Wednesday, April 13, 2022

To-Go Packing Can Drive To-Go Food Sales

Building top-line sales, and bottom-line profits is the goal of all fresh food retailers.  Success within the grocerant niche filled with Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food requires packaging that keeps hot food hot and cold food cold as a minimum according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.

The ability of any food retailer to brand their packaging with their tame or local is key according to Johnson.  That branding can be a simple as placing a ‘sticker’ with your name, logo, or phone number.  Y-Pulse recently conducted a new nationwide survey, and insight from that survey suggests that takeout and delivery programs are much more than a convenience for young adult consumers. A well-crafted takeout and delivery program can build awareness, encourage new product trial and strengthen relationships with this sought-after primary and secondary demographic.

So, the Y-Pulse surveyed 670 U.S. consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 nationwide in March 2022. Participants were asked questions about specific aspects of their food and dining experiences at home and away from home. In the survey the consumer female to male ratio was 59-to-58, respectively. Of those consumers surveyed, 346 live in a one- or two-person household and 324 live in a household of three people or more.

These foodservice primary and secondary targeted demographic young adult consumers are well known for their tech savvy behavior especially when it comes to restaurant ordering and engagement. Foodservice operators often rely on social media to stay engaged with their customers however, takeout and delivery programs can play a powerful role in building business and customer connections. While 62% of the survey respondents said they engage their favorite restaurants on social media, 75% said they like to visit a restaurant to pick up takeout food.

Renee Ragin, chef partner at Chicago’s Kite String Cantina, stated, “offered expansive meal kits during pandemic-mandated restrictions. She noted that its customers enjoyed coming to the restaurant to pick up meals even if it was just to chat from a distance with the windows open. “By reaching out and staying in touch with customers through social media and word of mouth, we were able to expand our reach to people who may have never even set foot in our establishment but liked what we were doing,”.

There is no doubt that the results of this new study point to the sustained ability of takeout to build customer connections. Eighty-three percent of respondents to the study agreed that they were willing to drive a distance to pick up food from a restaurant they really liked. Seventy-two percent of the 18-34 year old’s who participated in this study also said they would buy grocery items at a local restaurant.

Sharon Olson, executive director of Y-Pulse stated, “There is an important business-building aspect of takeout and delivery programs that may be overlooked because most foodservice operators often focus on the technical aspects of order accuracy and delivering a taste experience that travels well,” .. “The majority of participants in our survey said they like to try new restaurants and new menu items when they order takeout or delivery.”

This particular study findings suggest that a well-considered takeout and delivery program can build awareness for restaurants, with 70% of respondents saying they have learned about new restaurants because of a unique takeout offering. Trial of new items can be encouraged by the takeout menu as well. Seventy-nine percent reported that they like to try new things on the restaurant’s menu when they order meals to go.

While there is no denying the convenience of delivery for the majority of those who participated in this survey. It is clear that, delivery is also an opportunity to build customer relationships as 82% of survey participants said they prefer to order directly from a restaurant rather than a delivery service. How well do you understand the demand for grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food?

For international corporate presentations, regional chain presentations, educational forums, or keynotes contact: Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions.  His extensive experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator, consultant, brand / product positioning expert, and public speaking will leave success clues for all. For more information 

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