The link between digital innovation and revenue generation has become stronger than ever, thanks to the pandemic-propelled surge in off-premises business. To streamline ordering, payments, and takeout and delivery, foodservice operators served up a feast of mobile apps and other digital customer service capabilities.
As debates about vaccination rates and the impact of the Delta variant of COVID-19 continue, major restaurant brands are feasting on profits. In particular, the fast food and fast casual segments are picking up speed in the race to regain revenue lost during the pandemic. In some cases, sales are soaring past pre-pandemic levels.
Over the past year and a half, operators have addressed emerging pandemic-related consumer preference, safety and other needs by introducing innovative menu and operational changes—and a number have shown some staying power.
Topics: Technology, Promotions, Marketing & Communications, Mobile, Independents, Family Restaurant, Takeout, Business & Industry, Quick Service Restaurant, Casual Dining Restaurant, Ice Cream/Yogurt Shop, Delivery, Meal Kits, Donuts/Pancakes/Waffles, Cookies/Bars/Snacks, Ice Cream Desserts, Cakes/Cupcakes, Breakfast, Dessert, Snack, Holidays, Chocolate, CHIPS AHOY!, OREO, Family, Cookies, Dessert Ingredients, Grab-and-Go, Labor, Convenience, Foodservice Industry, Menu, Creative Inspiration, Customer Experience, Consumer, Flavors & Ingredients, Menu Strategy, Food & Beverage, Sales & Profitability, COVID-19, Coronavirus, Curbside Pickup, Fast-Casual Restaurant, Off-Premises, Consumer Behavior, Value, Limited Time Offers (LTOs), Nostalgia, Digital/Online Ordering, Touchless, On-Premises, Foodservice, Sweet, Fresh
Even as the road to recovery opens up, the pandemic continues to have its twists and turns for foodservice operators. The light at the end of the tunnel has turned into a summer swell of foot traffic returning to restaurants. With restrictions lifting as the temperature rises, consumers seem more likely to make reservations than have reservations about dining in.
As the chicken sandwich wars continue to reach new heights, it was inevitable that they would dovetail with another major foodservice trend: plant-based chicken. Protein alternatives in the category could rise fast in the pecking order of chicken sandwiches, given high demand for foods that are both flavorful and functional—a combination that COVID-19 has brought to the front burner of foodservice.