1. Channel: Restaurants

Why California Restaurants Can Rest Easy: The Enduring Appeal of Dining Out


The restaurant
industry has been obsessing with the rise of the minimum wage in California.  Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA
based Foodservice Solutions®
continues to insist that there are many more reasons the long-term outlook for the
California restaurant sector is bright. So, here we go.  

In California, approximately 49.3% of households
consist of married couples, while 13.5% are single-female
households and 6.0% are single-male households. Additionally, 24.0% of households have only one person,
and 7.3% fall into the category of other non-family households
.  Household size is a huge determining factor
in determining ‘frequency of dinning out’ according to Johnson.  

Let’s focus on Millennials most coveted consumer
today.  Like any other generation, they exhibit
a diverse range of behaviors and preferences. While it’s essential to avoid
generalizations, I can highlight some factors that might contribute to the
perception that Millennials cook less from scratch at home:

Lifestyle and Time

o    Many Millennials lead busy lives, juggling work, social
commitments, and personal interests. As a result, they may prioritize
convenience over cooking elaborate meals.

o    Long working hours, commutes, and other responsibilities
can limit the time available for cooking.

o    The rise of the gig economy and freelance work may lead to
irregular schedules, making it challenging to plan and prepare meals

Convenience Culture:

o    Millennials grew up during the digital age, where
convenience is highly valued. They are accustomed to on-demand services, fast
food, and meal delivery apps.

o    Pre-packaged meals, takeout, and restaurant dining offer
convenience and save time compared to cooking from scratch.

Skill and Confidence

o    Cooking from scratch requires culinary skills, knowledge of
ingredients, and confidence in the kitchen. Not everyone has learned these

o    Some Millennials may lack exposure to home cooking due to
busy parents, reliance on processed foods, or limited cooking education.

Cost Considerations:

o    While cooking from scratch can be cost-effective, initial
investments (such as kitchen equipment, spices, and pantry staples) might deter

o    The perception that eating out is more affordable than
buying quality ingredients for home-cooked meals can influence behavior.

Social Trends and
Social Media

o    Social media platforms often showcase visually appealing
restaurant dishes and food trends. Millennials may prioritize experiencing
these trends over cooking at home.

o    The desire to share food experiences online can drive
restaurant visits.

Changing Food

o    Millennials are part of a generation that witnessed
significant shifts in food culture. They value diversity, global flavors, and

o    Exploring diverse cuisines through dining out or ordering
takeout aligns with this cultural openness.


o    Some Millennials are environmentally conscious and seek
sustainable food choices. However, they may perceive cooking at home as less
eco-friendly due to packaging waste and energy consumption.

Health and Nutrition

o    Millennials are increasingly health-conscious. While some
prioritize nutritious home-cooked meals, others may rely on pre-made options
without considering their nutritional value.

Remember that individual preferences and circumstances vary
widely. Many Millennials do cook from scratch, emphasizing health, creativity,
and community. Encouraging cooking education, promoting accessible recipes, and
emphasizing the benefits of home-cooked meals can help bridge any gaps.


takeout and delivery are undeniably popular, California restaurants can take
comfort in the fact that consumers, especially millennials, will likely
continue to dine out frequently. Here’s why:

California’s Culinary Cachet:

is a melting pot of cultures, reflected in its diverse and innovative
restaurant scene. From Michelin-starred establishments to trendy food trucks,
there’s something for everyone’s palate and budget.

known for their health-conscious lifestyles, appreciate the focus on fresh,
local ingredients prevalent in many California restaurants.

Statistic: According
to a California Restaurant Association: https://www.calrest.org/ report,
California has over 800,000 restaurant employees, showcasing the industry’s
significant contribution to the state’s economy.

The Social Aspect of Dining Out:

offer an escape from the monotony of home cooking and provide a space for
socializing, celebrating, and connecting with friends and family. Deliveries
can’t replicate the experience of a shared meal and lively conversation.

vibrant restaurant culture fosters a sense of community, with people gathering
around food and conversation.

The Evolving Restaurant Experience:

are constantly adapting to consumer preferences. Many offer online ordering and
delivery alongside dine-in options, providing flexibility for customers.

like self-ordering kiosks can streamline the dining experience, catering to
millennials’ comfort with digital tools.

The Value Proposition:

grocery shopping can be expensive, restaurants offer a complete dining
experience with prepared food, service, and ambiance.

California restaurants cater to budget-conscious millennials with lunch
specials and happy hours.


unique restaurant scene, combined with the social and cultural aspects of
dining out, ensures a continued demand for restaurants despite the rise of
delivery services. Consumers will likely continue to embrace the convenience of
takeout while cherishing the experience of dining out in California’s diverse
and exciting restaurants.

Looking for
success clues of your own?
Foodservice Solutions® specializes in
outsourced food marketing and business development ideations. We can help you
identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities,
technology, or a new menu product segment.  
Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche
visit us on our social media sites by clicking one of the following links:
Facebook,  LinkedIn, or Twitter

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