McKinsey research on the restaurant market (II)

Trendsetting on the menu

The Berlin-based cooking box supplier Hello Fresh is currently in line with the trend of consumer wishes: healthy food, prepared at home. Over the past few months, restaurateurs have also entered the market for meal kits.
Hello Fresh
The Berlin-based cooking box supplier Hello Fresh is currently in line with the trend of consumer wishes: healthy food, prepared at home. Over the past few months, restaurateurs have also entered the market for meal kits.

In a comprehensive study of the European gastronomy market, the management consultancy McKinsey looked at the chances of success of restaurants in the New Normal. An important factor here is the right composition of the menu. In order to survive in the difficult environment of the pandemic, restaurants should, according to the McKinsey experts, gear their menu to current consumer wishes. They see a continuing upward trend in healthy eating, a preference for sustainable offers and a growing awareness of value for money as the focus of their attention.

In a recent survey conducted by the management consultancy, 25 percent of the participants stated that they had made their diet healthier and more sustainable in the past three years. This is already reflected in the development of the food industry: last year, almost every fourth newly launched food product in the UK was a vegan product.

Restaurant operators who are at the forefront of the health and sustainability movement can increase their attractiveness - provided the relationship between menu expansion and cost and resource control is right.

Good prospects for special treatments

In addition to the intention to eat healthier, consumers continue to enjoy goodies. Deliveroo has seen an increase in orders for treats, or desserts, over the past three months, particularly for products that are difficult to prepare at home.

Whatever trends may develop in the future: "It is crucial that restaurateurs take the time to identify the wishes of their guests and invest accordingly to fulfil them," the experts say. Delivery services can play an important role in researching preferences, as they have an overview of the market. Based on the order data, they can anticipate changes and trends the fastest and pass on their data to the restaurant partners.

Optimized for delivery

With the growth of the supply business, food and packaging must also be rethought. Only those articles that are stable in quality will survive in this sales channel. This is also shown by the feedback Deliveroo receives from its customers: More than 30 percent of the complaints received by the 2019 delivery platform were due to errors in product delivery, 23 percent complained about the temperature of the food delivered. "In the delivery business, restaurants need to ensure that orders are executed accurately and that the food arrives fresh at the customer's premises so as not to damage their own brand," McKinsey warns.

Consumers look at value for money

The more the economic consequences of the pandemic become apparent, the greater the awareness of value for money. Across countries, consumers in Europe expect substantial cuts in their financial status. It is likely that this will also be reflected in spending on food and food service.

In order to reach new customers outside of the regular clientele, new promotion strategies and possible cooperations must be devised. The study authors see one possibility in the promo tools of the delivery platforms, through which discounts can be played out on certain weekdays or times of day, but also for certain dishes. The fine-dining segment and award-winning cuisine are also taking advantage of this option, following the example of the fashion industry: More and more high-end providers are offering menus at lower prices online and via apps.

Participating in the homecooking trend

Cooking at home has experienced an unexpected comeback as a result of the lockdown - and many consumers want it to continue. However, this does not automatically mean that restaurateurs are left out in the cold; they can also enter this market via menu kits or cooking boxes. The potential can be seen not least in the figures from cooker box supplier HelloFresh. For the second quarter of 2020, the Berlin-based company reported new records: a sales growth of 122 percent and a 74 percent increase in customers. But some restaurateurs even from different country markets have also set foot on this new playing field in recent weeks. It is still a niche market - but with clear growth potential, comments McKinsey.