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.
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.
It’s no secret that top restaurant brands like Domino’s and McDonald’s navigated the pandemic more nimbly than small operations, which often ate heavy losses due to a lack of robust off-premises channels. Expedited by the ease and convenience of digital ordering, takeout, delivery and drive-thru service all proved to be powerful revenue engines for major players when in-store traffic slowed to a crawl or came to a screeching halt.
Looking for a return to “normal” in the foodservice industry as COVID-19 retreats? Even as restrictions are lifted and vaccination rates rise, the far-reaching impact of the pandemic—and the innovations it made necessary—continue to reshape the foodservice landscape.
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.
Topics: Noncommercial, Promotions, Marketing & Communications, Family Restaurant, Takeout, Regional, Business & Industry, Commercial, Quick Service Restaurant, Casual Dining Restaurant, Fine Dining, Delivery, National, Local, Beverages, Main Dishes, Lunch, Dinner, Single-Serve, Family, Freshness, Grab-and-Go, Foodservice Industry, Menu, Customer Experience, Consumer, Menu Strategy, Product Quality & Safety, Social Responsibility, Sustainability, Food & Beverage, Health & Wellness, Packaging, Sales & Profitability, Delivery App, Drive-Thru, Consumers, COVID-19, Coronavirus, Curbside Pickup, Fast-Casual Restaurant, Off-Premises, Consumer Behavior, Sandwiches/Burgers, Design, Digital/Online Ordering, Third-Party Delivery (3PD), Safety & Sanitation, Mobile App, Outdoor Dining, Waste Reduction, Touchless, On-Premises