Specialty Food Magazine

Spring 2019

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://specialtyfoodmagazine.epubxp.com/i/1090132

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to see if we can capture more of the market, of course. One thing we are doing is creating subscription offerings. This option allows a customer to lock in a monthly delivery of Maine Lobster Rolls, for instance. Each month on a specified day, the customer receives a package of fresh lobster rolls. We have created several of these and will be creating more that are offered for three- to 12-month subscriptions. Jeff Spitulnek, head of products, marketing, design, consumer success, Eatsa One of the situations that Eatsa happily found itself in in the market- place was a pretty massive change in consumer expectations around how they like to engage and interact with foodservice providers such as restaurants and even grocery stores, and the way they go about getting food. People who are part of generations that have digital technology all around them are able to access and integrate with the brands they consume on all digital channels, at the time and place they desire, whether it be shopping HauteLook or Nordstrom or Amazon or getting a car to the airport. Companies have fought over consumers as these digital checkpoints have become more pervasive and it's time for restaurants to suffer the same pains or take advantage of the same trends. Services from Uber Eats to Postmates and others are scrambling to figure out what consumers are demanding and the differentiators in the marketplace to provide. In a way, restaurants are a little bit victimized by this demand. There are multiple ordering channels and various expectations entering into their formerly single channel operation. If a customer wanted to order something in the past they'd walk in or call but now restaurants have all these new channels to grapple with. In our technology portfolio there is the ability to take orders over mobile apps and in-store self-service kiosks, so when these new ordering channels started to appear with third-party delivery services, we simply expanded our integration to take orders from them as well. We have an Omnichannel Intelligent Queue Software product, which takes orders from multiple channels and orchestrates when an order needs to be put on the line in a given restaurant. The system is smart enough to pick the restaurant where there is the least wait time or which is closest to the consumer and it will tell the delivery driver when it will be ready for pickup so that they know when to show up. Julie Gallagher is managing editor of Specialty Food Magazine. Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of research, National Restaurant Association The off-premises market—takeout, delivery, drive-thru, curbside, and food trucks—has been an important driver of sales over the past decade and continues to grow. The most rapidly developing com- ponent is delivery, especially in the quick service segment. From the consumer perspective, there's nothing more convenient than having a restaurant come to them. Traditional and third-party delivery is popular because it allows consumers to experience freshly prepared, restaurant-quality menu items that are made to order, convenient, and affordable. Today, 63 percent of all restaurant traffic is off-premise, and that number is expected to rise with increased adoption of mobile ordering technologies and third-party delivery. When a restaurant's menu is made available for delivery, it changes how operators must approach technology, packaging, manufacturing, food safety, and distribution. There are tremendous opportunities available for our industry in this rapidly evolving space. When we look at industry traffic, off-premise delivery currently makes up 3 percent of it, but there is large upside potential to drive sales growth in certain segments, in much the same way that drive- thrus did back in the 1970s and 1980s. Moreover, we expect that going forward there will be an even greater focus on the off-premise markets, especially where delivery is concerned, including delivery of alcoholic beverages, not just food. Cal Hancock, president, Hancock Gourmet Lobster Co. Interestingly, our delivery of products shipped directly to the consum- er was up by almost 20 percent in 2018. We ship overnight and 2nd day delivery by UPS and we do ship to all 50 states. Consequently, consumers can get our products (entrees, appetizers, soups, and full meals) delivered within that timeframe since we generally can ship the same day that a person orders. We may be unique in that we offer our products via our website and to foodservice operations. I live and work in a rural state and I find that most of the restaurant deliveries occur in more populated areas where there is also a larger variety of food options. Consumers are more aware of their options today by using such services as Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Seamless and this often results in them finding additional options online such as Hancock Gourmet Lobster Co. We are a bit unique in that we offer specialties that are not necessarily available elsewhere or in restaurants. We are always looking at new trends Q: With a number of delivery services at their disposal, it's easier for Americans to quickly get restaurant fare delivered to their homes than ever before. What does this mean for restaurants and how is the trend affecting your strategy, if at all? SPRING 2019 73 specialty food maker

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