Data derived from the 5th Food Service Network Meeting seems to confirm an interesting trend: while the number of customers dining out is growing at a predictable rate, the surprise lies in the choice of service.
The catering trade has, in fact, grown by 0.6% in traffic and 0.9% in spending. Not big bucks, sure, but still significant, considering the sharp rise of fast food joints and franchises in recent years. This increase over time has forced restaurateurs to invent solutions to continually attract new customers and retain the old, often with the support of a technician, to ensure that business objective is met without distorting the brand identity.
In the same research, we also see an increase in the level of public awareness and curiosity about the attractiveness of local food joints, their atmosphere and the coherence between environment, supply chain and product that they offer – all of these being aspects that you can actually appreciate and enjoy more while consuming a full meal.
The observation of the changing market conditions should be constant and ideas from abroad should never be underestimated. However, ‘design’ as a component should not be underestimated either, as it goes far beyond the creation of a nice place to sit and eat.
The research precisely underlines the importance of designing (or rethinking) online spaces taking into consideration user expectations and working with entrepreneurs who are ready to embrace new restaurant concepts and philosophies in the world of Web 2.0.
And that’s not all! Take the example of the world’s largest fast food giant, McDonald’s, which, even as we move in the later half of 2016, is not keen to experiment with the Italian style table service and personalized composition of sandwiches.
So we have five ingredients on the kitchen table, which when combined in different ways can make at least 10 to 12 varieties of food solutions, all with appealing names; this points to the shift towards higher quality and more comfortable user experiences.
Needless to say, the competition is fierce for all and no one knows who runs behind whom.