Food Ordering Trends for 2021 and Beyond
With everything that has happened during the pandemic in 2020, consumers had to adapt to new ways of ordering their favorite foods from local restaurants. Think with Google recently put these buyer trends into a presentation that we want to break down, share our thoughts, and potential opportunities that restaurants can use to grow their business in 2021.
According to Google, In 2020, 83% of people changed the way they got their food and what they ate. Most people went online to get what they were needing or craving.
Here are the trends that Google saw:
66% of people used online search to find food information.
57% of people discovered food information via online ads.
A 400% global increase for searched with "diner to go" in the query.
90% of the changes consumers made were based on safety and comfort.
So what opportunities do we see in this data?
First, restaurants and meal prep companies can use this information to come up with targeted digital marketing strategy that meet local customers' needs.
Second, use Google my Business to showcase your ordering options (ex: to go, delivery, dine in), safety measures, hours etc. This will help new and regular customers feel confident in what you're doing to meet their concerns.
Third, post specials or discounts as offers on Google My Business. The pandemic certainly made it harder for everyone. For customers on a budget, a good discount could be the deciding factor between you and your competition.
Although many habits consumers have developed due to circumstances will change as we get past the pandemic, the Google presentation states that there will be 2 key trends that will remain popular:
Reliance on Digital and Nearby Food Ordering options.
Focus on Self Care
So let's take a look at reliance on Digital and Nearby Food Ordering options. Google found a 100% increase globally for "available near me" searches.
Customers turned to online and mobile options to place orders for pick up or delivery, and that 47% of people who performed these types of searches did so for the first time.
The restaurant industry used mobile ordering to provide a more seamless experience for customers. This trend will continue to be popular in 2021.
So what opportunities do we see?
First, restaurant owners without a mobile food ordering system are missing out on providing better customer service with a convenient solution more people are learning to appreciate. Taking calls is great, but how many customers fall through the cracks because they can't get through on the phone. A great mobile website makes the process of ordering easy and stress free. Easy equals happy customers. Happy customers equals loyalty, which means more repeat customers.
Second, restaurants have more opportunities to entice new customers thanks to the increase in searches. Don't forget, many of these people are using digital for the first time. Think about what they might be searching for. If your business specializes in a particular cuisine, showcase that on local and social media outlets as well as your website – both desktop and mobile.
Finally, make sure your business information is current on all search engine and social media sites. Did you change your hours and delivery options? Keep this information up to date, it will reduce consumer frustration.
Now, let's look at Self Care. When the pandemic first happened, people were looking for indulgent types of food, but that time has passed. Now they are looking for more healthy options.
Here is the current trend according to Google:
40% of people are looking for "benefits of eating" to get information to help them make better food choices.
31% of people are eating healthier to balance their physical and mental health.
How can restaurants and meal prep companies use this data?
Because customers are looking for benefits, it's important to be specific about the types of food you serve and if it's "friendly" for certain diets (ex: Keto or Gluten Free).
Use Google my Business, your blog, and social media sites to share the benefits of your menu items. You can showcase certain dishes from the menu, and talk about what types of ingredients you use and why it's so good for them (ex: whole, natural, organic). The more information you give, the more confident your customers will feel purchasing from you.
If you aren't sure what consumers are looking for, you can use Google Trends to do searches for your state and city. It can help you with your content, titles and descriptions so you will be found online.
We know a lot has changed for the Food Industry this past year, but we hope that breaking down these trends will help you see that there are still plenty of opportunities for the future so you can make a solid plan for 2021 and beyond.
Technic Apps is a full service mobile web app developer in Texas. We provide the best mobile solutions for small to medium businesses. If you are needing a new Mobile website or a Food Ordering system, check out our solutions then fill out the form at the bottom to schedule a free 30 minute consultation.