After years of belt tightening, Americans are ready to eat out more, but are drawn to different kinds of restaurants than in the past. Bobbi Rebell reports.
After years of belt tightening, Americans are starting to eat out more: Darren Tristano of restaurant research firm Technomic: SOUNDBITE: DARREN TRISTANO, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, TECHNOMIC (ENGLISH) SAYING: "As consumers have more disposable personal income in their pockets, more employment more jobs and actually the price points of gas today are really fueling their opportunity to go out to restaurants again and spend" Tristano says they are spending more each time they go out- no longer skimping on appetizers and alcohol. And they are also willing to pay up for higher quality and healthier options.. switching out chains like McDonalds, in favor of fast casual options: SOUNDBITE: DARREN TRISTANO, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, TECHNOMIC (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Restaurants like Panera Bread and Chipotle which are growing which are exciting to consumers, especially the younger generation. who is growing up with them vs older generations of Gen X that grew up with McDonalds and Burger King. " Wall Street has taken notice- successfully bringing a new generation of restaurants public. Kathleen Smith, IPO ETF Fund Manager at Renaissance Capital: SOUNDBITE: KATHLEEN SMITH, IPO ETF FUND MANAGER, RENAISSANCE CAPITAL (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The 2014 success stories are Zoe's fast casual restaurant, Mediterranean, up 100% from its IPO in mid 2014 and then towards the end of 2014 Habit restaurants a fast casual burger chain, high quality burgers, California based, that rollout attracted investors that stock is up very strongly since its IPO" Smith is also enthusiastic about the upcoming Shack Shack IPO- pointing out that their average customer spends more per visit than at Chipotle. And says to also keep an eye out for Smashburger, also likely to go public later this year.