Posts tagged consumer habits
The expectations of the modern consumer

“It is getting Harder and harder to please the modern consumer. With fast, Cheap and reliable a standard commodity how do you stand out?”

We attended Caffe Culture and The Independent Hotel this week and both were packed with insight. At Caffe Culture we had the excitement of the SCA UK Latte Art Championships and more coffee than we knew what to do with, I haven’t slept since!

At these recent shows some themes have been constant, such as sustainability, the rise of veganism and the nod to the healthy life. However, with these two shows the demand of the modern consumer and the call for an experience stood out.

The rise of the experience

The focus on experience is a game changer. Restaurants and hotels can’t just supply their primary function of great food or an amazing room, they have to have an edge. This is due to the rise of demand from the consumer. They want more bang for their buck.

Specifically looking at hotels, the development of Airbnb hasn’t helped their case. A hotel has become more of a luxury commodity than ever before. The Airbnb model is amazing – it allows the guest to have an experience around the primary function of a warm bed to sleep in. It means you can stay in a homely property and gives you an opportunity to meet the owners and share life stories. It gives you something extra.

I’m not on commission I promise, other booking websites are available!

Using tech to manage the consumer’s expectations

There is definitely a balance that needs to be found. Looking at engagement, tech is a great way to optimise this.

1 in 10 diners post their meals to social media. Using this information and engaging people over social media by tagging and acknowledging their visit makes them feel special and valued. It is important not to over step the line. Guests are happy for relevant engagement, but if it’s irrelevant it becomes annoying and leaves a bad taste.

Using technology you can build a profile of a guest so when they return you know more about them. You’ll know it they are allergic to nuts or prefer to be sat in the window. Acting on this information creates a unique experience and again makes the guest feel valued. This allows every guest to be treated as a regular, which is what they all want.

The stigma around the use of technology

There is still a stigma attached to the use of technology. 33% are still uncomfortable with privacy invasion regarding data collection. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal has acknowledged that whilst tech is important to the unique experience, they have kept it firmly in the background. Stuck to pencil and paper chits rather than tablets for front of house staff, all EPOS systems are hidden away and they only interact once a guest has interacted with them to allow them to feel comfortable.

So it seems technology may be the way to tackle the modern consumer and boost the all-important experience. Just use it appropriately.

Timing and technology: today's takeaway takeaways

“Your pizza is on the road.”

Well pick it up will you, we’re all watching…

Takeaways are always a guilty pleasure. I’m fairly sure it’s impossible to order a takeaway without a little guilt. Haven’t bothered shopping? Takeaway. Have food but can’t be bothered to cook? Takeaway. Hungover? Bacon sarnie… then a takeaway.

But, you’ll be pleased to know you don’t have to feel too guilty. Everyone dabbles in the odd takeaway here and there. And new research has shown that wherever you are and whatever the reason for your order, one thing is almost always the same. The time you order. In fact, time is everything for today’s takeaway-er.

A timely takeaway discovery

Nicolas Scrutton Alvarado and Tyler J. Stevenson, from the School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, have looked into takeaway-based Google searches. The searches show a “remarkably consistent rhythm of people wanting to find food online at about 7pm and again at 2am.” This is the same in the UK, US, Canada, India and Australia.

The two also commented on how unsurprising this really is, because of habits first seen a long, long time ago. These timings, attitudes and food-based behaviours match the foraging habits of our pre-historic ancestors – despite the takeaway industry really struggling back then. Hard to Deliveroo anything without the wheel…

Time matters when people order. But it’s also the one thing on people’s minds after they order.

Deliver on time (people are watching)

Zonal and CGA’s latest ‘Go Technology’ report has revealed that 33% of consumers want to know their exact delivery time as soon as they order.

In today’s ‘Just-Eat’ world, takeaways have more competition than ever before. Long gone are the days of digging out the pre-circled menu, dialling up and reciting your picks like lottery numbers. A meal arriving late, however great the taste, may not be good enough.

If a site can consistently deliver good food on time, it grabs attention. If not, reviews may plummet. And if reviews plummet, it will be very difficult to compete.

As with tricky photos and every risky joke ever told, timing is everything.

Technology’s growing role in takeaways

Technology and takeaways go hand-in-hand like that hungover pizza and a sense of regret. The Go Technology report also revealed that 22% of consumers think ordering through artificial intelligence (Alexa, Siri, etc.) will become more commonplace in the near future. The other 78% just felt embarrassed about screaming ‘Pizza’ at their Amazon Echo.

What this all shows is that while the takeaway market continues to grow – Just-Eat recently announced a 30% increase in orders in the 6 months leading up to June 2018 – the impact of technology within it is growing too. From GPS delivery tracking, to reviews and comments online, a takeaway site that doesn’t stay on track with the latest tech trends could see all its loyal customers taken away.