Typecasts and Stereotypes – Is it perception or is it reality?

Taco Bell Cracker Barrel-10

The restaurant industry is sometimes typecast. Certain long-standing franchises have fought hard to become beacons for their audiences. Taco Bell has courted the youth of America for years. Partnering with everyone from gaming platforms to mountain dew, to X-Games athletes. Even creating their one eating occasion for those whippersnappers partying well after normal eating hours. Conversely, Cracker Barrel has always been your grandparents' go-to spot. Even saying the name out loud elicits memories of rocking chairs, biscuits, and those puzzle games with the golf tees.

Well, this all got us interested to see if the visitation matched the outward appearances of it all. Here are a couple of things that we expected and some that really surprised us.

Taco Bell: There is more than meets the eye

When we track Taco Bell’s visitation against its closest competition, it is easy to see that Taco Bell is, in fact, the leader when it comes to Gen Z (the youngest segment tracked in this report).

What is surprising, their second largest segment by visitation isn’t Millennials or Gen-Xers, it’s actually what we segmented as Steady Boomers - late tech adopting, automotive loving, middle-class Baby Boomers living in the suburbs.

Cracker Barrel: It’s funny because it is true

Well in Cracker Barrel’s case, it is super true. We are talking about aggressively true. We searched as far and wide as we could and when it comes to Elderly Retirees only Olive Garden and Texas Roadhouse were even close. So all hail Cracker Barrel. Their reign certainly continues.

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