SUPPLYING THE CATERING TRADE FOR OVER 30 YEARS IN THE STAFFORDSHIRE, CHESHIRE, SHROPSHIRE, & NORTH WALES AREAS.
Our friends at Aviko recently ran a consumer survey to ask the public their thoughts on the reopening of the hospitality sector to provide restaurants and pubs with key information to make your reopening as successful as possible.
Spanning cuisine types, planned frequency of visits, and health and safety concerns, the survey garnered over 4,000 responses from the Great British Public, who are chomping at the bit to enjoy some post-lockdown freedoms.
Restaurants and Pubs Reopening – Focus on Meals
It appears as though the public have really missed dining out during lockdown. 59 percent of respondents said they were really looking forward to a meal out with the family, closely followed by 48 percent of people eagerly anticipating a meal out with their partner, and then 41 percent stating a meal out with friends is on their bucket list.
With a large percentage of people looking forward to a meal with their family it’s important to make sure you are catering for all their needs. Make sure to have a good children’s menu, enticing vegan and vegetarian options, and go all out to ensure your customer’s first visit is truly special.
About vegan and veggie options, although they are the minority, a family or group of friends with one meat-free diner will be influenced by their choice.
The public are missing what they couldn’t get delivered
When asked what cuisine type consumers will be ordering on their first visit to a pub or restaurant after the reopening of the hospitality sector and there was one resounding winner. Pub grub! Pub food had double the response to its nearest rival, with 60 percent of people craving traditional pub dishes.
Analysing the response and the psychology behind this choice, it seems as though rather than ordering the food that has kept consumers satisfied during lockdown, namely burgers and pizzas, they are looking for food and experiences that they have missed, think rich steak and ale pies and roasts.
The response from our survey, other than pub food, was varied, with Indian, Italian, and Chinese all in demand. The spread of the votes shows that the public have missed a wide range of different cuisines and we expect that once one craving is satisfied, consumers will seek out other foods.
Consumers will eat out more often than pre-pandemic times
In Aviko’s Restaurants and Pubs Reopening Survey, consumers were asked, in the first few months after the reopening of pubs and restaurants how often do you intend to go out to hospitality venues? The results, when compared to 2019 figures from a survey run by Kitchen Stories, show that people will be venturing out more frequently.
96 percent of people stated they intended to go out at least once a month, which is a point down compared to the 2019 figures. However, breaking this 96 percent down further, 27 percent (+9%) of people said they intended to go out weekly, and 20 percent (+12%) said they would go out more than once a week. International data and insights company CGA have research to back this up, in their Consumer Countdown to Reopening Series, 39 percent of GB consumers said they plan to visit hospitality venues more than they did in 2019.
The hospitality sector certainly appears to be set for a major bounce back, assuming restriction easing goes as planned. How long this boom will last is unknown, but the fact foreign holidays are less likely in 2021 and many of the middle classes have excess savings due to the past 12 month’s inactive spending, this boom could last several months. Make sure you’re out there getting in front of potential customers to entice them to your venue.
People are ready for the reopening of pubs and restaurants
Aviko couldn’t run the hospitality sector reopening survey without a Covid-19 related question to gauge the public’s feelings on their own personal safety. From the response it appears consumers are ready to get out and enjoy life once more by revelling in the service and fares that pubs, cafes and restaurants offer.
89 percent of people were either not worried at all, or were comfortable with masks and social distancing measures in place, for their dining out experiences. Only 6 percent said they wouldn’t be going out until the virus numbers had come down, and a little over 6 percent said they would only be eating and drinking outside.
Over half of respondents to the reopening survey said they were comfortable with masks and social distancing measures, so it would be wise to detail on your website and occasionally on your social media channels the measures you are taking to give your customers peace of mind.
Quality food and service rank number one with customers
When asked to rank factors of importance when visiting a pub, café, or restaurant, consumers overwhelmingly chose quality of food as their number one priority. Second and third place were close, with quality of service narrowly trumping safety. The CGA Consumer Countdown to Reopening Series also backs this consumer mindset up with 44 percent of consumers surveyed stating that something that is of good quality is perceived as value for money. Bringing in the rear of the Aviko survey were available deals in fourth place and lastly being able to personalise your meal.
The importance ranking provides you with a basis for what to communicate and prioritise to customers. Mentioning locally sourced ingredients and highlighting the loving care you’ve taken to create your menu are very important. Likewise, make your service sparkle, if you’re using a reservations system, ensure communications are friendly and welcoming, as well as prepping your team to make your customer’s smile.
Finally, although the Government has issued guidelines for Covid secure reopening, make sure you detail what measures you’re taking to customers who may still be a little apprehensive about visiting your establishment.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner, or all of them?
As you might have expected, dinner is the mealtime that most of the survey respondents said they were looking to enjoy when the hospitality sector opens its doors. 74 percent of people said they are intending to go out to dinner, followed by 56 percent planning to enjoy lunch out.
Brunch and breakfast received 13.5 and 12.5 percent of votes respectively and snacking out received 8 percent.
What can we understand from these figures? There are opportunities when combined with the frequency of monthly trips out for consumers, so making sure you cater to all those needs is important. Focus on the areas relevant to your customer base, with dinners, can you add specials for different days to pick up early-week trade as well as the end-of-week custom. Although receiving a smaller survey response, breakfast and brunch offer good opportunities, with people working from home more frequently, are there business breakfast/brunch services you could offer for mid-week diners?
Customers rekindling lost loves
The public were asked ‘when planning your first visit out again, how will you decide where to go?’. The results were a case of consumers yearning for what they’ve missed; 94 percent of people stating they’ll go someone they know and love.
12 percent of people will make a decision based on friend and family recommendations, 6 percent social media, 3 percent Google, and 1.5% TV and advertising.
It’s no surprise that people will go somewhere familiar. However, look past that first visit, the craving for new and exciting will soon take over as illustrated by the next question.
What would make customers dine out more often?
Meal deals (53%) and discounts (51%) came out top here, but that is an obvious response and not sustainable for profits. The interesting responses, coming in third and fourth, were trying somewhere new (42%) and seeing new dishes (42%). That’s a large section of the public who will be looking for new food and drinks and new places to visit in the coming months.
The numbers illustrate the importance of making sure you let prospective customers know about your establishment and your food. Where do your customers get their inspiration from? Is it social media, Google, word-of-mouth, reviews? Experiment with your available channels, spend small amounts on social media advertising focused around your area and track the results to see what works for you.
Meal deals and discounts do not seem relevant in the first few months after lockdown ends. The numbers in this survey show that consumers want to be out there enjoying their freedom so giving away profit isn’t needed at this time. Revisit meal deals and discounts at a later date and see if you can use them for quieter times.
Once you’ve got your customers in the door, consider a loyalty scheme as 32 percent of respondents said that would make them dine out more often. Keeping customers happy and loyal is easier and more profitable than winning new ones.
Get access to the full survey
We all know how hard 2020 has been for our industry, but our friends at Aviko are focusing on helping to grow your delivery business, because, as the stats published by Just Eat illustrate, food delivery is going to continue to soar.
Just Eat saw a 33 per cent increase in sales for April & May, year on year and this growth has continued post lockdown. Considering the number of orders a company of Just Eat’s stature must process, that’s a very good sample size. This tells us that people are ordering more frequently, AND new customers are using delivery services for the first time.
What we’ll find, certainly for the short-term future, is that (to use a very current term) there is a ‘new normal’. A new normal that sees more people ordering food for delivery, more frequently and a continued introduction of new delivery customers.
This all presents big opportunities for restaurants and takeaways and our friends at Aviko are focusing their efforts to help you grow your delivery business and come out owning the new normal.
How can Aviko help you grow your delivery business?
Have a read of their delivery brochure, this covers Aviko’s delivery focus.
Over the coming months, Aviko will be focusing to help you boss delivery by focusing on helping you in areas such as:
- Solutions: From the crunchiest delivery fries on the market, Supercrunch, to their appetiser range all with fantastic hold times, Aviko has the perfect solution for you. They are also focusing on the best packaging for delivery to help ensure your food reaches your customers in perfect condition.
- Insights: Aviko are keeping their eyes and ears open around the globe, and use their vast global research reach to keep you on top of trends so you’re first on the wave.
- Inspiration: As well as trends, they will also be working with top chefs and Aviko’s Global Chef, Dider Verschueren, to create delicious and profitable delivery ready meals your customers will love.
- Innovations: Using Aviko’s science centre, research, and their own experience, they will continue to innovate to ensure you have the best products, packaging and advice to help grow your delivery business.
- Learning: From advice on how to package your food for delivery to helping you master the digital marketplace, to help you set up, drive and convert customers via your own delivery channels.
Both us and Aviko are here to help you succeed and grow, because in partnership, we hope that your success is also our success. So, make sure to sign up to the Aviko e-newsletter to keep informed about the latest delivery updates to help grow your delivery business.
Aviko products available through Central Frozen Foods
Mashed potato is delicious, versatile and perfect for home delivery. Whether you run a fish and chip shop, deli or Indian takeaway you can add diversity and choice to your menu with twisted mashed potato-based dishes that are sure to excite your customers! We’ve created some recipe ideas to showcase the fantastic variety of dishes you could create simply and cheaply with Aviko Frozen Mashed Potato.
Indian Spiced Mash
A delicious spicy that dish would be ideal alongside a curry as a sharer or as one large portion.
- Mashed potato spiced with toasted cumin and mustard seeds with peas mixed in.
- Top with fresh chillies, spring onion and coriander
- Optional – sliced chicken tikka
The perfect brunch mash with a creamy garlic hit of aioli and that classic combination of bacon, lettuce and tomato.
- Aioli and black pepper mash
- Top with Bacon pieces, quartered cherry tomatoes and baby lettuce leaves
Chip Shop Tartar Sauce Mash
A fantastic healthy alternative to fish and chips, this deliciously creamy, tartar-flavoured mash goes perfectly with fried fish.
- Mashed potato with crème fraiche, lemon juice and blended capers, dill and gherkins
- Top with pan or deep-fried fish pieces, lemon wedges and parsley
Nacho Nacho Mash
This Tex-Mex nacho-inspired mash would be perfect as a veggie dish or alongside pulled pork or beef chilli.
- Cheese and crushed tortilla chip mash
- Top with mixed beans, fresh chillies, coriander, and tortilla chips
US Style Hot Dog Mash
This dirty fries style hot dog mash is super indulgent and certain to be a crowd pleaser!
- Wholegrain mustard and fried onion mash
- Top with chopped hot dog, fried onions and ketchup/mustard
A healthy and wholesome combination that would be perfect with roasted lamb or vegetarian moussaka.
- Olive oil and rosemary roasted vegetables (Courgette, Aubergine, Peppers, Chestnut Mushroom) mash
- Top with more roasted veg and sun-dried tomatoes
- Optional halloumi
Wasabi Slaw Mash
A Japanese-inspired mash dish that’s vibrantly colourful and packed with Asian flavours of wasabi and sticky sweet teriyaki
- Wasabi-spiced teriyaki mash with carrot, red and white cabbage
- Top with teriyaki salmon and peanuts or edamame beans for a vegan option
This Middle-Eastern mash is fragrantly spicy and would make the perfect foil for falafel or kebab meat.
- Tahini, lemon and pomegranate mash
- Top with falafel, zaatar dressing and parsley
About Central Frozen Foods
Central Frozen Food Supplies Ltd has been supplying the catering trade for over 30 years in Staffordshire, Cheshire, Shropshire, and North Wales.
Established in 1990, it all started by setting up a doner kebab manufacturing factory producing quality doner kebabs. We have built an enviable reputation over the past years in being quality conscious and by providing an excellent and efficient service to our customers.
We pride ourselves in offering a complementary and reliable delivery service to customers within our delivery schedule. All goods are delivered in temperature controlled vehicles, ensuring all products arrive in perfect condition.
Find out about our collection times and other services we offer at Central Frozen Foods.