Restaurant Trends: Pick-Up Is The New Delivery

Value, pick-up instead of delivery, new flavors combined with classic tastes, social media use and small indulgences emerge as the key flavor and trend projections for restaurants in the latest report by global foodservice and ingredient source Lyons Magnus.

As food prices, both grocery and in-restaurant, continue to rise, customers are seeking more bang for their buck, according to the report.

So the high costs of third-party delivery apps may deter some customers. The report states that “mobile, app-based ordering and pick-up (will) increasingly steal share from third-party home delivery in 2024.” Through pick-up, consumers benefit by skipping high delivery and other service fees as well as driver tips. Operators still benefit from a “reduction in overall costs and providing a better value proposition to the customer.”



As 2024 begins, “consumers who are uncertain about the future of the economy will be dining out less, eating in more, and exploring more channels across the food category." These new channels may include alternative sources like convenience stores and more value-driven dining establishments. Operators cautious about prices increases can focus on marketing creative new meal deals, bundles and value offers, the report suggests.

While many customers may seek more comfort food during the early part of 2024, the definition of such foods has expanded to include more innovative tastes. For example, classics like meatloaf are being prepared with new flavors like Korean gochujang glaze, along with a birria macaroni and cheese -- all part of the trend of combining the new with the old. The trend continues for beverages and deserts, introducing twists on classics like mochi ice cream and old-fashioned lemonade made with yuzu, an East Asian citrus fruit.

Customers may seek value, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want a little indulgence as well. The report predicts the rise of “mini-treats,” defined as “self-indulgent, bite-sizes, low-cost” options like tiny milkshakes and two-bite brownies.

And lastly, use of social media to seek out restaurant recommendations is only on the upswing. Sixty-three percent of consumers reported they used social media to find restaurant and food choices. Thus restaurants are putting more marketing dollars toward social media, digital marketing and producing attractive food photography to gain customers.

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