1. Using the full spectrum of segmentation variables, describe how Darden segments and targets the sit-down dining market. The types of segmentation include geographic, demographic, psychographic, and behavioral segmentation. For geographic segmentation, Darden has all of its Longhorn Steakhouse restaurants in the eastern half of the United States but they are trying to expand to the west coast. This is a great idea because out west is an untapped market with great potential for lots of earnings.
Darden has a chance to redefine the image of steakhouses as is currently being done like the classiness that is being added to the brand. The customer traffic is increasing and Longhorn Steakhouse could potentially even overtake Outback Steakhouse as the premier steakhouse type of restaurant. For demographic segmentation, Red Lobster represents the opportunity Darden has to fill the gap between the young fast food concept and the upscale white-tablecloth restaurants.
Red lobster is even making many changes to accommodate for the changing times around America which is causing sales to fall. With innovative concepts such as wood fired grilling resulting in a “taste of wood-grilled seafood” and investments in equipment and training, Darden is putting itself back in the spotlight to becoming recognized and respected. You can also never go wrong with fried shrimp so Red Lobster will always have that marketing card to play.
The Psychographic segmentation is shown by how people want to feel positive emotions when they go out to restaurants such as the concept of a happy family and namely the mythical Italian family. Customers want to feel emotionally satisfied as much as they want to be physically satisfied by the food. Creating an authentic menu hits close to home because people get that warm and happy feeling when they see the authenticity. Even Olive Garden’s commercial “When you’re here, you’re family” and slogan show the feelings of connection that Americans want to feel and would be willing to come in for.
Behavioral segmentation is shown in how less frequently Americans want to sit down at restaurants to eat their meals. With all of our financial constraints we are choosing different and more cost effective ways to eat out and have a good time with the family. Darden needs to use more cost effective ways to lower the meal prices so that family’s will once again be willing to eat out at a sit down restaurant on a regular basis.