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Restaurant Leadership: Hispanics are Growing Visits while non-Hispanics are Pulling Back

Jonas Prising, CEO of workforce solutions company Manpower Group, set up our Restaurant Leadership Conference session perfectly when he said:  “In 2044, the majority will become the minority, which has many implications for the workforce.”   The Census shows that, in that same year, Hispanics will account for nearly 100 million people – or 1 out of every 4 people in the U.S.  That’s 71% population growth from 2015.

It’s no doubt that as the demographic landscape of our country continues to evolve, Hispanics will become increasingly important as employees and consumers.

That’s why we were updating the restaurant operators in the room on how Hispanics are impacting their businesses today.  NPD’s Kelley Fechner shared that last year Hispanics grew restaurant visits 4% while non-Hispanics pulled back (-1%).  CREST Hispanic research also shows that this consumer is more likely to visit major chains than non-Hispanics (75% vs. 62% non-Hispanics), and the distinction becomes even larger when you look at Spanish-dominant Hispanics, who visit major chains 80% of the time.

The third major takeaway was that kids play a more important role for Hispanic visits.  Forty percent of visits include kids compared to 29% for non-Hispanics.  This does point to larger families/household size for Hispanics, but also says a lot about how they use restaurants.  “Hispanics eat on premise more, order more items and view restaurants as a true occasion to bond with family.  For non-Hispanics, restaurants are sometimes just about fuel,” explained Fechner.

This is the first of two articles recapping our Restaurant Leadership Conference experience.  The next will focus on our Restaurant Trailblazers and interview with Papa John’s CEO and Founder John Schnatter.

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