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Oracle study highlights UK consumer views on restaurants during lockdown and what brands should expect in terms of take-out and dine-in experiencesLONDON—August 13, 2020
Fatigued by cooking at home, UK diners are ready to eat out more – with conditions. According to a new Oracle Food and Beverage study, people have shown an increased desire to stay local and help independent restaurants. Thirty-six percent of respondents in the UK reported ordering more frequently from local restaurants during stay-at-home orders than they did before the crisis.
Consumers are also looking for reassurance on cleaning procedures and technology to reduce contact with servers. Forty percent of those surveyed in the UK said they would feel safer if they could view menus from their mobile device and 31% would like to pay in the same manner.
“Throughout the UK, we have seen communities rallying around local independents to ensure they make it through to the other side of this crisis,” said Simon de Montfort Walker, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Food and Beverage. “The Eat Out to Help Out scheme is a great proof point, with more than 10.5 million meals reported to date. But while consumers are getting back out there to eat, they have increased expectations on everything from menus to the technology used to increase safety. Execution will play a pivotal role in building customer trust and ensuring today’s diners remain loyal.”
The study, commissioned by Oracle and fielded by Untold Insights, examines the dining preferences and behaviors of 2,000 consumers in the US and UK before and during stay-at-home-orders. To download the fact sheet visit here.
Only 17% of UK consumers reported an increase in purchasing from national chains during stay-at-home orders compared to the previously 36% that increased frequency with independent brands. Consumer’s brand loyalty was also impacted, with 30% of UK respondents citing an increase in loyalty to the brands they frequented during stay-at-home-orders. This sentiment was most prevalent with millennials, with 37% reporting an increase in loyalty.
Eighty-seven percent of UK respondents noted they often ordered take-out before COVID-19 began. Interestingly, that number dropped to 65% in the UK during stay-at-home orders. As restrictions continue to ease, 21% of those in the UK plan to order take-out at least once a week. Interestingly, how consumers want to receive food varied by region. Americans preferred to pick-up their food (38% US vs. 22% UK), while the UK prefers home-delivery (57% UK vs. 33% US). Both sides agreed that a negative take-out experience – ranging from a reduced menu to poor service – was a deal-breaker. Thirty-percent of respondents in the UK stopped ordering from an establishment due to a bad experience during stay-at-home-orders.
Despite the popularity of third-party delivery apps, many consumers prefer to interact directly with the restaurant itself. The survey found that 71% of UK respondents prefer to order directly from a restaurant, rather than using a third-party app or other platforms. Of those, 32% like to order directly over the phone, while others prefer to order digitally either through the restaurant’s website (28%) or a restaurant app (11%).
Restaurants are seeing the strongest comeback from the millennial generation (25-39) and the largest decline from the boomer generation (55+). Thirty-five percent of UK millennials overall reported that they dined out weekly before stay-at-home-orders and that 25% intend to dine out every week now that restaurants are open. In contrast, 18% of boomers previously dined out weekly and only 7% intend to continue that frequency upon reopening, representing a 39% decrease.
As noted above, contactless technology was high on the list for customers to feel comfortable dining out again. On top of the ability to view menus and pay via a personal device, 37% of UK respondents also preferred to pay remotely via kiosks or tablets that could be easily cleaned by servers.
Oracle Food and Beverage, formerly MICROS, brings 40 years of experience in providing software and hardware solutions to restaurants, bars, pubs, clubs, coffee shops, cafes, stadiums, and theme parks. Thousands of operators, both large and small, around the world are using Oracle technology to deliver exceptional guest experiences, maximize sales, and reduce running costs.
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