A couple of months ago, we met with Adrian* in Los Angeles. He is an easygoing tennis instructor who lives five blocks away from the beach with his dog. He is the life of the party and meets up with his friends on a weekly basis, hitting up the coolest and latest restaurants. On the East Coast we met with Jeff*, an executive working at a bank in Manhattan. He has the typical New Yorker vibe: talks fast, walks fast and, pressed for time, he usually eats lunch at his desk.
I can’t think of two more different people that we spoke to during a research interview. However, when it came to dining, they exhibited very similar behaviors. Putting in little to no planning for an everyday dinner, they looked for something close to home, affordable and easy. For special occasions, they both did a lot more research and were willing to spend more money.
Dining occasions drive unique behaviors around a restaurant meal. They give context to the goals and motivations of diners coming to your restaurant. These occasions drive what they’re looking for, why they’re looking for it and how they’re looking for it.