The digital processing of the restaurant industry continues unabated and even more rapidly, Y 2021 it will not be different in this aspect from the previous year. Especially for organized catering, restaurant groups or chains, who are already preparing to continue leading this intense process of change. What will the scene look like in the fast food segment? According to our analysis and other colleagues in the sector, the following sections could define the market situation in 2021.
1.- Prepared for high volatility during the coronavirus crisis
The vaccination plans are already underway throughout the West. With a proven short-term efficiency of the 95% for vaccines, it is in our power to put an end to this crisis. However, the final decision is made by the population. According to the surveys, only a third of the adult population would be willing to be vaccinated.
If an immunization of the 70% quickly, we could be exposed to a third spring wave and even a later one in autumn of 2021. In that case closures would continue restaurants, confinements and capacity limitations. Notably insurance companies contemplate turbulence until the beginning of 2022 at least and the European Union has an action plan until 2025.
At the same time, it is foreseeable that the economic aid in force (ERTE for example) start to get out of phase, leaving the businesses completely exposed to the circumstances that come throughout the year.
A) Yes, according to a market study carried out by Rakuten Ready, one of the principles of action in the world of hospitality will be the forward planning. In this way, an attempt is made to abandon the forced improvisation that the coronavirus crisis brought in 2020, when no business knew in advance how to respond to the pandemic problem.
2.- Acceleration in the implementation of technological innovations
Restaurant professionals have always known how to make the most of the latest technological developments. This will not change in 2021; quite the contrary, it is foreseeable that the latest developments in technology will become a fundamental pillar to emerge afloat.
One of the most interesting trends is the proliferation of smartphones another range. These Next-generation mobile phones exploit the potential of technologies such as 5G bandwidth and geolocation. Restaurants will make extensive use of these capabilities to fully digitize the experience offered by their premises.. A movement that is already underway, as the app Mobile Taco Bell and its Go Mobile pilot project.
The importance of telephones is summarized in three points:
- High market penetration
- Regular and extensive use of the device, Y
- Huge potential for improvement in the implementation of virtual assistants.
Phones are being used more and more and apps mobile phones for restaurants proliferate.
3.- Radical change in physical establishments and experience on-premise
He delivery has changed the rules of the game. The volume of business in organized catering has turned towards sales off-premise or off-premises. This is a trend that we have been witnessing for years, but now it has accelerated even more because of the coronavirus crisis.
It is necessary to reinvent the physical spaces of restaurants. Cadenas like Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco Bell or McDonald’s are exploring smaller restaurants oriented to takeaway, to the drive-thru or the home delivery of food.
Another trend in this same sense allows to value disused spaces in cities and suburban towns. The dark kitchens or phantom kitchens have gained great relevance on the websites and order management applications online in the last times. Almost all the major players in the delivery have joined this fashion: Uber Eats, Deliveroo, Just Eat…
further, Some of these changes in the operating mode open the door to revolutionary ways of innovating thanks to the use of the big data or macrodata. According to the consulting firm Deloitte «the drive-thru, especially in the case [of fast food restaurants], can be the object of innovation thanks to these tools ». And adds: «When a customer enters a lane drive-thru, your vehicle can be automatically linked with your identity and ordering preferences. These orders can be followed over time to provide personalized and relevant promotions and advertisements ». The spokesperson for Deloitte concludes by saying that thanks to the intensive use that has been made of the mobile during 2020 when making electronic orders to restaurants, these big data bases are packed with information and ready to use.
4.- Offer guarantees to the consumer through investments in cybersecurity and privacy
The brand image and public perception of restaurants is at stake. During 2020 cyber attacks on organized restaurant chains have continued. These security breaches put the consumer at risk, and the discontent of this has a negative effect on the popularity of restaurant chains.
Consumers belonging to demographic cohorts such as millennials latecomers and generation Z are more demanding in the application of certifications, digital security and online privacy. The study of Rakuten Ready shows that this is an upward trend and that large organized restaurant chains dedicated to the fast food segment will be forced to keep up with privacy technology very soon.
This is a digital macro trend that is beginning to manifest itself recently and whose clearest effect is an incipient step by the public media. (forums and social networks) to closed messaging systems (WhatsApp, Telegram, Discord…).
5.- He pickup contactless has become a requirement
more than 40% of consumers who place online orders for delivery select contactless store collection as the preferred option.
The philosophy contactless has been one of the great innovations in the hospitality market during 2020. He takeaway, pickup or store pickup had been around for a long time, But it wasn't until he merged with the touchless style that he rose to stardom.. A) Yes, he curbside pickup, or pick up outside the store, and the lockers contactless have become a necessity for the vast majority of consumers.
Keeping these business channels open and active is a crucial strategy for fast food brands.
A clear example of the benefits that this can have can be found in Chipotle, the famous Mexican fast food brand. The company invested large amounts to revolutionize its digital business in 2020 and this turned out to be a decision that brought an economic return a 202% higher than usual in previous quarters.
With the new opening of a purely digital restaurant where only telematic orders are served in a contactless, known as Chipotle Digital Kitchen, the brasserie marks the way for the rest of the competitors in the segment.
6.- Location, prediction, virtualization, self-trade and consumers
As indicated above, mobile devices that the 82% of people have GPS functionalities that allow knowing the owner's position at all times. If there app restaurant mobile gets access to such information, this opens the opportunity to launch forced notifications when the user passes near a brand establishment. Some digital mapping applications such as Google Maps already have integrated tools to perform marketing actions based on geolocation. These will be more prominent in the near future.
Another of the existing possibilities thanks to satellite positioning is to know the estimated time of arrival of a customer who has placed an order online for takeaway. By having this information, the local kitchen can be managed more efficiently as well as increasing consumer satisfaction.: Goodbye to orders cold or dry from cooking ahead of time!
The virtualization of restaurants through ghost kitchens has a lot of room for improvement. One of the ways in which this concept could be expanded is through the use of augmented reality or virtual reality. It is only a matter of time before the most avant-garde restaurants begin to use these innovative technologies to get customers to make their orders with greater immersion, even enhancing the brand image projected by purely digital means.
Another way to reach the consumer is to meet them when they travel. Workers make a daily commute from home to work, and vice versa. This, in big cities, usually results in some traffic jam on the main exit routes, downtime that some fast food brands are already exploring to take advantage of to offer their service. It is the case Burger King in Mexico.
Finally, during 2021 It is important that the new restaurants change their paradigm when selecting their next locations. Market experts suggest that, due to the importance that the mobility and business market is gaining off-premise, it is necessary shift from a position-focused strategy to a consumer-oriented philosophy. Wherever the potential clientele of the brand is located is where they should open their new restaurants.
These and other trends will energize the fast food segment during 2021. We will cover all the innovations in this digital newspaper, how could it be otherwise.