Consumer demand for convenience seems to be picking up more and more speed in the foodservice industry. According to Mintel’s Foodservice Trends 2018, a quarter of consumers surveyed are dining out because they just don’t have the time to cook at home.1 What’s more, the shift away from traditional office environments to a remote workforce could help drive demand for all-day dining and delivery, especially with nearly one in 10 survey participants dining out to work remotely.2
As competition heats up, labor costs rise and demand for quick, convenient snack and meal options grows, operators across segments are turning to technology for solutions. The faster and more efficiently they can serve customers, the more robust the bottom line is likely to be. High tech, higher check average, lower costs seems a suitable mantra for foodservice operators in the digital age.
In the age of grab-and-go, when millennials demand foodservice operators cater to the need for speed in their busy lifestyles, self-service kiosks seem to be just what the foodservice customer ordered. Grab-and-go was bound to give way to tap-and-go, an even-more-streamlined ordering process for the $230 billion fast-food industry, where young customers are putting ever-greater emphasis on “fast.”1
A case in point is the Asia Pacific region. In the second offering of Food Industry Asia’s Lunch Series held in Singapore last year, global market intelligence agency Mintel identified four overarching trends that it anticipates will help drive food and drink consumption in the region in the coming years.1 Gleaned from the work of more than 100 Mintel analysts with a global reach across the food, drink and foodservice industries, the trends were parsed in a presentation by Avanthi Ravindran, senior trend and innovation consultant at Mintel South-East Asia and India.1
2016 was a whirlwind of on-the-go snacking, clean label watching, better-for-you branding and millennial menu-innovation mania. No surprise, then, that those in the know forecast flux for the new year.
A feast of devices and digital marketing channels has created a feeding frenzy for marketers hungry to reach new customers and retain existing ones. As we explored in “Marketing on the Menu,” digital marketing is a must-or-bust proposition for today’s restaurant operations. To keep pace with a digitally accelerating marketing environment filled with digitally savvy consumers, you need to capitalize on the foodservice trend of tapping into tech and get a handle on what it brings to the table.
Before you can whet people’s appetite for your menu, you need to grab their attention—and that involves marketing. But with so many promotions circulating through today’s amazing array of marketing channels, from social (a huge smorgasbord in itself) and mobile to print and broadcast—it’s hard to keep pace with trends and zero in on what works best.
For foodservice operators hungry for growth and higher margins, riding the e‑commerce wave can be very appealing. But understanding e‑commerce, its potential and pitfalls, is essential if you don’t want to come up empty, or worse, in a hole of wasted time and money.
Instagram has more than arrived; it’s dominating. As a leading social media outlet, its ever-growing user base offers operators like you seemingly unlimited reach to interact with customers past, present and future.
In today’s digital world, you can no longer afford to wait days or weeks to answer customer complaints. Empowered and emboldened through social media, customers expect immediate resolution to their concerns.