Serving Up Industry Insights and Expert Advice for Restaurants
In this week’s Food For Thought Newsletter
- Starbucks Reusable Cup Pilot Aims for Waste Reduction
- KFC Launches First-Ever Spirit With New Rum
- Can Subscription Models Benefit Restaurants and Guests?
- The Future Is Phygital: Insights to Meet In-Restaurant and Digital Expectations
- What Benefits Can Restaurants See From Green Food Packages?
- Meat Alternatives on the Menu: Burger King, Subway and McDonald’s Propel Plant-Based Fast Food
- The Future of Taco Bell Includes a Variety of Assets
- UK Junk Food Ad Bans: Local Authorities Ramp up Policies to Protect Children’s Health
- Snacking in Focus: Plant-Based Proteins and Functional Fiber Prove Popular, Reduced Sugar, Salt and Fat Claims Corner the Category
- One Big Subway Challenge: Its Online Reputation
- Recommended Resources
Grab a Coffee, and Let’s Get Started
Starbucks Reusable Cup Pilot Aims for Waste Reduction
Starbucks has partnered with Turn Systems to launch its largest reusable cup pilot project, aiming to reduce single-use cup waste and improve sustainability.
Customers can bring their own cup or borrow a reusable polypropylene cup. In-store customers can request a ceramic or glass reusable cup. Turn Systems has implemented collection bins for the return of borrowed cups, and customers can register to win prizes or rewards.
The program aims to determine how to integrate reusable cups into regular operations and incentivise customers.
What do you think of this idea? Are you offering reusable cups at your venue? Let me know in the comments.
KFC Launches First-Ever Spirit With New Rum
KFC has partnered with UK-based rum brand Dead Man’s Fingers to launch their first-ever spirit called the 11 Herbed and Spiced Rum. This limited-edition rum combines the flavours of Dead Man’s Fingers spiced rum with KFC’s secret herb and spice blend.
The drink features hints of creamy caramel, vanilla, treacle toffee, and nutmeg. The rum is now available for pre-order on The Drop Store and Amazon.
A pop-up Chicken and Rum Shack in Margate (UK) will showcase the new rum and offer free chicken to visitors on September 1 and 2. The pop-up will also serve Dead Man’s Fingers-approved cocktails, such as Zinger Punch, The Colonel’s Colada, and Fingers Lickin’ Good.
I predict we’ll see more brand partnerships like this in the future – who would you like to team up with?
Can Subscription Models Benefit Restaurants and Guests?
The restaurant industry is adopting subscription models at an increasing rate to strengthen their bond with customers, thereby enhancing customer loyalty and satisfaction. By leveraging data analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI), these subscription models are becoming more personalised and tech-savvy, increasing convenience and strengthening customer relationships.
Customers have responded positively to these subscription models, often spending more than anticipated. The perks of these models are the tailor-made incentives they offer, which are determined by the loyalty level of the subscriber.
Meal kits, unlimited items, and subscription dining are all examples of successful models. If you’re considering implementing a subscription model, ensure you design exclusive rewards and personalised experiences. Use buyer personas as a tool to create offers for each audience segment.
The Future Is Phygital: Insights to Meet In-Restaurant and Digital Expectations
The Tillster 2023 Phygital Index report points out the growing consumer appetite for a blend of physical and digital, or “phygital” experiences, especially in the restaurant sector. This trend sees customers wanting the ambience of in-person dining but with the convenience of digital features.
Self-service kiosks are a significant phygital element favoured by a considerable segment of diners. These kiosks cater to two distinct user categories: speed and efficiency seekers, or “beeliners”, and those who prefer a leisurely browsing experience, or “explorers”.
Digital tools like kiosks and mobile ordering fulfil customer expectations, foster engagement, and build enduring relationships with diners.
Would you implement digital kiosks in your restaurant? Could this be a new solution for hotel breakfasts?
What Benefits Can Restaurants See From Green Food Packages?
Green packaging offers numerous advantages to the restaurant industry, extending beyond environmental conservation.
New research analyses how such eco-friendly packaging influences consumer buying behaviour, overall takeaway service experience, and the subsequent impact on the restaurant’s operations.
Findings indicate that while green packaging may not directly affect the buying choices of first-time customers, it enhances their overall service experience. This positive experience, in turn, fosters favourable word-of-mouth publicity, which can boost future sales.
When did you last audit the environmental impact of your packaging?
Meat Alternatives on the Menu: Burger King, Subway and McDonald’s Propel Plant-Based Fast Food
A new report from ProVeg International reveals that the world’s five biggest fast food chains – McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King, Subway, and Domino’s Pizza – are offering more plant-based options in response to the growing demand for meat alternatives.
Burger King is ranked highest among the chains, with 30 plant-based main dishes out of 307 across nine countries. The report emphasises the importance of fast food chains promoting plant-based foods to support the transition to more climate-friendly diets. It also highlights the global market for plant-based meat substitutes, expected to reach $15.7 billion by 2025.
The report urges all food service businesses to increase their plant-based options and implement strategies to encourage mainstream consumers to choose plant-based alternatives.
What plant-based dishes are on your menu?
The Future of Taco Bell Includes a Variety of Assets
Taco Bell has unveiled its updated Go Mobile 2.0 restaurant, incorporating digital-forward features like walk-up windows, dedicated parking for digital and third-party orders, and grab-and-go shelves.
The new design aims to support the chain’s target of 10,000 units and parent company Yum Brands’ goal of achieving 100% digital sales transactions. The model also seeks to boost franchisee profitability and alleviate employee pinch points, especially during late-night shifts.
The Go Mobile 2.0 restaurants are smaller in size and have lower capital expenditure, allowing for expansion into new areas. The concept can serve as an infill asset near traditional Taco Bell restaurants, catering to the growing digital traffic.
The design also includes a Kitchen Display System to prioritise orders and facilitate employee collaboration. While the Go Mobile 2.0 model is just one tool in Taco Bell’s toolbox, the company emphasises its commitment to innovation and plans for multiple types of restaurants in the future.
Have you started your digital transformation journey yet?
UK Junk Food Ad Bans: Local Authorities Ramp up Policies to Protect Children’s Health
Local authorities in the UK are taking steps to protect children’s health by implementing policies restricting unhealthy food and drink advertisements. Luton Council in South East England has become the eighth authority to introduce a Healthier Food Advertising Policy, following the lead of the Mayor of London and six other councils. Tower Hamlets council recently approved a similar policy to reduce exposure to unhealthy food adverts targeting children in disadvantaged areas.
Research has shown that these restrictions can lead to a decrease in sugary products and calories consumed and a reduction in obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
What do you think about this idea? Should restaurants in disadvantaged areas add more healthy meals to their menus?
Snacking in Focus: Plant-Based Proteins and Functional Fibre Prove Popular
The snacking industry is evolving to meet the demands of health-conscious consumers who seek delicious, high-quality snacks with nutritional benefits. Key factors influencing snack purchases include perceived health benefits, sustainability claims, and ingredient lists. Popular claims consumers seek include free-from, high protein, and fibre content.
Savoury snacks with a higher protein, no artificial colours/ingredients, and whole grain/multi-grain claims are particularly in demand. Consumers are willing to pay extra for high protein and plant-based ingredient claims.
Other key trends include sugar and sodium reduction, functional claims and ingredients, and the preference for simple ingredient lists.
Pubs and Hotels take notice; make sure your bar snacks pack a protein punch!
One Big Subway Challenge: Its Online Reputation
Subway has been ranked as having the worst online reputation among fast-food chains, according to a survey by marketing technology company SOCi Inc. Subway scored 18 out of 100, which is less than half the average score of 45 and 267% lower than the top-performing chain, Chick-fil-A, which achieved a score of 66.
The survey analysed online reviews on platforms such as Google, Yelp, and Facebook, considering new reviews, volume of reviews, mix of positive and negative feedback, response time, and average rating. The study also found that “ghosting,” ignoring online feedback and reviews, is a significant problem among poorly performing restaurant chains.
McDonald’s had a reputation score of 49, higher than Arby’s, Wendy’s, and Burger King. In terms of pizza chains, Pizza Hut scored 46, but the sector overall had an average score of 37.
Are you concerned about your online reputation? A Digital Audit can help – Learn More
That’s a wrap for the week!
Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any feedback or suggestions for future topics.
Here’s to Your Success
Last Updated on 21 December 2023 by Dawn Gribble