More than ever before, consumers are deciding the quality of their restaurant meal before even trying a bite of it. Many of their judgments are in place just by reading the menu. Is this steak from an animal that was humanely raised? Is that hamburger from antibiotic-free beef? Is this chicken sandwich made with processed deli meats or whole-muscle chicken?
Taste and value are still leading factors when consumers decide where to eat. However, those other factors have permanently changed the restaurant industry, and the operators and the companies that supply them need to adapt. The Millennial generation may be the group that is leading the charge, but it has gained appeal to the other segments of the American population as well.