Three-quarters of Hispanic diners order food from restaurants at least once a week, compared to about two-thirds of consumers overall, and their foodservice usage is rising. This trend is only set to gain speed, as Hispanic consumers—the fastest-growing ethnic population in the U.S.—accrue more spending power and feel positive about their financial future, states Technomic’s new Hispanic Foodservice Consumer Trend Report. Here are five findings from the report that reveal how operators can attract this demographic’s dining dollars through menu initiatives.
1. Kid-friendly menus are a must
A varied menu with enticing options for little ones is increasingly important to Hispanic diners. About three-fifths of Latinos say an expansive kids menu with enticing options for little ones is very important at foodservice establishments, compared to fewer than half of consumers who said the same in 2015. Some 60% of Latinos say healthy kids options are important at limited-service eateries, and 65% say the same of full-service spots. More than half of Hispanic parents (53%) say it’s more challenging for kids today to eat healthy.
2. Health and wellness for life
Hispanic adults are also increasingly likely to pay extra for vegetarian, vegan and GMO-free foods, in addition to demanding more menu transparency. 62% of Hispanics say the use of fresh ingredients is a traffic driver, the highest of the different menu attributes.
3. Tacos for all dayparts
As with consumers overall, Hispanic diners are embracing the taco takeover. Latinos express growing interest in these Mexican handhelds for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And at breakfast, burritos will satisfy cravings just fine too, shows Technomic data. 45% of Latinos say they would order a taco entree, compared to 37% of consumers who said the same two years ago. Similarly, 38% of Latinos would like to order breakfast tacos or burritos at least occasionally if offered, up from 31% in 2015.
4. Less-expected ethnic trends are up
While it’s likely no surprise that more Latinos today are craving tacos, Tex-Mex or Caribbean fare, they are also increasingly interested in ordering sushi off the menu. In the past couple of years, raw fish dishes such as poke have become more prevalent, which may be contributing to the rising interest in sushi. 30% of Hispanic consumers today say they would like to order sushi when they dine out, compared to 23% in 2015.
5. Marketing message matters
As a greater number of brands invest in Spanish marketing and social media initiatives, Hispanics now say they are more likely to visit restaurants that support their culture. Two in five Hispanic diners place a high importance on promotional materials being available in both English and Spanish at foodservice establishments. As a greater number of brands invest in Spanish marketing and social media initiatives, Hispanics now say they are more likely to visit restaurants that support their culture.