The Food Service Debrief

PSFK’s Food Service Debrief explores how the food service industry has leveraged technology to cater to changing consumer demands, giving customers the tools to control their own experience.

The 25+ page report presents 6 key trends, supported by best-in-class case studies and insights collected from the Food Service CX Survey, a survey of over 500 consumers conducted by PSFK and our quant research partner Suzy.

This survey of trends in the food service sector finds that consumers are now expecting cafes and restaurants to provide a customer experience like the companies they know in the on-demand service economy like Uber and Airbnb. The Food Service Debrief from PSFK also shows that some of the industry leaders — like Dominos — are responding to trends to provide perfect delivery of their products in ways that meet their customers’ personal tastes.

Published June 2019

Business intelligence platform PSFK found that there are key trends driving the fast casual dining experience. Those trends include:

Dynamic Menus - Developing responsive ordering platforms that analyze data like guest preferences, trending items and current weather or time of day to provide relevant in-the-moment recommendations.

Elevated Environments - Improving the dine-in experience with elevated store design, service and amenities that encourage guests to treat the space as a place to hang out, socialize and work, shifting the mindset from speed and efficiency to comfort and hospitality.

In addition to the trends research, by working with polling partner Suzy, the research companies surveyed fast-casual diners and found the following consumer insights that tapped into the trends:

  • People want their food anyway, anyhow: 78% of consumers say it is important or extremely important that restaurants offer multiple ways for them to order. 35% of consumers say their preferred mode of ordering is via mobile app.
  • Diners want their options designed just for them: 79% of consumers would be interested or extremely interested in receiving personalized menu recommendations based on their past orders or current context, such as time of day.
  • Folks want delivery to the places they hang out socially: 71% of consumers are interested or extremely interested in ordering from a restaurant that can deliver to a location outside of home or work.
  • They’ll share personal data as long as they get served better: 84% of consumers are somewhat or very willing to share their personal data, such as order history, in exchange for a better experience.

The 25+ page report includes:

  • Key insights on the new consumer expectations for food service
  • Results from our Food Service CX Survey of over 500 consumers conducted in partnership with Suzy, the consumer research platform
  • 6 trends that represent key opportunities to develop a dynamic customer experience that delivers on personal tastes, supported by 18 exemplary case studies
  • 5 strategic recommendations that food service operators and retailers in any category can apply to their business challenges
  • 1 in-depth interview with an industry leader who is pioneering a new model of food delivery
  • Additional content:

    • Summary presentation deck in PDF
    • Summary presentation deck in Keynote

This report is part of a series that PSFK has published on innovation in retail and along the customer experience journey.


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