The Covid-19 pandemic is continuing to have its effect on every industry in the world. As the lockdowns, and covid appropriate protocols are ensued and being revised from time to time. This has also had its fair share of impact on the Food and Beverages industry-from the renovation of restaurants, shifting the focus to food delivery to using new tech and the rise of cloud kitchens. The world of F&B has gone through a considerable amount of change to model itself according to the new needs of the consumer. Let us take a look at how the industry has shaped itself in the last couple of years.
Delivery is Here to Stay
Numerous lockdowns and protocols have stated how covid numbers spike when people go out and communicate with other people. Since nothing can provide the safety of home, consumers are opting for either takeaways or deliveries. The demand for food delivery has increased by a whopping 50 times in the last two years. Therefore, restaurants are reconsidering their whole business model to accommodate this new demand, and are approaching practices that will optimize food delivery services. The popularity for convenient, at-the-doorstep services are not just restricted to the restaurant-consumer chain in F&B. Even within the functional operation of an F&B chain getting stuff delivered has become the norm. From sourcing produces, ordering décor and set-up, down to the uniforms of employees. Another change that has taken place is in the way that F&B employees dress. With restaurants focusing more on deliveries, uniform codes in restaurants are getting relaxed. Newer, more comfortable uniform choices are on the rise as the F&B industry is getting more delivery-focused.
Technology and Automation
To ensure seamless delivery of food to the customers, restaurants are approaching more tech-based options. Partnering with food delivery apps like FoodPanda and UberEats is becoming common. Delivery-only menus are being updated with pictures to attract the customers. Even takeaway is getting easier and contactless with automated systems installed as a part of the restaurants.
The Turn to Digital Marketing
Digital Marketing has been an effective method in the scenario of marketing for long. However, the pandemic has catalyzed the reach of digital marketing even more. Offline marketing will fail to reach your target demographic when they are locked inside their homes. While billboards are good for gaining visibility, nothing in this day and age beats a good social media ad. Efficient email marketing, social media marketing, SEO helps the customer pick your food delivery services over the countless other services.
A Contactless Food Delivery Experience
Restaurants have to undertake safer practices to convey the message to the customers that they have high regard for employee and consumer safety. One of the ways this is being achieved is by introducing contactless food delivery and takeaway experience. Having QR codes or the option of online checkout/payment, and online menus to choose from, ensures contactless ordering, delivery, and payment. This small tech improvements can go miles in terms of building the trust of the customer-base.
Restaurant Locations are Shrinking and Catering to Delivery
The trend of dine-in has reduced substantially, and restaurant infrastructure and designs are changing to optimize delivery needs. Earlier dinning experience at a restaurant was given most priority by owners. Having reservations so as to not overcrowd the place, taking great care of décor and ambience, to having very little to no facility for takeaway or delivery, were some of the approaches taken by owners to enhance in-house dinning experience. With customers barely showing up for in-house dinning, all restaurants are offering delivery. Moreover, locations are being remodeled by reducing the area of dine-in, and allocating specific areas for deliveries and takeaways.
The Rise of Cloud Kitchens
Cloud kitchens are commercial spaces that are being rented by restaurant owners. Cloud kitchens offer space and facilities that are required by owners to prepare food and deliver them to the customers. Cloud kitchens also known as “ghost kitchens”, or “virtual kitchens” do not have a dinning area as they are specifically designed for deliveries. They are becoming increasingly popular among new start-ups who are saving tons of money by reducing the cost of buying a space.
These changes have happened gradually over the couple of years. People have started viewing eating outside differently. It is mostly ordering in for those who once used to enjoy the dinning the experience. The Food and Beverages Industry was quick to identify the growing needs, and tailored their business models accordingly.