American workers are clearly very hungry. And today, yet another report from the business dining sector shows just how ravenous we are when we're on the road or just entertaining clients in town.
Dinova, a company focused exclusively on the corporate dining marketplace, said this week that Americans are spending more on business-related dining than ever. Its own network of restaurants grew nearly 8 percent during the first half of this year. Additionally, Dinova has charted a year-over-year increase of 9.4 percent in the average spend on a business meal.
The company has taken a look at its data on business meal spending in the first half of 2016 and noted some intriguing trends in business dining, including:
- an increase of 7 percent in fast casual and fine dining for business year over year;
- an increase of 33 percent in the average fast casual spend for business; and
- an increase of 34 percent in independent restaurant spending for business.
"Dinova's marketplace continues to thrive as we surpass the $5 billion milestone," said company founder and CEO Vic Macchio, in a news release about the increases. "Between the trends we're seeing in fast casual and the increasing desire for unique and niche dining options, it is clear that restaurant diversity in our network is paying off."
Dinova currently has more than 14,000 restaurant in its nationwide network, according to a news release this week. The company said that this number, particularly as it relates to fast casual restaurants, is ever-expanding, with new concepts such as Lazy Dog joining the company's network earlier this year.
Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar founder and CEO Chris Simms said that his 19-unit Western U.S. chain has seen a lot of sales growth through its affiliation with Dinova, which not only promotes the restaurants in its network, but also rewards member businesses when their employees dine at establishments represented by Dinova.
"As a growing, family-founded restaurant group, we were looking for a partner that could grow with us as we expand into new markets," Simms said.
On the flip side corporate dining expense might be rising a little more quickly than some business leaders would like. Indeed, a story on QSRweb.com earlier this year indicated that increases in this business expense category might warrant closer monitoring and more detailed reporting.
Award-winning veteran print and broadcast journalist, Shelly Whitehead, has spent most of the last 30 years reporting for TV and newspapers, including the former Kentucky and Cincinnati Post and a number of network news affiliates nationally. She brings her cumulative experience as a multimedia storyteller and video producer to the web-based pages of Pizzamarketplace.com and QSRweb.com after a lifelong “love affair” with reporting the stories behind the businesses that make our world go ‘round. Ms. Whitehead is driven to find and share news of the many professional passions people take to work with them every day in the pizza and quick-service restaurant industry. She is particularly interested in the growing role of sustainable agriculture and nutrition in food service worldwide and is always ready to move on great story ideas and news tips.