A five-decade-long increase in the number of working women -- from 32 percent in 1948 to 60 percent in 1999 -- has stalled out at around 59 percent as of January 2008. Harry Balzer of NPD Group says it's because more women began choosing to stay at home and watch their children. As a result, there is less money for restaurants combined with fewer women feeling like they needed restaurants to serve family meals.
In response, Bennigan's is now "offering children's books, Etch A Sketch toys and handheld video games to appeal to women who bring their children. The chain is also creating salads and healthier combo meals for the moms," while promoting items that are hard to prepare at home.
KFC, meanwhile, has created a website that lets moms print-out the accouterments of restaurant dining -- KFC placemats and word games -- as well as "custom-design an at-home dinner meal" using various KFC items. KFC's chief marketing officer, James O'Reilly, says the site, bringbackdinner.com, builds on the insight that moms tend to go online "to find dinner solutions."
Last year we began to notice that the number of female participants in our focus groups who had left the workforce to raise their children has grown significantly.
What an opportunity for creative retailers! Try Mommy and Me classes & crops and host in-store events that attract families. Moms are always on the look out for creative and educational outlets for their kids. Host Ladies Nights, too. Time-starved and stressed out moms need pampering!