Food Aficionado Smart Brief: Volume 13
Welcome back to another edition of The Food Aficionado Smart Brief! Now years into the pandemic, there are still thousands of people who are “self-isolating” or are stuck at home. Although it may occasionally feel like people are going out to restaurants again and are returning to some form of “normal,” there are still many lasting effects. Specifically, when it comes to food, people had to cook for themselves or order in frequently, something that has continued through today.
3 Things The Pandemic Has Taught Us About Eating at Home 1. Cooking at Home Isn't Going Anywhere A recent study has found that 92% of families are aiming to continue, if not increase at-home dining. During the pandemic, 65% of people cooked at home more frequently as well. There are countless statistics leading to the overall idea that people started cooking at home much more during the pandemic, and that concept doesn't seem to be going anywhere. As restaurant owners, this is extremely important to realize. The average number of customers per week is not likely to skyrocket back to pre-pandemic numbers and we need to be prepared for it! There are still plenty of ways to not only sell your meals but also connect with your customers. Meal prep kits are a golden ticket to customers, with this specific industry absolutely taking off over the past year. These subscription service providers aren't the only ones who can offer pre-made or meal-prep boxes. Restaurants are more than welcome to jump on this massive trend, subscription-based or not. Families are looking for quick and easy meals that they can make at home. You may not have to sell an entire week's worth of pre-made meals, but maybe even sell fruit for a smoothie, or oats for protein balls. Whatever it may be, restaurants must understand that cooking at home is a trend that doesn't have to hurt your business but help it.
2. Fresh Produce is Extremely Precious Before the pandemic, it was 100% possible to stop in a grocery store for fresh produce everyday if you wanted. Although this may still be technically possible if you are healthy and safe, the task of going to the grocery store more than once per week has dramatically decreased. It's even more of a pain now to go grocery shopping, thus fresh food is becoming more rare in households. This could be a major point of emphasis for restaurants and food-businesses alike. Looking at the marketing side of things, if you have fresh ingredients, scream and shout that you have daily fresh produce, it will attract customers to leave their house for your food. Freshness has always been a selling point, but it's truly becoming a powerhouse marketing tool. In addition, potentially offering the sale of certain produce at your restaurant could be a key to getting business even with customers cooking at home more. Lastly, with food delivery soaring, something to keep an eye on is that grocery deliveries are now shaping the industry as well.
3. Food Delivery is Only Advancing Every week, more and more people are ordering food online. Whether this is grocery deliveries, or the more common meal delivery, eating at home is growing. The act of going to a restaurant has become more of a celebratory moment than an every-week action. All forms of food deliveries are up, from third-party services to restaurants themselves. Pre-pandemic, this industry was growing at 3-4%, but now it has doubled to >8% annual growth. Restaurant owners must be aware of these facts. Customers may want to get out and go to a restaurant, but it's simply becoming rarer and rarer. With the rapid evolution of food delivery services, many people are comfortable staying at home and ordering in (if they aren't doing the cooking themselves). For you, make sure that you have a seamless ordering system, capabilities to deliver, or a third party that handles your deliveries.