It is no secret that the professional foodservice industry has heavily been impacted by Covid-19. The ban on food delivery lifted in some markets, whereas others are reopening restaurants...respecting government guidelines of course! No matter the status, reopening will look different with specific guests and diner expectations. A recent study across 12 countries highlights the main guest and diner expectations post Covid-19. Get to grips with these now to ensure satisfied customers and diners!
How to get started, no matter if your delivering or expecting diners
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  1. Ensure general cleanliness and extreme hygiene practices: One of the most important requests from consumers to gain trust in hygiene standards is theĀ general cleanlinessĀ of restaurants, both Front, and Back of House.Ā To reassure diners on safety practices, consumers want to have easy access to hand sanitizers in restaurants, either directly on the table or in an allocated area of the restaurant.
  2. Wear protective clothing: Particularly important in Back-of-House, over a quarter of people, say staffĀ wearing protectiveĀ clothing is the most important factor in being able to trust the hygiene of the kitchen.
  3. Communicate hygiene practices: In addition to wearing protective clothing and ensuring overall cleanliness, 49% of diners would like to see more information about hygiene practices inĀ Menus. Having visibility of the kitchen is one of the top factors in enabling people to trust the hygiene standards of it so why not open your kitchen up?Ā 
View into a restaurant with wooden decor.

1. FOOD DELIVERY GUEST EXPECTATIONS:Ā 

Food delivery, which 45% of consumers use, seems to remain a need of consumers with almost all of them interested in continuing it. Offering delivery is also key - 8/10 occasions of ordered-in food are delivered. Below are some emerging food delivery trends that will help you make the most out of this consumer trend:

1. Lunch Delivery

1. Lunch Delivery

6/10 takeaways and deliveries are ordered for dinner. However, 3/10 are for lunch, so balancing menus with options suitable for either meal can help win more occasions.

3. Taste Matters

3. Taste Matters

Taste is the key driver for re-ordering. For 6 Food Delivery hacks on 3 most ordered dishes, click more below.Ā 

Noodles:

  • Add extra oil after cooking to prevent noodles from clumping. Include side dishes like soup for customers to add when noodles are too dry.
  • To ensure that the noodles stay firm, shock them in cold water to retain texture and stop them from cooking further. Then, package soups and sauces on the side.

Chicken Wings & Fries:

  • Paper boxes are more absorbent than plastic, reducing the amount of moisture fried food will absorb. Add-ons and sauces should be separated.Ā Boost the popularity of your dish with a trendyĀ Salted Egg Dip!
  • To ensure crispiness, dry out the crust further by cooking for longer or double-frying. Add a tablespoon of vinegarā€”some chefs swear by it.Ā 

Meatballs & Pasta:

  • Use the right shape and materials for packaging. Flat, shallow boxes work well for pasta dishes. Compact boxes make it difficult to stir the sauce and cause uneven dissipation of heat that overcooks certain parts.
  • To reduce condensation, try a concentrated tomato sauce to ensure the flavour stays rich and intense, without the additional moisture from whole, peeled or chopped tomatoes.
2. Family Meals

2. Family Meals

Most ordered-in occasions are for 3, 4, or 5 people (74% of occasions), so there is an opportunity for venues to promote family meal deals to attract more consumers to choose them.

4. Missed Favourites

4. Missed Favourites

Consumers miss dishes offered by chains the most, therefore, some top-of-the-list dishes to add to your delivery menu include Pizza, Burgers, Fried Chicken, Coffee, Sushi, and Ice Cream.

2. EATING OUT GUEST EXPECTATIONS:

Even though almost all (73%) diners miss eating out, currently 35% of consumers feel they will eat out less in the future mostly due to their concerns about coronavirus. Guests will need lots of reassurance about the safety of venues with venues encouraging return visits. In addition to this, you can find expectations diners have for when eating out below:

1. Hygiene Visibility

1. Hygiene Visibility

Restaurants need to be visibly clean & tidy and staff wearing protective masks and gloves are the most likely measures to encourage diners to return to eating out.

3. Flexible Menus

3. Flexible Menus

Restaurants need to be flexible to facilitate quick changes to layout and Menus as diner expectations evolve.Ā 

2. Social Gatherings

2. Social Gatherings

Since Social gathering is the primary motivation for diners to return is, restaurants need to prepare for group gatherings (6/10 plan outing for 4+ ppl).Ā 

4. Spaced Out

4. Spaced Out

Social gatherings need to be balanced against restrictions and dinersā€™ requirements for social distancing (45%Ā want spacing between tables in order to feel comfortable eating out).Ā 

Reference:Ā Ā®UFS Diner Track | Out of Home Recovery | Streetbees | April 25th to May 12th

Reference: Ā®Ipsos | Essential Report May 28th to 31st