The food service industry caters to a universal need of humans – to be nourished. However, the way food appeals to humans isn’t at all universal. Mankind is a diverse group and there isn’t one particular operation of food service that could satisfy this diversity. This is one reality that aspirants in the restaurant business find difficulty to accept. Many hopefuls think they can catch everyone, but such efforts end up in failure. Trying to cater to everyone results into not being able to cater to anyone at all. It is best to just concentrate on a small part of the market, say ten percent or so, this way, you can offer the best service for that part of your choice. This is done by doing a market analysis – the study of the potential target market.
The senior market is composed of people who are 65 years or older. Seniors generally live on fixed incomes, from their pension or sustenance by relatives, and thus have a rather inflexible spending power. Most seniors usually go to family-oriented eating places such as lunch buffets because they offer good food and services at affordable prizes. Less active seniors usually prefer smaller portions as they may have smaller appetites. When targeting seniors, it is best to make them special by offering senior promotions, or lowered rates. You can also market your restaurant as senior-friendly by emphasizing safety features such as ramps and handlebars.
The late adult market is composed of people aged 50 to 64. They are usually the ones who are experiencing the empty nest syndrome, where grownup children have left the home. This market usually has the most stable financial status as they could be in the most advanced stages in their careers. At this point, price usually doesn’t matter. This is the age when people start trying to really enjoy life and its pleasures. So the main concern is good food and service. When targeting this market, it is good to present your restaurant with elegance and sophistication. It would be wise to invest more on ambience and class.
The middle aged group is composed of people who are around 40 to 50 years old. This are very productive years as most executives and prominent career persons fall in this market. Money is rather plentiful and thus spent with more generosity. In this age, people are quite fond of trendy and high-end, fine dining restaurants. Many people in this market already have grandchildren and thus this is also good for family-friendly eating places which that are more formal than those frequented by the senior market.
The young adult market consists of people in their mid twenties to just before reaching middle age. This is an age of great effort for established families. The main concern here is enjoying children and keeping a good relationship with them. People belonging in this market usually look for eating places that are conducive for bonding with their children. Places that offer food fast, and with bigger quantities such as family brunch buffet restaurants which are big hits for this market. It is important to offer comfort and a laid-back ambience for this type of market.
The young market comprises of those in their early twenties and younger. This is probably the most diverse market. The main concern of people in this market is instantaneous gratification with low prices. This is the primary market for the fast food industry. A good strategy for this target market is keeping updated with the latest trends and offering food services in association to what is “cool” and “hip”.