’s current malaise and perhaps provide its remedy as well. The latest NPD Group/CREST data shows that the restaurant business—here and in several other countries—has hit the doldrums. In short, customer traffic isn’t increasing. “We’re seeing flat or […]

McDonald’s Orders a Value Meal

McDonald’s Corp. says it will more sharply focus on the value end of its price spectrum following disappointing Q3 results. That means a heavy marketing push behind the new Dollar Menu + More and a likely parade of new McDouble burger variations, as reported earlier. Much of that will come through new media channels: CEO […]

Quick, Full-Service Restaurants Reach Satisfaction Parity

Britons’ overall satisfaction with limited-service restaurants has matched that for full-service competitors for the first time, according to the latest National Customer Satisfaction Index (NCSI) data for the UK. The shift could presage increased price competition for British restaurants. This parity follows a 2.6% improvement in customers’ NCSI score for limited-service restaurants coupled with a […]

NPD: Hispanic-Diner Visits Declined in 2012

Restaurant visits by U.S. Hispanic diners declined by 1% in 2012 at the same time that overall restaurant traffic rose by 1%, The NPD Group reports. The decline in Hispanic traffic translates to a loss of 86 million visits. Cutbacks in restaurant visits were most pronounced among Hispanic consumers ages 18 to 34, an especially […]

Restaurant Ad Spending Tops $5.6 Billion in 2010


Although restaurant sales showed no growth in 2010, the restaurant industry increased total ad spending, according to data from Kantar Media. Spending by the category was $5.652 billion, a 2.3% increase over 2009. According to the National Restaurant Association, restaurant sales were off 0.2% last year. For restaurants, Q1 was the strongest ($1.454 billion) for ad […]

Indie Burger Chefs Vie for Burger Bash Fame

[Update: Boston Burger Company’s Ray Malvone is the winner and will participate in the Burger Bash.]  Rachael Ray gets more than her share of criticism, in part because of her ubiquity, but the woman knows and respects burgers. Her Burger Bash at the annual Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival has established itself as burgerdom’s main […]

The Burger of the Year and Other Awards

December again, and it’s time once again for reflection. I’ll say that 2010 was an even better burger year than 2009 if only because last year’s mini-burger fad has floated downstream. Bye. This year, the economy and the burger business showed some improvement. As forecast last year, patty melts have popped up everywhere. Next year, […]

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