How Millennials are Turning Dining into the On-Demand Service Economy

by Ruth Seeley

Menu customization and convenience are two of the most important millennial dining trends as this demographic rapidly overtakes baby boomers in spending power.

A new survey of trends in the food-service sector by business intelligence firm PSFK finds that consumers now expect cafes and restaurants to provide a customer experience like the companies they know in the on-demand service economy such as Uber and Airbnb. The Food Service Debrief also shows that some of the industry leaders—including Domino’s—are responding to trends to provide perfect delivery of their products in ways that meet their customers’ personal tastes.

Key trends driving the fast-casual dining experience include:

Dynamic Menus: Developing responsive ordering platforms that analyze data like guest preferences, trending items and current weather or time of day to provide relevant in-the-moment recommendations.

Elevated Environments: Improving the dine-in experience with elevated store design, service and amenities that encourage guests to treat the space as a place to hang out, socialize and work, shifting the mindset from speed and efficiency to comfort and hospitality.

The following consumer insights tapped into the trends:

  • People want their food anyway, anyhow: 78% of consumers say it is important or extremely important that restaurants offer multiple ways for them to order; 35% of consumers say their preferred mode of ordering is via mobile app.
  • They want their options designed just for them: 79% of consumers would be interested or extremely interested in receiving personalized menu recommendations based on their past orders or current context, such as time of day.
  • Folks want options to get their food delivered where they hang out socially: 71% of consumers are interested or extremely interested in ordering from a restaurant that can deliver to a location outside of home or work.
  • They’ll trust a restaurant with their personal data—as long as they get better service—84% of consumers are somewhat or very willing to share their personal data, such as order history, in exchange for a better experience.

“As consumer expectations for speed and service continue to rise, foodservice operators must embrace technology in order to offer a truly seamless experience that sets them apart from the competition. Six trends emerged from our research and highlight the innovative ways that restaurants can implement digital technologies into their operations in order to create a new customer experience that is at once dynamic, efficient and hospitable,” said PSFK Founder and President Piers Fawkes.

The Food Service Debrief report is available here, and a video of the report can be found on YouTube.

Source:  PSFK

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