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The Menu – the latest insights on restaurant technology trends, customer successes, and best practices.

Dining In and Out in 2021: US and UK Trends

Amber Leith
Head of Global Marketing

There is a lot of anxiety brewing across the restaurant industry as the western hemisphere heads into cooler months. Not only will a temperature drop put a damper on outdoor dining, but everyone is bracing for a potential second wave of stay-at-home orders as students in certain areas venture back to school.

In preparation, we looked at how consumers feel about the last few months dining in and out in the US and the UK, how their behaviors changed, and what measures restaurants can take to preserve new found loyalty.

According to our report, Dining In and Out in 2021, the coming year will be about settling into a new rhythm and catering to diners in new and innovative ways. As customers consider returning to enjoy the experiences they’ve missed, brands can set a new standard through greater transparency and convenience, enabled by technology.

Our research tells us that eagerness to dine out varies greatly by demographic – millennials being the most eager, and boomers the least. It also suggests that in some cases, there is little a restaurant can do to make some consumers feel safe about dining out anytime soon.

Our report findings reinforce that consumers are keen to engage directly with restaurants brands – whether on the phone, online, or via a dedicated app. In fact, only eighteen percent of the consumers polled cited a preference for ordering takeout from a third-party app versus direct from the restaurant. Consumers also demonstrated a higher tolerance for takeout missteps: less then a third of consumers said they stopped ordering takeout from a business due to a poor experience, and over one third stated becoming more loyal during stay-at-home orders.

Finally, it’s clear that personal devices will play a critical role in the restaurant experience going forward. From QR-code enabled menus, to mobile order ahead options, minimizing contact is important to consumers and has effectively gone from short-term fix, to key priority. 

Download Dining In and Out in 2021 for more insights and recommendations on the future of dining.

For customers looking to take their off-premises and digital operations to the next level, our complimentary Restaurant Rebound Assessment considers key business inputs and models multiple cashflow scenarios, based on sales and delivery channels, menu configuration, supply chain considerations and staffing plans. Customers interested in taking advantage of this opportunity can connect with us directly by phone: US: +1 866-287-4736; UK: +44 207 5626 827; AU: 1300 366 386; LAD: 52 559 178 3146) | chat | or request a call back.

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