TORONTO — Foodservice traffic is showing a two-per-cent growth, but all dining segments are contributing to last quarter’s zero-per-cent traffic increase, according to NPD Group market research.
“The challenges the foodservice industry is experiencing are a definite reflection of consumer confidence, which remains tepid as the concern about global economic conditions lingers,” said Robert Carter, executive director of Foodservice at The NPD Group. “Though there are still hurdles to overcome in traffic growth, dollar sales indicate Canadians are still eager to dine out if they feel the return on their investment is worthwhile.”
Keep reading for Carter’s list of five foodservice trends and tips on how to capitalize on them:
Consumers are more educated than ever
Tip: Consumers eat with their eyes, so use appealing descriptions and include vivid pictures.
Optimal pricing is taking centre stage
Tip: Know your consumers and their path to purchase. Premium offerings are just as important as value offerings, so decide what pricing will yield the best results.
Limited-time menu offerings equal long-term successes
Tip: Restaurant owners should focus on menu innovation at lunch. Items such as fries, soup, deli meats and soft drinks underperformed last year, so operators should appeal to short-term trends that will guide long-term diversification.
Diners want an “experience,” not a meal
Tip: Strategic planning should put service, atmosphere, value, price and food at the forefront to drive new business and ensure existing consumers return.
Convenience is key
Tip: Restaurant operators should capitalize on the growing snacking trend. Snacking is up 11 per cent from last year and now represents one-third of restaurant visits. Consumers are looking for the best grab-and-go options that they can eat on their own schedule.