Friday Round-up (7/24/20): How Restaurants are Capturing Consumer Attention
Every week FoodLogiQ will be aggregating the latest updates and resources for businesses navigating the changing food industry. Learn how the industry leaders are adapting to protect and feed consumers, while building resilience in the face of global crisis.
Yelp released a new report this week on business closures since the pandemic, indicating that restaurants have been hit the hardest. As reported in Restaurant Dive, the findings from Yelp show that “permanent business closures from the COVID-19 pandemic now account for 55% percent of all closed businesses since March 1, a 14% increase since June.” The article continues, “For restaurants, the picture is even more grim, with a 60% permanent closure rate, or a 23% increase since June 15. That equates to 15,770 permanent closures.”
The dollars being spent on restaurant food have become more competitive than ever, meaning that both small restaurants and QSR brands need to be innovative in how they market their products and services. National Restaurant Association’s executive vice president of public affairs, Sean Kennedy, told the publication Baltimore, “What has been really remarkable about this industry is how quickly so many small businesses redefined themselves and their business models literally over a 10-day period.”
From developing additional sales channels, to take-out cocktails, to rethinking the menu, various overnight changes have kept many businesses afloat. Both large and small brands are also improving their unit economics by streamlining offerings. Kennedy explained, “A lot of restaurants are making their menus simpler. They have fewer dishes with fewer total ingredients that the kitchen needs to have. This helps lower costs and increase efficiencies in the back of the house.”
Some brands have opted to tell new stories to grab consumer attention at this moment. Burger King made headlines for offering some tongue-and-cheek respite from 2020–which, as a year, seems to draw unanimous criticism for its poor performance since January—by celebrating the holiday season in July. This follows a stunt in March, where the brand advertised a Quarantine Whopper.
Other brands are pairing new programs with initiative for good, appealing to more advanced sensibilities around ethical consumerism, while addressing the tremendous hardship brought on by the catastrophic health and economic impacts of the pandemic. As part of their new Grocery program, Subway has prominently included an easy way to donate food to first responders when placing an order (but you can also donate without ordering here). Similarly, as part of their COVID-19 response, sweetgreen launched Impact Outpost, “a program to deliver free sweetgreen to hospital workers and medical personnel.” You can donate to the Impact Outpost Fund here.
Ultimately, reaching consumers in the new normal requires avenues for safe purchasing. For many restaurant companies, this means a renewed investment in technologies that enable more seamless ordering, pick-up and delivery, as well as digital visibility into food products. Brands like Dunkin’ have even created new C-Suite roles in order to develop their digital platform strategy. These investments indicate a longer term view for adopting solutions that build resilience in the new normal.
View FoodLogiQ's COVID-19 Food Industry Resource Center for industry-specific updates, resources and information on the coronavirus crisis. For supply chain traceability and risk mitigation guidance, see our general Resource Center.
Read more of the latest:
- reCONNECT 2020 is Going Virtual! | FoodLogiQ
- CIOs rethink the 18-month IT plan, post-COVID | CIO from IDG
- Virtual food hygiene inspections could reduce backlog | Food Safety News
- Buffalo Wild Wings is Turning Restaurants into Ballparks | FSR Magazine
- Walmart stores will close on Thanksgiving Day this year | CNN Business
- Enhanced Technology Picks Up Pace in Post Coronavirus Supply Chain Operations | Parcel Industry
- The Racist History of Tipping | Politico
- Potbelly Names Wendy's COO, Robert D. Wright, as New CEO | NRN
- Chipotle Sees Q2 Digital Surge to Beat Estimates amid COVID Impact | Fast Casual
- Virtual Food Hygiene Inspections Could Reduce Backlog | Food Safety News
- Inside the Story of How H-E-B Planned for the Pandemic | Texas Monthly
- Guess Where New Aldi Warehouse Will Be to Service South Louisiana Discount Grocery Stores | The Advocate
- Burger King is Selling a Burger Made from Cows on Low-Methane Diet | CNBC
- Flour and Toilet Paper Are Back at NY Supermarkets, But There's a Catch | New York Times
- Former Tyson Chief Joins Ocean Spray Cranberries as President, CEO | IFT
- Coca-Cola Sales Fall 28% | IFT
- 7-Eleven Continues Off-Premises Push with Pickup Feature, Expanded Delivery | The Spoon
- Wendy's Launches 'Wendy's Rewards' Across The U.S. | PR Newswire
- Order from Your Inbox? Walmart and Yahoo Team up on Grocery | Grocery Dive
- Fresh Veg Sales at Retail up 16% from Year-Ago Levels | The Packer
- McKinsey & Company Survey: US Consumer Sentiment During the Coronavirus Crisis | Mckinsey
- America's Stay-at-Home Seafood Binge Now Faces Virus Threat | Bloomberg
- Burger King Celebrates Christmas in July Because 2020 Just Needs to End Already | AdWeek
- Without Reservation: Sean Kennedy of the National Restaurant Association | Baltimore
- CityLab Daily: The Future of How and Where We Get Our Food | Bloomberg
- Less is more: Why retailers and CPGs are moving toward selling fewer products in stores | Food Dive
- Tencent, Goldman Sachs pump $495m into Chinese e-grocer MissFresh | AgFunder News
- Coronavirus has already shuttered 16K restaurants, Yelp says | Restaurant Dive
- Startup Funding in a New Normal: A Rebounding Food & Ag Investment Landscape | Food Bytes!
- Higher Steaks brings home the bacon, revealing lab-grown pork belly and bacon strips | TechCrunch
- Dunkin' creates new chief digital officer role as it doubles down on tech, mobile offerings | Restaurant Dive