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Reflections on the global restaurant industry

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I do not like to end this 2016 without sharing a vision of most relevant aspects of the restaurant industry, but with a global dimension. In this globalized world it is essential to have all the necessary references of the major trends that are happening in the sector to make the right decisions.

For it I'll lean on a report to which I have had access and that has been developed by the company international advice AlixPartners.

The study was conducted on 4.600 diners from nine countries, namely Brazil, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, United Kingdom and United States. He also interviewed more than 40 executives from different restaurant concepts with a total turnover exceeding 90 billion, for comment on global consumer trends in the restaurant industry.

Some of The most relevant reflections I draw from this report are as follows:

Care food quality is the determining factor globally in the restaurant industry

The food quality is key, more than one 62% of respondents he said freshly made with fresh, local ingredients make up the most important food item to choose a restaurant. More than half also said he did not want his food preservatives or artificial ingredients had.

Sustainability also gains importance, both ingredients with sustainable origin and packaging them.

The most important local foods are fruits and vegetables, followed by fish and shellfish.

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The price remains a key variable in customers to choose a restaurant

The price is very important for diners and the global trend towards a reduction in spending is fixed at 10$ less for food, although the reason for this reduction differs depending on the country.

A 35% of the participants looking to eat at cheaper restaurants and a 34% They are using coupons, promotions and other discounts to economize meals. Most said they would continue this trend in the coming year, in particular more than one 70% in China and Brazil. The price is more valued by customers at chain restaurants element, followed by the speed of service and use of technology.

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Customer traffic in restaurants differ depending on the country

In general the frequency of consumers in restaurants is high in all countries surveyed. Certainly the food and dinner are the two most popular shifts worldwide.

The most going to reduce the number of visits to restaurants are customers of United States and South Korea, instead the more will increase their visits are consumers in Brazil, Italy and China, and as relevant data, only the latter said they expected to spend more money at restaurants.

How healthy is fashionable in all corners of the world Restaurants

It is clearly a global trend, with more than 90% of respondents indicating that how healthy is a priority. The guests from Italy and China are the most important aspect give this labeling it mainly as “extremely important” O “very important”. The UK and Japan were the least interested.

Restaurants already part of the new lifestyle of the population

Changes in lifestyle mark the different patterns of economic growth that directly affect Feeding Habits. He 30% meals are now “on the progress”, that is to say, prepared or packaged foods and that will grow around the 3% until the 2021.

Restaurants want capture these customers They will have to adapt to them with better and faster service. Although it is certainly an absolutely price sensitive market.

The United States is producing an increase in supermarket prices which it has pushed many consumers to buy prepared foods in grocery stores or restaurants, provided that these prices are correct.

Another decisive factor in the Habits are changing deliveries food delivery. Consumers have a stroke restaurants click on their smartphones. In the United States the use of these systems doubled between the years 2010 Y 2015, India and Brazil grows 20% and in the UK it is expected that the market for food delivery triple for the year 2020.

The correlation between investment in technology this trend and increased market demand is quite straightforward, new companies registered more of 1.000 million quarterly investment in the previous year.

The “Glocal” it becomes increasingly important

Large global chains are gaining ground in local markets around the world mainly because they can customize and personalize their menus to local tastes. In Italy 78% consumers choose the Italian version of the McDonalds burger.

It is adapting to the market is not based only on the menu but It extends beyond, other elements comprising such as distribution or structure Restaurant, hiring employees and providing local ingredients.

One of the great challenges of the chains is their ability to adapt to the market, the client has to feel like an independent restaurant chain experience but must have a highly efficient management and overall operational.

These chains can invest large amounts of money in technology and digital marketing that will allow generate greater influx of customers through their loyalty programs. In South Korea 73% consumers use these programs and 68% in China.

The restaurant design is a differential factor

Another element to take into account is the aesthetic appearance of the restaurants, in Germany, a 40% said the modern look of a restaurant is a factor in choosing it.

Many global brands are launching plans and renovation programs for existing designs and environments in their restaurants.

Growth passes internationalization

Among the respondents had more than 60 operators representing more than 40 concepts different restaurants and more than 100.000 points of sale worldwide.

They see it as a international growth priority. potentially very attractive countries are: U.S, India, China, Vietnam, Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates. On the other hand it seems to be getting colder South Korea, Brazil and Russia.

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Internationalization passed mainly through the seeking qualified partners in destination countries who know the intricacies of each of the markets, although there are other alternatives to seek internationalization process efficiency.

Some other ideas:

  • Increased partnerships between brands or those non-traditional competitors to identify and reduce development costs.
  • The removing frozen food imports and creating recipes that can be made from scratch with local ingredients.
  • Greater leverage with global suppliers that can support development and be more competitive in international markets
  • increase support for local teams to adapt to changing consumer needs

Definitely, it seems that we are facing a globally complex environment with hardly predictable internal and external factors that create uncertainty in the sector, where ever diners are more demanding, less loyal and more interactive. What does seem clear is that the global commitment is to quality in food, in raw materials and the final product, covered by a new lifestyle where restaurants become part of a relevant level in the food pyramid citizens and demands that these know what they will eat and have the technology needed to access this information.

In this stage, the price / quality ratio which has been the perfect equation for so many years that many restaurants have successfully developed may begin to lose relevance thanks to a increased demand for new diners who are already looking for a unique experience and differential equation based on a new: pleasure / price.

Definitely, and recalling the title of my first book we face “A New Era in restaurants”.


If you want to know more details about this report contact redaccion@diegocoquillat.com


Reflections on the global restaurant industry
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About the Author

Diego Coquillat

Director and CEO of DiegoCoquillat.com, teacher, consultant, lecturer and entrepreneur incorrigible. If you can not find it here, search near the sea. Passion for new technologies and restaurants ... passion for life.

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