According to the market research firm The NPD Group, the fast casual market has grown at a rate of 7 percent over the last five years. But there’s one particular segment of diners who are contributing more than others to this expansion: those aged 18-24.
To attract this customer base, franchises should put in place specific elements to appeal to these diners. When you’re looking at business opportunities today, consider whether the franchises you’re considering are tapping into this market with offerings like:
- An Expansive Lunch Menu: Among the most popular times for diners 18-24 to eat at a fast casual restaurant is during the weekday lunch hour. So, look at franchises that are open for lunch and their menu selections at that hour for customers who are grabbing a bite or holding a meeting.
- An Upscale Setting: The ages weren’t the only distinguishing characteristic of the largest group of fast casual patrons; they also had an average household income of $100,000. Franchises should target this demographic with a higher level of service at the restaurant and finer environment.
- Alcoholic Beverages: To encourage these diners to linger, many fast casual restaurants have added alcohol to their menus. With these beverages on tap, a fast casual restaurant can quickly become an ideal place for a drink after work or date night.
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