Beverages "Notably Missing" from Restaurant Delivery Trends
Restaurant traffic has been trending down for quite a while now - with same-store traffic down 3.2% in 2017, according to TDn2K's Restaurant Industry Snapshot, and there's no indication that we can expect that trend to reverse any time soon.
One significant factor in the declines is on-demand delivery through services like Uber Eats, Seamless and GrubHub. Third party delivery is "fundamentally changing the way people engage with restaurants," said Donna Hood Crecca, associate principal for on-premise research firm Technomic, at the recent VIBE conference.
11% of consumers surveyed ordered food delivery once a month or more in the past year and anticipate that number to grow, according to Technomic. Moreover, nearly 50% expect their delivery orders of just alcohol to increase in the next year.
The alcohol category has long been one of the go-to ways restaurants use to attract consumers. 35% of consumers say that beverage alcohol is one of the biggest drivers for their visit, and Technomic forecasts that on-premise drink sales will reach about $109.3 billion in 2018.
But beverages in general are "notably missing" in the restaurant delivery space, said Donna. Two-thirds of consumers say they would place delivery orders from restaurants more often if they could also get alcohol delivered.
"This suggests that they also want to be able to access the same adult beverage experience they have in the restaurants" to translate to to-go orders and "want to have that continuity of experience," she said.
You may recall, TGI Fridays is one of the early adopters in the space, partnering with third-party delivery service Lash. This model allows customers to place their food order through TGI Fridays then a delivery driver will pick up the food from TGIF and make a second stop at a local liquor store partner for the alcohol. It's too early to determine if TGIF's strategy is working, but Technomic has its eyes on it as well as others playing in a similar space like Buffalo Wild Wings and BJ's.
Interestingly, Technomic found that both the restaurant and the third party delivery service are credited for a positive experience, but if anything is wrong with the order (late, cold etc.) the majority of the blame falls on the restaurant.
Source: Wine & Spirit Daily
March 15, 2018
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