Reliable Utilization of Family Life Cycle Information to Help Increase Food Service Industry Profits

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Problem Statement Market segmentation methods that reliably utilize information about family life cycle to ascertain consumers' preferences for dining in restaurants have not been established. As a result, the foodservice industry may well be forgoing substantive opportunities to market to restaurant patrons and to strengthen the attractiveness of dining out experiences. Indeed, the tourism and hospitality literature points to a relation between the demographic attributes of families and food purchases that are made away from home. Evidence of a viable market can be taken from the rate of growth over several decades: the amount of discretionary money that American families spend on dining out has increased from 25% of their food budget to 50% in the years spanning 1955 to 2006. Data Analysis The family life cycle (FLC) conceit provides a method for reflecting the anticipated variations in purchasing patterns attributed to changes in the needs and capacities of families over the duration of the family unit life cycle (Lawson, 1988). However, the model has not held up well to sea changes in the composition, structure, and flux of modern family units (Lin & Lehto, 2006). As recommended by Schaninger and Danko (993), the authors took an approach typical to the development of target market personas, such that they were able to categorize households in a manner that maximized between-group variance. The resultant modifications collapsed the number of categories from eight

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