Understanding the “New Normal” of Dining Commerce
The COVID-19 economy sweepstakes have a clear winner: groceries.
What only a year ago was a tiny slice of the food industry pie has surged to become the big tuna. As fine dining nosedives and home chefs proliferate it is clear that consumers are spending differently during COVID.
This graph by Visual Capitalist is one slice of the story, consumers have left restaurant dining en masse and embarked into the world of grocery delivery to assuage corona fears. A small sample size among friends and family likely supports this data. Across all age and income brackets, many Americans have not set foot into a dining establishment since early 2020.
Instead, grocery apps like Instacart, as well as product specific companies which may specialize in one sector like Ugly Delicious, and Omaha Steaks, are the power players in a time and space where the promise of safety and reorientation around fears of leaving home life is worth a premium.
Because of the devastating effect on the economy, takeout and meal delivery kits have also seen a droop in sales, even as companies do more than ever to invest in these options and ensure a safe experience. “Experience” itself is being redefined, in favor of trying out new hobbies like baking, or experimenting with new dishes.
The next wave of dining experience will hinge on two things: perceived safety, and affordability.
The New Normal
“The New Normal” is tossed around by many data scientists when they look at the broader trends arising from these last few months of consumer data.
In “The New Normal”, restaurants are decentralized in the meal plan, but even as over 60% of restaurants have reopened for reservations, venue dining is still in decline.
For restaurants, the challenge is quickly becoming how to stay relevant in both a minimalist economic and social atmosphere.
Staying in the Game
How will restaurants survive in the wake of falling demand? There are three options: appeal to more customers, increase prices, or lower expenses.
Maybe you’ve considered using restaurant-to-consumer delivery services, which bite vast chunks out of an already shoestring budget. Perhaps you’re doing menu simplification and more curbside delivery than ever before, or have swung in the opposite direction, offering dry goods to bolster the customer’s pantry. You have likely invested resources in more cleaning. But often the best innovations are the simplest solutions.
Your best bet is finding ways to cut costs without cutting corners. Essentialware’s prices are 30% lower than OEM pricing for Teflon, and the trusted industry standard for proprietary QSR Teflon.
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