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Is hospitality giving consumers what they want?

It’s almost been an entire year since Covid altered life as we knew it. A lot has changed during this time including consumers’ eating habits, attitudes and behaviours. These developments present an opportunity for hospitality brands to examine how they can tailor their services and marketing in alignment with recent trends to ultimately fulfil the evolving requirements of consumers.

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To better understand what is happening not just in hospitality, but what the consumer is looking for, what the consumer is eating and perhaps what the future of food delivery may look like, Deliveroo recently conducted a client survey, with interesting findings:

Eating Habits
  • 65% of customers expressed that they have been spending more on takeaways to give themselves something to look forward to.
  • 50% of customers admitted to ordering restaurant 'meal kits' as a treat, with Friday night being the most popular time for such orders.
  • With 'home schooling' and lack of child care, 43% of parents said that they had less free time than before the pandemic, and so, delivery services were vital.
  • Whilst burgers, fried chicken, pizza, Indian or Chinese attracted the most orders during lockdown, there was also demand for cuisines typically found in cities and urban areas – like Korean, Vietnamese and Mexican - amongst those who live in suburban areas where delivery for such meals is not always available.

It is clear that consumers are gravitating towards food delivery. During the third quarter of 2020, there were £46.4m food delivery orders in the UK, representing an increase of 43% over the same period in 2019. Many brands appear to be making the most of this, with Deliveroo reporting that around 20,000 new UK restaurant partners joined their platform in 2020.

Still whilst there has been a boom in take-out, dining indoors at a restaurant or bar was revealed to be amongst the top three activities that people are most eager to get back to according to a McKinsey Survey taken in November 2020, highlighting that restaurants and bars are missed.

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Healthy Attitudes

Understandably health has been on people’s minds in the past year, with a recent study by Global Web Index (GWI) revealing that 48% of respondents have been eating healthier to help their mental health and wellbeing during the pandemic. Similarly, Mintel findings reveal that 30% of adults have placed greater emphasis on healthy eating since the start of the outbreak and more people are becoming interested in food and drinks that promote good immune health. Should restaurants highlight the healthier dishes on their menus?

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Mindful Behaviour

As well as health, the environment also seems to be on consumers’ minds. In their Connecting the Dots 2021 report, GWI reveals that 51% of their global respondents indicated that they want brands to be eco-friendlier, with 59% planning to reduce food waste, while 46% plan to buy more from sustainable/eco-friendly brands.

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Consumers want to support businesses during these challenging times, in fact 80% of Deliveroo customers expressed that they’re keen to support local businesses. But consumers want brands to care too. For example, more than half of GWI respondents stated that they are interested in seeing brands support people during Covid and 41% want to see brands supporting social causes in general. Showing consumers that you care about the environment and what’s going on within it is crucial now more than ever!

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