Off-premises dining now comprises a larger portion of overall sales than it did pre-pandemic in all six major restaurant segments (family dining, casual dining, fine dining, quick service, fast casual, and coffee and snack).1 No doubt, the demand for takeout will remain strong in the coming months as summer temperatures and higher vaccination rates prompt consumers to seek a convenient way to dine outside—and take leftovers home.
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The challenges of 2020, including business closures and social distancing guidelines, catapulted the demand for takeout and delivery to new heights over the past year—and may have forever changed consumers’ relationship with the foodservice industry. Indeed, more than half (53%) of consumers surveyed by the National Restaurant Association say takeout and delivery have become "essential to the way they live.”1
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Operators have increasingly turned to limited time offers in recent years to entice customers and spur sales. In fact, Technomic research indicates that LTO launches among the biggest 500 chain restaurant and retail operations grew 64% from 2014 to 2019.1
Topics: Merchandising, Promotions, Independents, Family Restaurant, Takeout, Quick Service Restaurant, Casual Dining Restaurant, Delivery, National, Custards/Cheesecakes, Cookies/Bars/Snacks, Ice Cream Desserts, Main Dishes, Dessert, Chocolate, CHIPS AHOY!, OREO, Cookies, Dessert Ingredients, Grab-and-Go, Convenience, Foodservice Industry, Menu, Creative Inspiration, Customer Experience, Consumer, Flavors & Ingredients, Menu Strategy, Food & Beverage, Packaging, Sales & Profitability, Drive-Thru, COVID-19, Coronavirus, Curbside Pickup, Fast-Casual Restaurant, Branded Ingredients, Flavor Profiles, Consumer Behavior, Indulgence, Limited Time Offers (LTOs), Dips/Spreads/Sauces, Sandwiches/Burgers, Prepackaged, Nostalgia
“Simpler is better” seems to be the mantra of foodservice these days. The pandemic has not only put prevention center of plate, but also it has created a hunger for optimal convenience as consumers seek safe and simple options to address their foodservice needs.
Curbside pickup may have seemed like a pitstop on the road to a post-pandemic return to normal, but it continues to gain ground as a viable off-premises channel. Popular for its safety and convenience (allowing consumers to leave their homes and consume their food in the safe haven of their homes or cars), curbside pickup is becoming an entrenched pattern of behavior that's likely to continue after the outbreak subsides.
According to the market research firm Technomic, 40% of consumers surveyed have used curbside pickup during the pandemic, and 66% expect to continue using it once dine-in service returns.1 “While curbside pickup may have been introduced as a temporary solution during the pandemic, there is demand for this service long term as consumers become accustomed to it,” Technomic reports.2 As a result, curbside pickup is an area of opportunity for foodservice establishments. “Operators can consider whether or not they plan to offer curbside and, if so, invest in the service.”2