How Restaurant Operators Are Recognizing The Growing Hispanic Demographic

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Did you know that Hispanic customers account for $1 out of every $5 spent in the quick-service restaurant sector? That’s why restaurants like Jack-in-the-Box are starting to get smart about targeting this large and growing demographic.

Hispanic customers tend to be more frequent visitors, and they tend to spend more money than other demographics at QSRs, too.

As the CMO of Jack-in-the-Box, Keith Guilbault, explains the rationale behind recent Spanish-language ads the fast-food chain has run thus,

“Given most Hispanics are bilingual, and they are consuming content in both English and Spanish, it’s important that the message resonates in both environments. By communicating in-language, it allows us to drive greater brand affinity.”

Census data predicts that the U.S. Hispanic population will grow by 20 percent over the next decade, so it’s a good idea to start understanding this demographic and catering to their needs sooner rather than later.

For its efforts targeting the Hispanic community, Jack-in-the-Box was recognized by the Regional Trailblazers award at the Restaurant Leadership Conference in March of this year. A spokesman from one of the sponsors, Joe Filiaci, said,

“We wanted to acknowledge the chains that we felt were doing a particularly good job connecting with Hispanic consumers and then highlight again through that NPD data the fact that they were actually growing their businesses as a result of connecting with this consumer.”

Other QSRs that have been recognized for their efforts in reaching the Hispanic market include Papa John’s, Starbucks, Sonic, Carl’s Jr., McDonald’s, Chipotle, Chili’s, Denny’s, and IHOP. In other words, many major players in this space are already paying attention to this key demographic. If you aren’t, it’s time to pick up the pace.

Of course, it’s important to consider your local market(s) and determine just how relevant Spanish-language marketing and other tactics to reach Hispanics will be for you. While many markets in California and Florida are wise to target these consumers, this may be less true in areas like Chicago that have a smaller Hispanic population.

When it comes to targeting this market, is it necessary to overhaul your menu and offer more Hispanic cuisine? Not necessarily. Filiaci argues that it’s more about showcasing a culture that is comfortable and appealing for Hispanic customers. For example, Hispanic millennials are more likely than their counterparts of other racial origins to have children. So communicating a family-friendly atmosphere can go a long way for your QSR with this demographic.

You may also want to pay attention to which mediums you market through. For example, telenovelas are very popular among Hispanic consumers, so airing an ad during the latest episode could be an effective way to reach them. Additionally, Guilbault explains that,

“Music is central to Hispanic lifestyle and culture as well, as there is a strong connection to their favorite music artists. Pandora-streaming audio is critical to reach this target segment, while terrestrial radio provides a local connection by aligning with trusted and active Spanish-Language DJs in the market.”

However you decide to address this large and growing market, it’s important that you do so in a thoughtful and strategic way.

Are you actively marketing to Hispanic customers today? In what ways? Tweet us @GetSquadle and let us know.