U.S. Hispanics’ family orientation very much extends to restaurant dining, according to the latest data from The NPD Group’s CREST Hispanic foodservice market research.
- Hispanics, who represent 16% of the U.S. population, according to the 2010 U.S. Census, made 5.8 billion restaurant visits in first-half 2011, the data shows.
- Importantly, slightly more than 40% of restaurant visits by Hispanics include children, compared to 30% of non-Hispanic visits.
- Hispanics seldom go to restaurants in groups of two, instead eating alone or with a larger group. Forty-five percent of Hispanic restaurant visits involve groups of three or more — often including children — compared to 32% for non-Hispanics.
Hispanic restaurant consumers report that they would patronize restaurants more often if restaurants made children feel welcome, notes Michele Schmal, VP, product management for NPD’s foodservice unit. “Restaurant operators and food manufacturers would do well to focus marketing to Hispanics around the family and children,” she stresses.
Language is also an important factor in how U.S. Hispanic families use restaurants.
Spanish language is an aspect of home life for 88% of the Hispanic population; 52% of Hispanics are bilingual (speaking Spanish and English equally at home); slightly more than one-quarter are Spanish-language-dominant; and 21% are English-dominant. Spanish-language-dominant Hispanics are the most likely to include children in their foodservice visits, at 43% of visits versus 41% and 42% of visits for Hispanic bilinguals and English-dominants).