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.
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
Major restaurant chains had no choice but to flex their off-premises muscle when COVID-19 hit. As discussed in a previous post, bigger proved to be better during the pandemic, as large chains were able to rely on and build out their already well-developed delivery, takeout and drive-thru capabilities. Digital ordering linked consumers to foodservice with contactless ease and became a lifeline that made the difference in whether operations sank or swam in a rising tide of restrictions and infection rates.
The tide may be turning, but it can still be a struggle for operators to keep their head above water. Despite a surge of government funding for restaurant relief, rising vaccination rates and receding restrictions, 39% of restaurants—about 2 out of every 5—couldn’t cover their June rents, according to survey data from the lead generation platform Alignable.1
Restaurants are hungry to return to normal—and while “normal” may be a thing of the past as the aftershocks of the pandemic continue to transform foodservice, operators are already getting a taste of a business boost.