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National Restaurant Association - Quality, convenience key to restaurant selection, research finds

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Quality, convenience key to restaurant selection, research finds

Consumers say there are five key elements involved in choosing which quickservice or takeout restaurant to frequent, National Restaurant Association research finds.

According to the 2012 Restaurant Industry Forecast, customers ranked those five drivers as:

1.       Food quality

2.       Value received for price paid

3.       Length of time it takes

4.       Convenient service/delivery

5.       Convenient ordering options

Food quality topped the list among those polled, with 80 percent saying it was their prime motivator in frequenting a restaurant.

"With more than 1 million restaurants across the country, competition is more intense than ever before," said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the NRA's Research & Knowledge Group. "If consumers' last experience doesn't meet price-to-value expectations, they are quick to vote with their feet.

"In the end," he continued, "as this data demonstrates, food quality remains paramount. The typical consumer's palate is much more sophisticated, therefore expectations are higher than ever."

Value received for the price paid was popular with 74 percent of respondents and 71 percent said length of time was the prime factor in their decision-making process. Fifty-three percent of respondents said convenient delivery directly to their homes was most important and 40 percent craved convenient ordering options, such as online ordering via website, smartphone application or self-service customer-activated ordering terminal.

"There is a greater variety of cuisines that are being delivered now, but the big challenge for operators is to ensure that the food quality is not degraded by the transportation time," Riehle said.

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