The restaurant world – both dine-in and drive-thru categories – is in full give-the-consumer-what-they-want mode.
And it’s a pretty wild scene, too. McDonald’s is among those trying out new menu twists by test-selling Krispy Kreme donuts, and restaurants giving customers the option to customize their menu choices are starting to emerge.
Just recently, IHOP introduced a new Choice menu, designed to give consumers more choices throughout the day as opposed to breakfast, lunch, and dinner segments.
Choices are good, but deals rule
The overriding thing that consumers are looking for at restaurants, though, are deals that save them money. According to a new study by Yelp, diners across the U.S. are looking for budget options wherever they can find them.
"While U.S. inflation doesn't appear to be slowing down, Yelp's data shows consumers are increasingly looking for more affordable options to counter this uncertainty," said Pria Mudan, data science leader at Yelp.
"It's clear consumers are mindful of their wallets with Yelp searches related to affordable groceries and fast food concepts noticeably up from last year."
What restaurants have the best deals?
In a new study by Datassential, the 10 restaurant chains that scored best with consumers who rated them “best in class” or “above average” on value for the dollar break out like this:
9. Hwy 55 Burgers, Shakes & Fries
8. Golden Corral
7. Flame Broiler
6. Cook Out
5. In-N-Out Burger
4. Del Taco
3. Cicis Pizza
2. Papa Murphy's
And, drum roll, please…
1. Little Caesars, with an impressive 71% of consumers rating them “best in class” or “above average” when it comes to the best bang for a buck.