Menu Variety Survey: Diners More Concerned With Food Quality

Some restaurants are rethinking their menu strategies. For years, restaurants aimed to have as many options as possible for diners. But now that thought process is changing, as restaurants are aiming to cut down a bit on the variety of options in favor of focusing on fewer items of higher quality. So what do diners think about each of these two philosophies?

menu variety

Restaurant Diners

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, just 3% of respondents said they go out to eat at restaurants daily. 18% said they go to restaurants a few times per week. 20% said they go out to eat about once per week. 19% go out to eat a few times per month. 15% do so just about once per month. 20% said they rarely go out to eat at restaurants. And 5% said they never do.

Ordering Practices

So how do these diners decide what menu items to order when they go out to eat? 59% of diners said they usually read through the entire menu and choose the item that sounds best. But 27% said they usually order the same item each time they go to a particular restaurant. 15% said they usually order the restaurant’s specialty or most popular item. 13% said they order items they’ve seen in advertisements. And another 13% said they ask for suggestions from their server or from friends.

Menu Variety

In general, restaurant customers ranked quality of food as the most important factor impacting their experience at a restaurant. 58% said the quality of food is more important to them than price, service, and menu variety. Price was considered by most to be the second most important factor. Service and menu variety were considered the least important factors.

So what does this say about the link between menu variety and food quality? 32% of respondents said they would rather have more options at a restaurant than have fewer menu items of higher quality. But 58% said they would rather see fewer menu items of higher quality at restaurants. The remaining 10% have no opinion.

You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.

Photo Credit: Culture Shock – Rouen Restaurant – Mar 2009 from Flickr

What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.

Results were collected on August 25 via AYTM’s online survey panel.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Anne Pilon
Anne Pilon brings 3 years experience to AYTM as a blogger and journalist. She has a degree in journalism and marketing communications from Columbia College in Chicago and enjoys writing about business, marketing, social media, and art.