Home Blog Technology enables unprecedented convenience for restaurant customers

The NPD Group Blog

Insights and Opinions From Analysts and Experts in More Than 20 Industries

Dec 12, 2017

Foodservice Convenience At The Speed Of Light


Foodservice

I have been in the foodservice industry, actually working in the industry and later watching the industry, for a real long time.  For a bunch of those years I have worked in other countries, watching their foodservice markets, and can say without fear of contradiction that there are differences across all those countries, but the huge reason why consumers around the world use foodservice is universal. It’s convenient (or, they’re lazy…six of one…).  By using foodservice, consumers don’t need to cook or prepare a meal or even a snack for themselves. 

Although the need for convenience hasn’t changed since the advent of foodservice, the meaning of it has. Technology has enabled an unprecedented level of convenience for foodservice consumers. With a few scrolls, taps, and clicks, they can get what they want, when and where they want it, with great speed. Digitating the market — mobile ordering, delivery, apps, order kiosks, the internet — is growing rapidly in foodservice markets across all CREST® countries.  It has been the one thing that has grown consistently in this decade of good and bad news around the world. The foodservice markets in Great Britain and the U.S. were flat (or nearly) last quarter while traffic driven by mobile ordering was up 32 percent in Great Britain and 50 percent in the U.S.  Although still a small behavior, mobile ordering is growing quickly and has a huge runway.

Digitization will continue to grow for the simple reason that consumers have come to expect it; and although it’s currently a really small behavior, we can be confident that usage won’t go below zero.  What was considered handy yesterday will be considered cumbersome tomorrow from the consumer’s point of view.

The meaning of ease of ordering and speed will be redefined as technology improves and is applied.  It’s no longer a choice for foodservice operators to offer digital ordering.  Doing it well is table stakes. 

I like everything about how global foodservice markets have embraced technology to improve the experience for consumers.  Whether it’s mobile apps, cashless restaurants, drone delivery or pizza making robot trucks, the aggressive testing and deployment of new technologies says to me that, regardless of the challenges the foodservice sector faces, it is a vibrant marketplace that puts customer satisfaction front and center.  If the chief benefit of foodservice is convenience, then enhancing it through technology can only improve its value proposition to customers and the economy!


Stay current in your industry
SUBSCRIBE

Related Blog Posts


Breakfast Is Sunny Side Up
Breakfast Is Sunny Side Up

Breakfast at restaurants and foodservice outlets has shown consistent traffic growth over the last several years. The only foodservice meal with year-over-year growth.

France: A Restaurant’s Interior Design Is Just as Important as What’s on the Menu
France: A Restaurant’s Interior Design Is Just as Important as What’s on the Menu

The NPD Group’s foodservice industry expert for Europe and Russia offers insight on the importance of interior design in today’s restaurants

UK: Driven by technology and convenience, British foodservice industry visits fall as consumers increasingly prefer ‘off-premise’ dining options
UK: Driven by technology and convenience, British foodservice industry visits fall as consumers increasingly prefer ‘off-premise’ dining options

Dominic Allport, UK’s Insight Director for market research company, The NPD Group, provides insight into expectations for the British foodservice industry through the end of 2020.

In 2018, Russian Consumers Sought Value When Dining Out
In 2018, Russian Consumers Sought Value When Dining Out

In Russia, throughout most of 2018 there was a noticeable shift in consumer behavior around eating out, with the average individual check in foodservice was virtually flat compared to the same time period in 2017, while the average price per item on the menu increased.

Subscribe to our blog

Newsletter

Subscribe and get key market trends and insights relevant to your industry each month.

We will not sell your information. View privacy notice.

Follow Us

© The NPD Group, Inc.