The past year has seen massive changes not just to food consumer behaviour – but every aspect of our lives. The shift to online, with click and deliver services becoming ever more important has impacted nearly every industry, with restaurants and hospitality being no exception.
Food franchises miraculously pivoted on the spot to keep up with these sudden new demands. However, the growth of digitisation hasn’t been the only change in consumer behaviour. From healthy eating to eco-conscious diners and quick prepare meals, here are the five most important trends for today’s food delivery and restaurant franchises.
1. The growth of digitisation
Whilst footfall was once the main driver of restaurant visits – consumers are now firmly digital. The majority of diners (a whopping 90%) research online before deciding where to eat. This is usually a combination of search engines, reviews, social media (Instagram being particularly important) and a restaurant’s menu.
With all this in mind, make sure you’re using search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques for your website and social media content. Keep your takeaway website and marketing channels up to date with opening times and menus, and don’t forget those all-important reviews.
2. The transition to “click and deliver”
Following the growth of digitisation, one of the most noticeable recent trends has been the massive shift to online food delivery platforms. Click and deliver services and virtual food brands are fast becoming the new norm.
As reported by the BBC, nearly a quarter of people are spending more on online food delivery than ever before. Prior to Covid, UK personal spending was roughly £38 per month on home deliveries – but between spring 2020 and 2021 individual spending reached £53.
Put simply, if your restaurant franchise isn’t using online delivery platforms – you’ll be missing out on profits. So what are you waiting for!?
3. Increased demand for quick service
Today’s diners are time-starved and convenience seeking. Expediency is a key factor for consumers, especially Millennials and Gen Z accustomed to on-demand services.
The rise of home working has often meant longer hours (juggling both professional and family demands). For those still in the office, fast and reliable food delivery is perhaps even more vital to fit into time-pressured lunch breaks.
Delivery food franchises that can provide both quick and delicious meals will meet this increasing need.
4. Health-conscious eating habits
In the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, consumers are more aware of their health. Indeed, health is the biggest motivation for people wanting to improve their diet, with 63% of people citing this as their primary driver.
Consequently, restaurants and delivery platforms are increasingly providing information on nutritional values and health benefits of their dishes. If you’re implementing these changes, think about aspects such as salt content and saturated fats that consumers are looking for.
You can also appeal to conscientious consumers by advertising takeaway dishes with local, organic and GMO-free ingredients.
5. The rising importance of sustainability
With the impacts of global warming dominating the headlines – sustainability is key.
Consumers actively consider the ethics of the restaurant franchise they are visiting. This includes sustainable farming practices, sourcing locally grown ingredients whenever possible, as well as Fairtrade certifications and RSPCA-assured meats. Even massive corporations such as MacDonald’s now advertise sustainably sourced food, environmental and recycling schemes.
By catering to this rising consumer trend, you’ll not only improve the quality of your food – but support fellow small businesses in the process. Sustainability even impacts the takeaway packaging you’re using for food delivery – so make sure this is reusable or compostable, and let consumers know!
Want to stay up to date with the latest trends and information on today’s hospitality industry? For restaurant franchises, ghost kitchen brands and food delivery, take a look at the Peckwater Brands blog for all the inspiration and advice you need to grow your business.