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Business dining is key contributor to rising restaurant revenue

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FHW Staff – Mumbai

Concur, a leading provider of spend management solutions and services released an analysis recently showing business dining is helping fuel a rise in restaurant revenue. Supported by insights from Table8, the analysis also sheds light on business dining trends in the US that restaurants can leverage to effectively increase revenue by targeting business diners. Table8 is primarily backed by Concur’s Perfect Trip Fund, and offers patrons exclusive last minute access to sold-out restaurant reservations.

According to the National Restaurant Association, total restaurant sales hit a record high in October 2014 and sales are likely to continue rising in the coming months. Business dining, a key driver for restaurant revenue, is expected to contribute significantly to this uptrend.

The analysis shows:
Business dining is a bright spot in overall dining sales: While overall dining sales in the US grew approximately 1.4 per cent from Q1 2013 to Q1 2014, Concur studied the dining habits of its business users and found that frequent business diners increased their dining spend by six percent within the same period. This business dining spend represents a variety of expense types including meals while traveling, client meetings and team outings.

Business dining is a top employee expense: Notably, since 2011, business dining has averaged a five percent increase year-over-year– indicating that business dining continues to be a top expense for employees. This growth in business dining spend at a faster rate than leisure dining is similar to the accelerated growth seen in corporate air, hotel and ground transportation spend.

Best cities for business dining: Among Concur’s 25 million users, New York City, Chicago and San Francisco were the top three business dining cities by total spend for the 12-month period from August 2013.

Most extravagant business diners: Within the same 12-month period, the most generous business spenders were found in New York ($152 per dining check); Boston ($121 per dining check); Miami ($120 per dining check); Chicago ($118 per dining check); San Francisco ($117 per dining check).

“Business dining is big business, especially right now, as our data shows. From our Expense IQ Report of last year, dining ranked as the third largest spend category for companies in the US, trailing only airfare and lodging,” said Brian Camposano, senior vice president of Corporate Strategy, Concur. “With business travel predicted to rise in 2015, we expect to see overall corporate expenditure – especially for business dining – go up as well.”
For restaurants, these insights present opportunities to pursue business diners. “Our restaurant partners tell us that business diners typically spend up to two-three times more than the average social diner,” said Peter Goettner, CEO, Table8. “Restaurants that recognise the importance of business diners can devise smart marketing strategies to attract more business diners through their doors and increase margins on days of the week where they typically see lower traffic from the social diner.”

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