Full-service restaurants may be coming back. After yielding market share to limited-service restaurants, the full-service segment may be on the rebound, per Technomic’s 2018 Future of the FSR Consumer Trend Report.

While admitting the full-serve sector, particularly casual-dining operations, is  not “out of the woods” yet, operators continue to benefit from off-premise sales, beverage alcohol availability and by providing a memorable away-from-home dining experience.

In order to succeed, casual-dining operators must resolve the problems that got these restaurants in trouble, namely weak value propositions, opening too many locations and failing to keep up with consumers’ changing menu preferences, according to a Technomic spokesperson.

The key takeaways from the study include: 53 percent of consumers say they visit traditional casual-dining restaurants at least once a month, 38 percent of family-style consumers say they are more likely to visit a chain restaurant than an independent and 51 percent of upscale casual-dining restaurant customers say they visit these restaurants to celebrate special occasions.

There seems to be a tendency in foodservice to overestimate the impact of new types of operations. A few years ago, some forecasters felt fast-casual was going to take over the restaurant world. Now it appears fast-casual growth is slowing.

Likewise, some are quick to predict failure for a restaurant type. Back in the ’70s, one expert forecast that the new “theme” restaurants meant the end of fine dining. The white tablecloth operations may not be a growth area but when is the last time you saw a Victoria Station?

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For details and same store sales of other chains, please click here for the Green Sheet.

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