There’s a lot of discussion about diversity and inclusion in the restaurant industry, but what about restaurant accessibility? It’s no secret that the majority of restaurants struggle with making their spaces and menus accessible to everyone. This is a huge mistake, as it alienates a large portion of the population and costs restaurants money. In this article, we will discuss five of those reasons.
The five reasons restaurants need to know more about minorities:
- Minorities make up a large portion of the population.
- According to the US Census Bureau, minorities make up 38% of the population.
- This number is only going to grow in the years to come, so restaurants must start catering to these groups.
- Minorities have a lot of spending power.
- Minorities are a lucrative target market, as they have a lot of spending power.
1. Minorities Make Up Much of the US Population
The US Census Bureau estimates that minorities make up almost 40% of the US population. Every year, the number of Hispanic people rises by 600,000, adding almost 10% to the US population.
American minorities also have a lot of spending power. US Census Bureau data shows that minority homeowners carry more than $1 trillion in wealth. Asian Americans, in particular, have the highest net worth of all the groups, $734 billion more than white Americans.
This prompts me to believe that restaurants should invest in attracting the black and Hispanic populations. Because already 50% of non-white Americans have access to credit card technology.
2. They Order MORE Than the “Mainstream” The First American Restaurant to Go Social
Growing up, I often remember going to the arcade to ride my favourite games. As the decade continued, the days of young kids sharing time in front of the television and playing games changed.
While growing up as a child who was interested in becoming a computer programmer, being a video games designer, and creating games in general, one realization was ever emerging: Minorities early on had something in our DNA – gaming.
While not all minorities shared the same background – black on the streets, south of the border, but white on the inside – technology focused on gaming as a concept.
During my sixth grade year, video games entered the homes of regular Californian teenagers: PacMan was finally hitting the fly in people’s 45s! That same year, minorities in these states had the biggest spending power among their peers. Gradually, other players in the video game industry looked to minority cultures and demographics as the edge they could gain from creating gaming venues.
3. Accessible Menu Items and Services
White and Black populations are pretty even across the nation with respect to income, but that isn’t the case when it comes to food spending. University of Illinois study found that family income alone accounts for only 39% of the food spending power for Blacks. In contrast, a separate study from JPMorgan showed that Latino families in the US spend nearly twice as much per year (42% of food spending power) on meals as white families (25% of spending power).
Minorities are notoriously underserved on food ledges; they are more likely to experience food accessibility issues, from limited fresh choices to struggling to simply eat in public restaurants to walk-in food availability or variety, for example. This is because restaurants don’t always cater to their needs or because management has not done its due diligence in knowing what is most appropriate. Serving is fundamental to marketing to people.
Therefore, certain menu items are marketed and served differently across ethnicities and are more of an “ethnic” food item identity for them rather than “American” for everyone.
Let’s take a look at three of the most notable differences:
- National versus American cuisine: Black, Latino, and Native American cuisines have their own dishes and unique cooking characteristics.
- While most American food boils down to two types: fried chicken and barbecue.
- If you’re lacking in the regional lore department, check out the ethnic food sections at your local store for foundation knowledge.
4. Women Are Triggering More Ordering
Another fascinating infographic shows that 50% of the millennial generation are more likely to dine out at a restaurant because of a new trend called “binge dining”, which is happening in the restaurant industry.
For the past couple of years, over the last decade, when the false epidemic of obesity hit the U.S., it was largely ignored and associated with minority groups regardless of their size compared to a majority population.
This increased spending power has allowed women to demand greater restaurant accessibility and respectability for the dining rooms, especially in a state of health and cleanliness.
Minorities, people with eye difficulties, and others interested in patronizing a restaurant don’t want lines separating the dining room. Many people who have lost their sight now eat out at restaurants more because of accessibility in a societally and government lenient culture.
Three major things have turned our health culture. The Internet, social media and food fads all happened at the same time.
It’s just 2017, and people are still fighting about fat jokes, racial discrimination and whether or not bacon causes cancer. These are just people worrying about having a vegan diet, and raw foods are not immune to gluttony cravings and being very candid on why a horse is better meat than a chicken.
5. People with Disabilities Make Restaurants Just MORE Attractive Places!
Since I have a 3-year-old with Zafgen in the family, I am delighted that she has access to all kinds of restaurants—from locally owned ethnic restaurants right on the street to large, sit-down oases. Unfortunately, this is far from the reality for many others. Many people with disabilities cannot move freely, and many are reluctant to go out for dinner with their families or to go to restaurants.
Yes, there are a lot of diners that minorities can go to if they have a disability, so it’s important for restaurants to have the ability to adapt and make bright, multicultural spaces accessible to people with disabilities.
In the food industry, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to marketing. There are a number of different demographics that restaurant owners and marketers need to be aware of in order to create an effective marketing strategy.
Feature image: Pixabay