Marketing Segmentation Variables Employed by Darden Restaurants Targeting the Sit-Down Dining Market

723 Words Nov 25th, 2013 3 Pages
Marketing Segmentation Variables Employed by Darden Restaurants Targeting the Sit-Down Dining Market

Darden Restaurants serve more than 400 million meals every year in more than 1,800 restaurants across the United States. Bringing in over $7 billion of revenue per year, Darden Restaurants strategically target different consumer demographics based on several segmentation variables to achieve the high level of market share they take pride in. For those reasons and more, the multi-brand restaurant operator CEO, Clarence Otis, claims that his company’s successes are never due to luck, or chance but strategy and marketing intelligence instead. Marketing Segmentation is the concept of dividing and subdividing a market along mutual
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Some might argue how fancy these chains truly are, but looking at a typical US demographic through a macro lens, the typical Darden consumers tend to be higher-middle class. The economic environment of the past few years has tightened consumer dining-out budgets but demand for the three Darden chains has been more or less maintained at a desirable point with the help of promotions, coupons, special meals, etc. As far as race/ethnicity is concerned, Darden targets the European-American, Pseudo-Italian, and generally culturally-aware demographics by offering an authentic Italian cuisine, a fresh variety of grilled and fried seafood, and finally steaks that fire up one’s southern taste buds. Darden’s use of segmentation marketing does not simply end at demographics however. Psychographic or Lifestyle Segmentation goes along way with Darden’s chains as each one caters for a typical consumer taste/behavior. The most prominent lifestyle targeted by Darden efforts is the “healthy/nutritiously-aware” consumer that would only consider Darden’s restaurants for the well-known healthy use of olive oil at the Olive Garden, the taste of wood-grilled seafood at the Red Lobster or other cuisines under Darden’s Specialty Group, like Seasons 52 for example. Darden’s portfolio expands into other restaurants much like Seasons 52 which is known to offer dishes less than 475 calories. As the case indicates, the Red Lobster brand was

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