Native Grill & Wings, Whataburger work to grow business with Hispanic consumers

Jun 15, 2016

The average percentage of Hispanic customers at Native Grill & Wings locations is 31 percent, with some locations as high as 83 percent. So, appealing to Hispanic customers was a no brainer for this 30-unit chain with restaurants in Arizona, Texas, Montana and South Dakota.

“We are all about producing the right thing to the right demographics, “ said Cynthia Velasco, marketing manager for Native Grill & Wings.

Hispanic customers NPD surveyed said they aren’t finding enough of the flavors they crave on menus. Respondents said they are seeking more citrus (lemon/lime, orange), a Mexican/Latin/Spanish flavor influence, cilantro, jalapeño, chocolate, healthful options, and hot and spicy flavors. Hispanic customers also indicated that they are not happy with the choices and quality of beverages on menus.

Native Grill & Wings has long targeted menu items that appeal to Hispanic customers’ tastes, such as Jalapeño Wings, Habanero Mango Wings and Honey Chipotle Wings, and continues to keep Hispanic consumers top of mind when testing new products.

While the right food and good service is key, also playing an important role for Hispanic restaurant-goers are children, NPD found. In the year ended December 2015, 43 percent of restaurant visits made by “English-oriented” Hispanics were parties with children and 42 percent of visits made by Spanish-oriented Hispanic were parties with children, compared to just 30 percent for non-Hispanics.

“Knowing they are family oriented … the flavors they wants to see … provides a lot of opportunity to attract them,” said Riggs.

In an effort to appeal to Hispanic families, in January, Native Grill & Wings launched Feast Mode, family-sized meals featuring a large Caesar salad, a whole pizza, and a choice of wings, chicken strips or boneless chicken. Since launching the meal deals, the chain says it has definitely seen an increase in sales.

“We’ve always been good with big groups. We figured it was finally time we put it on the menu,” said Velasco.

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