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Something To Chew On: Demographic Shifts at Steakhouse Chains

by 
Bracha Arnold
 on 
February 7, 2024
Something To Chew On: Demographic Shifts at Steakhouse Chains

Few things are more beloved by Americans than a steak – and two of the most popular steakhouse chains in the U.S. are Texas Roadhouse and Outback Steakhouse. Who is visiting these chains, and what characteristics do they share? We take a closer look.   

Beefing Up Visits

Food-away-from-home prices remained high for much of 2023, presenting challenges for dining establishments as would-be restaurant patrons reconsidered going for a meal out. Outback Steakhouse in particular felt the impact of the dining downturn, with year-over-year (YoY) visits falling in 2023 – although the dip may also be due to the chain’s downsizing its store fleet. And the chain seems to have offset at least some of the drop thanks to its price increases, which increased the value of every visit. 

Texas Roadhouse, meanwhile, continued its expansion and benefited from growing YoY foot traffic every quarter of 2023.   

Lower-Income Consumers, Higher Dining Success 

Texas Roadhouse’s success is particularly notable given its trade area median HHI. Both Outback Steakhouse and Texas Roadhouse tend to have a lower median household income (median HH) in their trade areas when compared to the average fast-casual chain, despite having higher price points. The steakhouse leaders also have a trade area median HHI that is significantly lower than the overall fine-dining segment.

The lower median HHI of Texas Roadhouse and Outback Steakhouse visitors suggests that these diners may be avoiding the purchase of more casual, on-the-go meals and instead choosing to direct their more limited funds toward special occasion dining. And Outback Steakhouse and Texas Roadhouse may be seen as an affordable luxury for those seeking a more elevated dining experience than might be found at a local fast-casual joint. 

By understanding the types of diners who visit the restaurant, dining chains can make sure to deliver the type of experience their customers are seeking – in this case, a special-occasion dining destination that won't break the bank.

Outback Steakhouse and Texas Roadhouse Popular Among Suburban Segments

A deeper exploration of the psychographic compositions of each chains’ trade area reveals that suburban families are particularly drawn to Texas Roadhouse and Outback Steakhouse. For both chains, the share of households in Spatial.ai’s PersonaLive “Upper Suburban Diverse Families,” “Suburban Boomers,” and “Wealthy Suburban Families” segments exceeded the statewide average in several major states. 

As suburban markets continue gaining momentum, Texas Roadhouse and Outback Steakhouse’s popularity with suburban audiences can help the chains stay ahead of the pack in 2024. 

The State Of Steak

The enduring appeal of a well-made steak (or Blooming Onion, or honey butter) is indisputable. Will customers continue to visit these chains for a special occasion? Or will 2024 bring with it a new shift in diner preferences? 

Follow Placer.ai’s data-driven analyses to find out. 

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