Trends in the Foodservice Industry: Pandemic Boosts Takeout

BY Rachel Cagle
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It’s a scary time for restaurant operators as trends in the foodservice industry are changing. According to a report by the National Restaurant Association, the coronavirus has already resulted in 3% of restaurant owners deciding to close their businesses for good and another 11% worried they may have to do the same within a month. While dining in isn’t an option right now, Americans have not given up on restaurant orders.

New Trends in the Foodservice Industry

On the contrary, being stuck at home means that Americans are either forced to take the time and effort to make their own meals every day or skip the hassle and place restaurant orders for either carryout or delivery from restaurants in the area. 54% of restaurant operators have taken advantage of this increased need/​new trend in the foodservice industry and have switched to off-​premise only sales for the time being, reports the National Restaurant Association. 

Yes, 88% of owners say that restaurant sales have been lower than this time last year. However, pickup and carryout options mixed with deals and supported by well-​placed promotions can help boost those sales back up, and is the latest new trend in the foodservice industry.

Last year, according to AudienceSCAN on AdMall by SalesFuel, the most popular form of advertising among Online Restaurant Food Orderers (Past 30 Days) was TV commercials, which motivated 62.3% of this audience to take action and make restaurant orders and other purchases. Before the pandemic, 63% of these consumers were watching a minimum of three hours of TV every single day. Imagine how much that percentage has gone up during quarantine. Their favorite types of TV programming include movies (60.3%), food/​cooking shows (38.4%) and the local evening news (37.9%).

Americans are also spending more time online during their mandatory social distancing. They’re active on a number of social networks, including Facebook (84.2%), YouTube (67.4%) and Instagram (55.1%), and they’re 56% more likely than others to say that ads on social networks are useful and, last year, they were 27% more likely to take action after seeing pre-​roll video ads.

AudienceSCAN has audience profiles on 27 specific types of restaurant diners, as well as profiles on consumers such as Fast Food Lovers. No one wants to cook three meals per day for themselves and their families for the remainder of this pandemic. Make sure your restaurant clients stay top-​of-​mind when meal time rolls around.