Deloitte: The Restaurant of the Future Arrives Ahead of Schedule
NEW YORK, Oct. 26, 2020 /PRNewswire/ --
Why this matters
This study is based on two surveys of restaurant customers from December 2019 and June 2020, as well as interviews with executives from quick service restaurants (QSR), fast casual and casual dining brands. It examines new consumer demands amid the pandemic and how the restaurant industry is rebounding and preparing for long-term growth.
Convenience is the main ingredient driving restaurant demand
Millennials (ages 23 to 39) and Gen X (ages 40 to 55) are leading the way in placing delivery orders (65% and 61%, respectively for delivery, and 76% and 77%, respectively for takeout). And generally, they are willing to pay for that added convenience, so long as it meets their expectations. Consumers consider a $4 delivery fee, on average, to be fair for this level of convenience. However, they still expect their food to be ready in a timely fashion, as three-quarters of consumers (75%) consider 30 minutes or less a reasonable wait time. Only 1 in 5 (20%) consider it realistic to wait up to 45 minutes for their meal. Knowing the importance of minimal wait times, restaurants are exploring new and innovative ways to better serve customers. For example, almost two-thirds (62%) of customers are willing to pick up food from a location other than the restaurant itself, like a delivery hub. In addition, 44% of consumers would order delivery of uncooked meals they finish preparing at home.
Diners savor a cohesive digital experience
Consumers' preference for online ordering has many restaurants worried about the consistency of their brand experience, when third-party vendors are used, causing them to consider taking back ownership of the experience. Not only does complete ownership of the ordering and delivery experience help to maintain control of the brand, it also gives the restaurant direct access to customer marketing and data to inform digital and loyalty programs. In the meantime, until restaurants can secure total ownership, social media presents a strong opportunity for restaurants to build brand loyalty, interact with diners and drive growth as 48% of consumers follow a restaurant or food brand's account, and 21% have selected a restaurant based on a social media post.
As restaurants look to appeal to the digital experience, they may leverage technologies like driverless or drone delivery, which 40% of consumers would consider for delivery of their food. Additionally, ghost kitchens are rising in popularity as more than half (56%) are willing to order from a restaurant without a customer-facing storefront. Regardless of the channel, restaurants will have to present a cohesive but contextual digital experience to keep customers engaged.
- Jean Chick, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and U.S. restaurant and food service leader
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