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Oracle Food and Beverage study reveals new behavioural trends

As restaurants complete the first quarter of 2022, Oracle Food and Beverage study shows consumers expect service that is personal, super-fast and data-led.

A survey shows that people in the UAE love new tech-driven options for ordering and retrieving food, but the flip side is that it is making them more impatient. Of those surveyed, 49% don’t want to wait more than five minutes to order at the counter or drive-thru window (54%), while 62% of in-house diners were upset if they had to wait more than 10 minutes. Almost half (45%) said they were fed up after five minutes of waiting for food in a drive-thru, and 55% were annoyed waiting more than 10 minutes for food while dining at a restaurant.

While consumers mostly dig new digital dining options, they also lament the impact it is having on in-person dining. More than half (55%) said they feel like all the delivery and take-out orders result in longer waits when they order in-person and 36% said the atmosphere of dining-in is hurt by delivery drivers picking up food. But despite these concerns, 62% of people noted they will eat out daily to several times a week in the coming months and showed a growing loyalty to their favourite brands.

“Online and mobile ordering was a lifeline to restaurants shut down in the pandemic and continues to provide steady revenue,” said Simon de Montfort Walker, senior vice president and general manager at Oracle Food and Beverage. “As already short-staffed restaurants reopen, they are grappling with how to manage both in-person diners and deliveries, while meeting growing expectations on speed and service. Technology that helps kitchens manage and time orders from multiple channels will be key to keeping pace and ensuring diners stay happy and loyal.”

The results are part of an Oracle Food and Beverage survey conducted by Untold Insights. The survey polled more than 5,700 global consumers across 11 geographies, including 526 in the United Arab Emirates. Download the Restaurant Trends for 2022 report for more details.

Fast is not fast enough
The survey found that consumers have a short window before they get exacerbated with the time it takes to get their order:
• More than half (55%) of in-house diners don’t like to wait more than 10 minutes to be served and 76% are impatient after 15 minutes
• For those ordering at the counter, 40% said they get annoyed if they must wait more than five minutes and 69% didn’t want to wait more than 10 minutes to be served
• At the drive-thru, (15%) don’t want to wait more than two minutes to get their food, while almost half (45%) said they were fed up after five minutes of waiting

Kicking orders to the curb
Curbside pick-up (or Click-and-collect) continues to be a popular option that both determines where people chose to eat and their loyalty towards a brand:
• 78% love this method and or are more apt to choose establishments offering it
• 56% say it makes them more loyal to the eatery
• 74% say they would spend more because of this service option.

Personalized communications aren’t creepy, they’re expected
The survey found that consumers have grown to appreciate, and even expect, proactive recommendations to their favourite restaurants, but want to control access to their own data:
• 60% love the idea of receiving notifications about personalized offers from restaurants based on their current location
• 50% want to be prompted with personalized order suggestions based on their purchase history
• 53% would love to manage their dietary preferences with their favourite establishments
• 51% would love visibility and control over who has access to the personal data they share with restaurants and delivery drivers

Sustainability and healthy options rising in importance
In addition to offering click and collect, and personalizing offers based on data, consumers are increasingly influenced by a brand’s sustainability, environmental and corporate governance (ESG) initiatives, and healthy meal options:
• 58% rate efforts to lower food waste (such as donations to food banks) as vital and influential to who they spend money with
• 56% rate clear labelling about the source of food and ingredients as vital.
• 77% of consumers rate healthy options on the menu as important.

Ordering preference is situational
While mobile ordering continues to gain steam, in certain settings, consumers still prefer human interactions:
• 51% prefer to order directly from a server when dining in, while 13% would like to order from their mobile device
• When ordering take out, 35% would like to order directly from the restaurant on their mobile device, 32% from a third-party like UberEats from their mobile device, and 10% directly from a server
• 20% prefer to order directly from a server when ordering drive-thru, 41% prefer to order from their mobile device

Payment options expanding
While cash is still high among consumers’ preferred ways to pay (56%), restaurants are increasingly adapting to new forms of payments to meet changing expectations:
• 59% of consumers like to pay with a credit card
• 38% prefer to utilize contactless payment methods such as Apple or Google Pay
• 6% are embracing alternative payments such as cryptocurrency

For more information on Oracle Food and Beverage visit: https://www.oracle.com/industries/food-beverage/

Source: Restaurant Trends for 2022, Oracle Food and Beverage

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