With two children who are both almost teenagers, the choice for a family meal out is largely based on their demands ! Looking back over the last 10 years whether in London out of the capital, for us there were only ever a maximum of three brands that were usually on the list. This was usually based on portion size, colouring kits and discount codes. Walking through any district of London, swathes of restaurant retail space are now taken over by many different vying for our money and of course a discretionary 12% service charge.
As the children have become older, the big change for them is the constant access to information via the internet, not through promotions and discount codes that were normally associated in attracting diners several years ago. Being Generation Z children, (born between 1995-2012) they are growing up with a highly sophisticated media and computer environment and are more internet savvy and expert than their Generation Y forerunners. They are keen to follow brands not just because of the food, but by how the product is advertised, the business being cool to them and that they can tell their friends all about it.
According to a recent survey, by 2025 the UK will have the highest obesity among both men and women in Europe, at 38%. It will be interesting to see how that information will be digested by adults of the future and how different restaurant companies will tackle this issues with their menus. As my children tell us where we will next be spending the family budget on a meal out, there will be many other factors to consider apart from ice cream and the right soundtrack in the restaurant.
Ed Lathe - Finance Divisional Manager
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