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Get relaunch ready

Outdoor dining is in full swing and it’s great to hear pubs and restaurants lucky enough to have outdoor space are fully booked. I left it too late to book so ended up going out on a Monday night to get a table! A little chilly but it was lovely nonetheless…

As we wait with baited breath for indoor hospitality to be given the green light for the 17th May, I unpick some of this year’s menu trends and insights to help you not only get ready to relaunch – but plan for the future too.

Ideas to grow spend

Forgive me for being obvious here, but I wanted to take a look at some specific ways to you can make up for lost time.

Hygiene: Firstly, it’s important to note that hygiene is still the number one factor for consumers, so it’s imperative to get this right first. Even when normality returns consumers will be nervous and you can’t reassure them enough of your cleaning practices.

Outdoor dining: We expect outdoor dining to be a lasting legacy of the pandemic, so don’t ditch your space longer term. With more consumers seeking out memorable experiences that play to all of the senses, longer term why not monetise your most premium outdoor dining space with added extras and theatre that can all be booked ahead. You can read more about our outdoor dining support here.

Celebrate with prosecco: Friends and families reuniting is one of the loveliest sounds to hear at the moment. With many delayed celebrations in the pipeline, encourage the chinking of glasses with our new Via Vai prosecco from our Unity range, a lively prosecco with a delicate lemon and lime tang – great on its own or as a reception drink accompaniment with canapés.

UK Staycations: 63% of us want to book a holiday between July and December* and we don’t yet know whether this will be at home or abroad. If you offer accommodation, re-create the trip abroad from check-in to check-out. A welcome glass of fizz, free water in the room and pamper packs are all good ideas to transport your customers to warmer climes.

Summer of sport: The 2021 calendar is jam packed with events to take advantage of – The Euros, Wimbledon, The Olympics and British Grand Prix are all in the pipeline. Why not let your menus reflect that excitement with an Around the World theme? Could you offer package deals to encourage people to eat/drink whilst watching sport with you?

* ETC Monitoring sentiment for domestic travel

Menu trends

2020 may have seen menus getting smaller, with a 22% reduction in dish count on average, but the top 5 menu stalwarts haven’t changed. Here they are in descending order:

  1. Burger
  2. Curry
  3. Pizza
  4. Salad
  5. Steak

* Lumina Intelligence Menu Tracking Tool

 

Emerging from the pandemic, consumers seem conflicted when it comes to menu choices. Some of us want to maintain our newfound health kick with lighter eats, whilst many are looking for comfort grub, nostalgia and quite frankly a heavy plate of carbs (I consider myself to be in the second category). It’s therefore important your menu measures up and offers your customers choice –  no matter what camp they are in. For health conscious customers you could consider a grilled fresh fish option from our Rockport brand offering sustainably sourced fresh fish including tuna, plaice and mackerel. For consumers looking to indulge, fire up the grill with a Farmstead burger or steak and you are good to go.

Menu psychology: According to a recent survey from Lumina, dish prices ending in 95p made up 23%* of all dishes on menus between 2019 and 2020, the theory being that this creates the perception of value as customers will anchor their eye to the left hand digit, when in reality the price is closer to the figure on the right. If you are looking to create a more premium feel to your menu, reducing the number of descriptor words and sticking to round pounds will create a more expensive feel. On the subject of menu descriptors, we conducted a study into consumer preferences and knowledge with some surprising results, you can read our top tips here

*Lumina Food Strategy Forum Q4 2020

To take-away or not to take-away

2020 certainly seemed liked it was the year of the take-away. With operators making a quick pivot to serve consumers at home, consumer participation was at 81%, with 25% of us ordering take-away at least once a week as of November!* Will consumers continue to opt for their regular take-away once outlets are fully open? According to a recent survey* 58% say they will, so it will be interesting to see what consumers will require from their take-away of the future. Things like connection to the brand, creating an experience and functional packaging are all areas we expect to become more important. Take a look at our top take-away products and take-away inspiration for more.

*Mintel Attitudes to Take-away & Delivery March 2021

I hope this has given you some inspiration and food for thought as you gear up to re-open fully. These are just some of the ideas we can support you with here at Bidfood and we look forward to sharing more as things progress.

 

For more information:

Read our Relaunch Ready guides – packed with at a glance info to help you get relaunch ready.

Find more of our support here

If you are thinking about becoming a customer, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch!

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