63% of Employed Americans to Purchase Restaurant Gift Cards this Holiday Season

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New Technomic Data Released by WorkPlace Media Reveals Workweek Dining Behaviors of Workers

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Uncertain markets and a staggering economy will not hinder the employed from spending money at restaurants this holiday season.

Uncertain markets and a staggering economy will not hinder the employed from spending money at restaurants this holiday season.

The “Workplace Foodservice Consumer” survey, executed by Technomic for WorkPlace Media, polled employed Americans about their 2011 holiday restaurant plans and their average workweek dining behaviors. According to the results, employed consumers plan to spend money this season on restaurant gift cards and dining out.
While 63% intend to purchase at least one restaurant gift card, three in 10 (35%) intend to purchase at least three. And 67% say the amount they will spend on restaurant gift cards will be at least $51; nearly four in 10 (37%) will spend at least $101.

According to the data, holiday cheer among working diners may spill over into more trips this season as well. One half of workers (50%) say that they are more likely to eat out during the holiday season compared to their average dining habits. And water cooler chatter is more likely to migrate to a nearby restaurant, with nearly half (43%) saying that they are more likely to dine out with co-workers during the season.

“With unemployment rates remaining stagnantly high, the bright spot for the restaurant industry this holiday season is the employed,” said Stephanie Molnar, CEO for WorkPlace Media, a national media company that targets workers in the workplace. “In addition to having more discretionary income, the social nature of the workplace means increased dollars for restaurants with co-workers dining together, participating in happy hour, and using the time to pick up gift cards.”
In addition to 2011 holiday intentions, the Technomic-executed survey looked at non-holiday workweek dining behaviors and preferences of employed consumers:

Workweek Dining Behavior Highlights:

  •     Word-of-mouth is highly influential within the workplace, with 60% always/often/sometimes discussing their dining experiences with co-workers.
  •     Workers regularly participate in happy hour, with 41% doing so at least once per month.
  •     The social nature of the workplace has 42% of employees eating lunch out with co-workers always/often/sometimes.

Coupon Influence Highlights:

  •     Nearly half of working males (49%) and working females (48%) indicated that coupons are extremely/very likely to influence where they will dine out.
  •     While restaurants are feeling the effects of brown bagging, a coupon is extremely/very likely to influence 42% of workers to leave the brown bag at home.
  •     36% indicated that they had visited a restaurant because of a coupon but ended up not using it while there.

“In this economy the workplace is the most lucrative marketing channel for advertisers looking to fend off the effects of high unemployment and a slow economy,” said Molnar. “Spending marketing dollars on a medium that reaches 100% employed consumers is just smart business.”

The "Workplace Foodservice Consumer” survey was conducted by Technomic for WorkPlace Media among a national sample of 600 employed Americans in August 2011.

For more information from the Technomic-executed survey, visit the “Complimentary Research” section of WorkPlace Media’s website (http://www.workplacemedia.com) or click Workplace Foodservice Consumer Study.

About Technomic:
Technomic, Inc. is the most recognized and experienced fact-based consulting firm serving the food industry. Founded in 1966, Technomic serves a broad and diverse base of domestic and international clients, including major manufacturing, distribution, and supermarket companies, as well as chain restaurants and other foodservice operators.

Technomic’s proprietary research, forecasts, common-interest studies, online databases, and reports on consumer and menu trends fuel clients’ business and marketing plans. The firm is the “go-to” source for food and foodservice industry data, intelligence and analysis. (http://www.technomic.com)

About WorkPlace Media:
WorkPlace Media is a 24-year-strong national media company that specializes in helping marketers reach employed consumers where they work: offices, cubicles, construction sites, warehouses, etc. With its permission-based network of businesses across the country, restaurant marketers are able to reach, with the active participation of employers, over 64 million workers locally, regionally, or nationally. Additionally, the company conducts ongoing research into the attitudes and purchase behaviors of this valuable, largely untapped consumer channel through regular polls and surveys. (http://www.workplacemedia.com)

Tara L. Peters


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Tara L. Peters
WorkPlace Media
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