Pressures on eating out
The ‘experience economy’ is booming but, beneath the surface, spend on eating out and coffee shops is under pressure from weakened confidence and an increasingly hard-to-please public.
Choice has certainly proliferated. The number of food and beverage outlets opening reached a new high last year (according to the LDC), with a net increase of 1,333 outlets – 44% growth vs. 2012!
However, cracks are beginning to show. Hikes in rates, rents, staffing costs and general inflation mean higher prices. This in turn is leading consumers to seek a bigger return on their investment – often in the form of experiences that go well beyond the food itself and which create memorable events.
This thirst for specialness has left some brands looking tired. 2018 has already seen Byron, Jamie’s, EAT and Square Pie closing stores and Costa posting another fall in sales. We believe players need to connect with consumers on a more emotional level if they’re to succeed. Here we take a look at 5 key weapons that brands can use to win the attention of very demanding customers.
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