Running a restaurant today is one of the most challenging jobs. Despite the impact of the pandemic, the restaurant industry is on its path to recovery to the pre-COVID level.
According to a recent report released by cloud-based restaurant tech platform, POSist, 80 percent of consumers opt for hygiene and safety over price. COVID-19 pandemic is likely to alter consumer behavior permanently and cause lasting changes to the way people eat out. The survey highlighted that 80 percent of restaurant operators feel that quality and safety will surpass price as a decision-making factor for cost-conscious customers.
The report also added that 43 percent of orders are clocking via direct-to-consumer (D2C) channels. “As per restaurants, 43 percent of their orders came via direct channels. The majority i.e., 57 percent of orders still come from food aggregator platforms. Out of the 43 percent who choose direct channels- half of the respondents prefer ordering via WhatsApp or the Mobile number of the restaurant,” added the POSist research which was conducted via a survey among 300 senior executives in the restaurant industry.
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“What we are seeing from this survey is the opportunity for leveraging technology continues to be a major lever for restaurants to thrive in the ‘new normal’. In order to keep up with the pace of change, restaurateurs are experimenting with delivery models like Cloud Kitchen and opting for Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) channels to build a community of customers they can engage and grow,” said Ashish Tulsian, Co-Founder & CEO of POSist.
IMPACT OF COVID-19
During the lockdown food orders were limited to mostly takeout and delivery, forcing many restaurants to turn into delivery outlets. 65 percent of restaurant owners across India ranked high operating costs in form of variable expenses such as labor, food, salaries, marketing, etc as their biggest pain point, followed by 55 percent citing fixed rentals as a challenge.
- Four in every ten otherwise dine-in only players started delivery services
“We asked restaurants if they had additional funds to invest back into the business, what areas they would invest into? 52 percent of the respondents placed their bet in setting up a Cloud Kitchen or a delivery-only outlet. Followed by 44 percent who have expressed interest in investing in technology to digitize their restaurant operations. Interestingly, 40 percent otherwise dine-in-only players stated they have ventured into delivery services post-lockdown,” added the report.
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This hints that as food delivery proliferates, consumer behavior is changing and perhaps to the advantage of the restaurant operator. As consumers become more familiar with delivery and ordering online, they’re more likely to choose a direct channel to order from the brand.
The survey reveals that 33 percent of restaurants have installed an e-menu using a QR code ordering technology at their outlet. Also, it is interesting to note that 80 percent of the restaurant operators agree that deploying technology is important in these times. This sentiment can be corroborated by the response of 40 percent of restaurant operators who are willing to invest between 10-20 percent of their revenue in technology,” added the report.