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Are restaurants turning into grocery stores?

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The need to innovate in order to maintain the restaurant's business volume has already caused the boundaries between food retail and restaurants to blur in the past, the coronavirus crisis has only accelerated this interesting process, which is one of the key elements to understand the model associated with New Hospitality that we shared with our readers a few months ago and that is being the backbone of most of our research.

We have seen how in the pre-pandemic era, some grocery stores suddenly implemented spaces for socialization. In some establishments, shelves and display cases are now accompanied by tables and chairs where guests can have a coffee, try a bite or have a full meal.

On the other hand, restaurants have intruded upon supermarkets by offering cooking ingredient kits and signature items, Like the roscones de reyes by Dabiz Muñoz that reaped great success in The English Court just a few weeks ago.

At other times there is even a strange collaboration, where restaurants sold through grocery stores their prepared dishes. Also in this section would those who have micro-local restaurants within large areas.

Nevertheless, the real stimulus for the turnover of existing restaurants is mobility; orders online service and home delivery of food products have changed the concept to be had from the restaurant. The closures, schedule restrictions and capacity limitations that have been established as measures to combat SARS-2 and COVID-19 have caused the delivery and the takeaway are an imperative need for the hotelier.

That is why some analysts are also studying how all these fronts intertwine to discover where restaurants are headed.

Jonathan Maze It is one of them, and the reality that emerges from their market analysis is that in the future restaurants will actually be food stores with a different mode of operation than the ones we currently know, or wholesale prepared food suppliers.

Maze's thesis emerges after studying how they are behaving restaurants and consumers today. It is increasingly common to see the diner is the customer of home delivery services and restaurants act as a supplier for them. On the other hand, the business on-premise o dentro del local has contracted and people prioritize buying food in supermarkets over visiting or ordering in a restaurant.

At the moment it seems that the number of catering businesses that base their business on this principle is minimal. Maze but stresses that half of consumers use third-party delivery services (Deliveroo, Just Eat, Grubhub, Uber Eats, etc.) and that one-third of the restaurants rely on them to improve their performance. These values ​​are far from diminishing, quite the contrary: the pandemic we are suffering has caused the adoption of delivery it disappears, implanting even among our elders.

The crux of the question lies precisely in whether restaurants will be able to perform economically in this new reality. The ideal model is not yet clear and whether professionals in the sector can profit from working as suppliers, but if you get, It is expected to be given a profound transformation of the market.

How can you start this movement? According to the analyst, we could be witnessing at this precise moment in the evolution of restaurants. As an example he proposes the case of Auntie Anne’s, a chain specializing in selling pretzels with a large number of establishments distributed by EE. UU., Middle East, Latin America, Southeast Asia and counted European countries such as Greece and Poland.

Recently, Auntie Anne’s senior management has decided that orders for home delivery must be collected by workers from collaborating delivery companies in establishments located in shopping centers. Thus, in addition to centralize mobile business, the restaurant takes a step in the direction that the New Hospitality foresees. The centralization of kitchens oriented to digital business is a macro-trend in 2021, as we already discussed in detail in our summary of trends in catering for this year.

The 6 key objectives of restaurant chains to address the 2021 successfully

On the other hand, another indicator that holds the idea is that sharing models with own fleet not seem to work for strings of small or medium size, as shown by the latest decisions made by some American chains, They are passing a hybrid model while gradually reducing its salaried distribution equipment.

And it is difficult to make the own fleet model work, characteristic for example of large pizza chains such as Domino’s. In recent months even Panera Bread has been forced to adopt a mixed model to maintain its growth rate.

It's happening even within our borders: he The Egg Lab from Barcelona, specialized in brunch and egg recipes, now has its own delivery people who use their own packaging techniques that they have developed in-house.

In any case, the long-term viability of the model is unknown.. It is not known how long Domino’s can hold out without resorting to third-party delivery services.. Other pizza chains such as Papa John’s Y Pizza Hut The delivery companies have already tested, and this has caused Domino's has been hit. The pressures to which lolls and give up its own fleet model are huge.

The aggressiveness with which some of the best-known delivery companies are behaving supports the analysts' thesis. In its expansion, restaurants with collaborating come to the surface, while those who do not adapt lose market share and they may end up in bankruptcy.

If this dynamic continues in the future, It is foreseeable that the delivery companies will be those that offer an interface for the customer and that the restaurants will be simple suppliers of food, whether prepared dishes or cooking kits, the latter situation we are already seeing during the crisis of coronavirus, when some restaurants are doing sometimes food stores (let's think about Noodlehaus for example).

The gradual reduction of spaces for lounges or tables and the increase in shelves for collecting take-out orders in restaurants point in this direction.

If the new habits keep growing, restaurant professionals will have less and less control over their customer relationships, leaving them at the mercy of their service as providers of food delivery companies, where the general increase in prices could lead to a contraction in demand of restaurant services. A particularly worrisome fact if we take into account that while the coronavirus crisis, the risk of an economic recession looms over us.

Hence, customer relationships and ownership of customer data are vitally important today if the restaurant does not want to operate as a ready-to-eat supplier in the future..

About the Author

Article by the editorial team of DiegoCoquillat.com. It has professionals both in the field of hospitality, gastronomy and tourism, and new technologies and innovation.

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