Are You Meeting Consumer Demand for Convenience?

Demand for convenience is at an all-time consumer high. “The people have spoken. We want both in-store and online shopping, and we want both on our terms. We love buy-online-pick-up-in-store-or-curbside. For some things, we prefer home delivery. And our preferences change all the time. Please don’t make us choose. We want it all. And we want it frictionless.” -Michele Fitzpatrick

The people have most certainly spoken. After nearly 2.5 years of transitioning life, the people have been telling restaurants what they want and how they want it; a trend that continues from Harmelin’s Q1 article about inflation’s impact to the QSR industry. If your business is not changing to keep with these demands or communicating the changes and new opportunities to you customers, you will likely find yourself shutting down.

Over a two-year period from Feb 2020 to Feb 2022, The NPD Group surveyed and studied consumer dining habits, tracking the shifts in dine-in versus the various ways of dining out. With no surprise, dine-out has seen staggering growth, but the preference on how consumers dine out has been forever changed.  Over the last two years, carry out orders have actually declined by 2%. The shift has pushed more to faster convenience for the consumer with drive thru up more than 20% and delivery growing 116%. Even with Covid and mask restrictions now somewhat in the past, drive through remains above that 20% growth and is not showing any signs of dropping.

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