• MHTavakoli

Is coronavirus a blessing or a curse for the foodservice industry?!

Updated: Feb 28

(Time to read: Less than 3 minutes)

Category: Foodservice Industry Trends

The National Restaurant Association has recently published its 2021 report revealing the damage done by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The horrifying impact of coronavirus not only did influence foodservice industry sales but also sacked millions of jobs across the globe. In the U.S. alone, around 2.5 million jobs were lost during the pandemic and the expected level of sales dropped to US$655 billion from an anticipated level of US$900 billion in 2020 (roughly US$250 billion loss). In a related vein, more than 110,000 eateries and drinking places in the U.S. were shut down permanently or temporarily in 2020. Needless to say, restaurants were hit greater than any other industry in the course of the pandemic and they have the toughest way to make up for losses and revamp their businesses.

On the other hand, believing in “for every bad thing in life, there are more good things to tip the balance” paves the way for us to solve the puzzle in this situation; to see whether coronavirus is a blessing or a curse!

During the pandemic, officials and locals mandated the development of contactless and off-premises services. Giant foodservice companies and start-ups came hand in hand to tackle the problem in an attempt to streamline the contactless and off-premises capabilities of many restaurants across all segments. As a result, the pandemic brought about widespread adoption of contactless technologies among groups of restaurants that were unlikely to conform and respect such technologies otherwise.

Based on a survey of 6,000 restaurant operators and 1,000 adult consumers, the 2021 State of the Restaurant Industry report concluded that customers were less concerned about vegan or gluten-free categories of food on the menu during the pandemic. However, the availability of alcohol to-go with takeout orders and the presence of comfort foods and/or healthier dishes play a significant role when it comes to restaurant-choice criteria. Moreover, customers are welcoming bundled meals and meal kits on the menu as a new way of enjoying their food at home.

Here are some promising statistics during the pandemic:

  • 68% of consumers are more likely to order takeout than before the pandemic

  • 53% of consumers state that takeout and delivery are essential to their current lifestyle

  • 64% of customers prefer to place their order directly on the restaurant’s page/application and only 18% tend to place their order via a third-party service

With respect to the fast-changing trends, especially during the pandemic, more restaurants are embracing new technologies to keep up with the pace of change. Menu digitization is the utmost essential tool that lets restaurant owners accommodate new menu trends in a matter of minutes. Fooreco offers a digital menu platform that can be readily changed and updated in real-time from a web portal; no download or installation is required.

Your restaurant can reduce its costs by providing the digital menu as a default option while keeping guests and staff safe. Furthermore, by hosting your digital menu through Fooreco, our machine learning technology will be able to recommend your restaurant to customers searching for places that match your criteria and taste profile.

The 2021 State of the Restaurant Industry report was conducted by the National Restaurant Association.