How to Better Attract Latinos & Hispanics to Restaurants

By Rob Coven | November 9, 2011

Restaurants who are looking to attract Latino or Hispanic customers would be better off by providing food and service geared toward families especially those with young children.  Remember Hispanics do things more as a family than non-Hispanics and they are a young demographic.  They also have larger families.

Market to LatinosThe latest findings from NPD’s CREST Hispanic foodservice market research showed that 42 percent of restaurant visits by Hispanic/Latino customers included children, compared with 30 percent of restaurant visits from non-Hispanic customers.  This says a lot about how Hispanics think.  It is not taboo for them to bring children to restaurants and let them act as children.

“Hispanic restaurant consumers tell us that they would visit restaurants more if they make children feel welcome,” said Michele Schmal, vice president of product management for NPD’s foodservice division.  Many restaurants give off a vibe suggesting children are either not welcome or that they must behave like saints.   This attitude is not welcoming to the Latino community.

“Language also matters in reaching this market,” Schmal said. “Restaurant operators and food manufacturers would do well to focus marketing to Hispanics around the family and children.”  How this is done is key.  Bilingual menus, Spanish speaking restaurant staff, advertising in Spanish and a presence in Latino communities all will dramatically increase this community’s interest in frequenting a restaurant.  Minor expense for potentially large returns.  The key as always is to make them feel welcome and wanted.

Among Hispanic consumers, those who speak more Spanish than English tended to visit restaurants with children slightly more often than bilingual or English-dominant Hispanics. Spanish-dominant Hispanics included their children in 43 percent of their restaurant visits, compared with 41 percent of restaurant visits for bilingual customers and 42 percent for English-dominant Hispanics.

Rob Coven is president and founder of Market To Latinos an online, Spanish language based, marketing and consulting company. He has been working and living with the Spanish speaking and Latino community since 1984. He writes blogs and shares important articles and research on the Spanish speaking population in the U.S. and abroad. Call Rob at 706-850-7555 or

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