Hispanics now make up 16 percent of the U.S. population based on the 2010 U.S. Census, and are an increasingly important customer base for the foodservice industry in light of the some 9.8 billion restaurant visits they make each year, according to The NPD Group, a leading market research company.
How and when Hispanics use restaurants differs depending on their primary language, whether English-speaking or Spanish-speaking, recent NPD foodservice market research finds.
According to a test study NPD conducted to determine the differences in restaurant usage between English-speaking and Spanish-speaking Hispanics, Spanish-speaking Hispanics are much more likely to depend on restaurants for morning meals and snacks than English-speaking Hispanics and non-Hispanics.
Among restaurant visits made by Spanish-speaking Hispanics, 31 percent occur at the morning meal and 22 percent occur at the afternoon or evening snack daypart. Meanwhile, for both non-Hispanics and English-speaking Hispanics, 18 percent of visits occur at the morning meal and 15 percent occur at the afternoon or evening snack.
When visiting restaurants, Hispanics are much more likely to have children with them than non-Hispanics. NPD finds that more than half of restaurant visits from Spanish-dominant Hispanics and a third of visits from English-speaking Hispanics include parties with children. In contrast, just 29 percent of visits by non-Hispanics include parties with children.
“According to the Pew Research Center 40 percent of Hispanics are most comfortable speaking Spanish, and our study finds that Spanish-speaking Hispanics use restaurants differently than English-speaking Hispanics,” says Bonnie Riggs, restaurant industry analyst at NPD. “These are important considerations when marketing to Hispanics. The messaging and communications need to be relevant to each group.”