What to eat, Where to eat, and What’s for Dinner are the most commonly asked questions from adults. Only in the United States do consumers who think about going on a diet want to know how to eat their way thin. In the case of the restaurant sector consumers are not eating less they are eating somewhere else. That somewhere else is increasing grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food according to Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® Steven Johnson.
The restaurant sector continues to struggle with declining year over year customer counts, rising food, and labor costs which are forces that are contributing to force change to a once invincible business model according to Johnson .
In a new study by L.E.K. Consulting found that that restaurant professionals are concerned about:
1. Rising food and labor costs, and increasing competition: Restaurant operators said the most significant barriers to growth over the next three years were rising food costs from suppliers (40%) and rising labor costs (38%). Twenty-three percent see increasing competition as a growth threat.
- A growing price gap between restaurants and groceries: Restaurant and foodservice costs increased 2.7% last year, driven by the price of labor, while groceries and other food retailers experience deflation. Retailers are passing lower food prices along to consumers, while restaurants must increase menu prices to cover labor. The result? A widening gap between the cost of eating out and the cost of eating in.
- Groceries selling prepared foods, and eating into restaurant profits. The line between foodservice and retail is blurring: Almost 80% of foodservice professionals say retail prepared foods will be a threat to their business within the next three years. And more than 70% say prepared foods are a threat today.
- An emerging threat from online food sellers: Online grocery/meal providers and online ordering services are another emerging competitive threat. More than half of foodservice professionals say these online entrants will be a threat to their business within the next three years. Amazon Fresh and Grubhub/Seamless are especially strong contenders, they say.
To respond, restaurant and foodservice professionals are considering these moves:
1. Standing out with healthier ingredients: Almost half (44%) of foodservice professionals say they view healthy and nutritious foods as a way to boost revenue, and 36% said the same of locally sourced ingredients.
- Creating digital services: Over the next three years, foodservice professionals expect about a 10% increase in online ordering, and about a quarter of them plan to enhance their delivery services to counter competition from online food sellers.
- Buying pre-prepared foods from suppliers: Nearly half (44%) of the restaurant and foodservice professionals who buy pre-prepared foods from suppliers do so because it helps them save on labor costs, and 38% say buying pre-prepared foods is cheaper.
Grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food is driving incremental growth in every sector of retail foodservice today, including the restaurant sector. Have you developed a strategy to increase customer counts, reduce your labor, reduce your food cost all while edifying your brand?
Are you trapped doing what you have always done and doing it the same way? Interested in learning how www.FoodserviceSolutions.us can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participation, differentiation and individualization? Email us at: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us or visit: www.FoodserviceSolutions.us for more information.