Restaurant Industry News Roundup: February
In the blink of an eye, the shortest month of the year is over! What was on the menu for February? First off, a pretty great website launched for all of your restaurant platform needs. From delivery trends evolving in London to snowy disruptions in Texas, February’s array of tastes were packed full of flavor. Did we mention that there’s another chapter to the chicken sandwich war? You’re going to need a knife to cut into these tidbits! Join us for this month’s restaurant industry news roundup: February edition.
Cheers, Mate: Snacks and Coffee Trend in London
According to the latest from the NPD Group, there’s been an increase in demand for snacks from families across London, especially in delivery. Snack deliveries by operators like Deliveroo reported a 95% increase in 2020 compared to 2019. Currently, London is one-fourth the part of the U.K.’s delivery market when it comes to snacking. In 2020, weekend snacking by delivery increased by 72% year-over-year. Specifically, the NPD Group reports that people aged 16-24 are more likely to pay for pre-made coffee as part of a delivery snack order. Across the nation, the average amount spent per delivery order increased by 20 percent.
Dominic Allport, with NPD Group, attributes these shifts in the industry based on five trends:
- Dinner daypart maturity
- Increase in people working from home
- Spending based on deals
- Delivery subscription increases
Boo! Ghost Kitchens Go To College
Chartwells is rolling out ghost kitchens on college campuses. The goal is to give students access to delivery and contactless meal concepts. The program is voluntary and schools must sign up to participate. The ghost kitchens are already being tested at schools including SUNY Buffalo State College and San Jose State University.
On Seattle University’s campus, over 24,000 orders were placed during the first month that the ghost kitchen service was offered. According to Upserve, in the past five years, demand for food delivery has grown 300% over in-person dining. Additionally, 20% of consumers spend more when ordering off-premise, and 60% order through off-premise methods once a week or more.
The goal is to continue to “give students access to a variety of dining options and menus.” The ghost kitchen solution “offers them a completely new and unique dining experience.”
Texas Restaurants Ride The Storm Out
Texas operators faced winter head-on through icy temperatures, snow, and rolling blackouts during February’s winter storm. Businesses and residents were left without power, while municipalities across the state worked to keep water supplies safe and secure. Texas-based Tarka faced issues including the safety of employees coming to work and food spoilage. Other restaurants faced late deliveries and different off-premise offerings from various locations based on menu item availability.
Since the restaurant industry is still reeling from the pandemic, small businesses are facing additional challenges due to the storm. Specifically, as the Texas director of the National Federation of Independent Business stated, “they’re facing additional losses from the sudden loss of traffic and damage from burst water pipes” adding “surplus supplies that are quickly going out of date.”
Burger King Just Announced a Major New Chicken Sandwich
Did anyone have an eternal battle on their bingo card when the chicken sandwich wars first began? Oh… you didn’t? Neither did we, but here are!
It’s reported that Burger King began upgrading their Crispy Chicken Sandwich as far back as 2019. They developed a sandwich with hand-breaded chicken, hoping that customers would taste the difference. The newest iteration of their “crispy-on-the-outside-juicy-on-the-inside filet” sandwich will be topped with their signature sauce and capped off with a potato bun. Along with upcoming chicken sandwich offerings from McDonald’s and Taco Bell, Burger King promises that the sandwich coming sometime in 2021 will be worth the wait.
Conclusion: Restaurant Industry News Roundup: February
Did we miss anything this month? Have you heard any news that maybe should’ve been in the Restaurant Industry News Roundup: February? Let us know in the comments below. In the meantime, if you’re looking to enhance your off-premise functionality and curbside experience, look no further.
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About the Author
Devyn Nance is the Marketing Coordinator at QSR Automations. She graduated from the University of Louisville with a bachelor’s degree in Communication and from Loyola University Chicago with a master’s degree in Global Strategic Communication. She considers herself an (amateur) profiler – trained solely from watching every episode of Criminal Minds. Outside of work, Devyn loves to shop, travel, hang out with friends and family, read, and watch shows on various streaming platforms.