The catering industry is currently recovering gradually, but it is not simply to restore the original path. The era of reconstruction and value innovation has arrived.
The impact of the epidemic on catering
How to judge whether an event can trigger changes in the entire industry? The key is whether this event has touched the industry’s structural system. Let’s look at the four main changes brought about by the epidemic:
Changes in consumption behavior and consumption concept
After two or three months, many online models are quickly used by consumers, such as cloud classes, cloud meetings, and cloud listings. Even if the epidemic is completely over, the habits and concepts that have been cultivated will remain in our memory, which indirectly affects our future consumer behavior. Everyone’s concerns about the economic situation during the epidemic, let us re-examine our consumption philosophy. Although high-end consumer demand will still exist, the epidemic will make many people more willing to choose cost-effective products.
The consumer side is forcing the industrial side, and industries and companies that are more adaptable to change will emerge and rise. After the epidemic, new consumer behaviors and concepts will change consumer scenarios, such as the rise of community business circles and the optimization of online scenarios. We will be more adaptable online than before, and cost-effective products will be more popular.
Changes in mainstream consumer groups
The outbreak occurred at the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020, after “95” and “after 00” began to become the mainstream consumer group. They do not have particularly outstanding economic capabilities, nor do they have a strong concept of saving, but they pay more attention to personal needs and self-satisfaction. The replacement of mainstream consumer groups will make niche products shine, and the mass category will also have more value innovations. The emergence of the epidemic has accelerated the evolution of this consumption trend.
Coupled with the popularity of shopping malls and other channels, as well as the convenience of commercial districts such as communities, more and more mainstream young consumer groups are willing to visit these commercial districts. The rejuvenation of food and beverage brands is an inevitable trend-not only to satisfy young people, but also to iterate with the times. Even if your customers are middle-aged and elderly, they also like to maintain innovative brands.
Popularization of data intelligence technology
It is already a very common consumption habit to go to the restaurant to eat, read public comments, grab US Meal packages, scan code to order, WeChat/Alipay payment, etc. Technology drives social change. Technology is also one of the important underlying structures of business change. The benefits that technology development brings to enterprises are quantifiable and measurable consumer behavior. Not only e-commerce can see user consumption data, but also offline stores. Such as customer price, ordered food, consumption frequency and other data information.
Data itself has no value, insight into the law of data is valuable. The real consumption data is of great significance to the company’s business guidance and scientific decision-making. Enterprises can improve products and models based on user behavior data and demand insights to achieve better growth. For the catering industry, technology will support product standardization, central kitchen mode, etc. to reduce overall operating costs and improve operating efficiency.
The reason why this outbreak can spawn a large number of online models is inseparable from the development of the technical foundation. After the outbreak, we must pay more attention to the changes brought about by data and technology.
Investment market tends to be rational
From 2013 to 2015, it was a period of mad capital investment in the catering industry. Diaoye Sirloin, Huang Taiji, Funiutang, met with noodles, etc., with the concept of Internet + catering, has been sought after by many capitals, and capitals are also afraid of missing the “time” outlet, have entered the catering industry. However, many catering businesses are facing the dilemma of “three highs and one low” with high rents, high labor costs, high cost of ingredients, and low gross profit. Not many catering companies survived. Capital also began to find that catering was not as easy as they thought, and the return on investment period was not short. Now if you say that it takes more than 3 years for the catering project to recover the investment, many people are afraid to touch it.
The outbreak of the epidemic has caused a large number of catering companies to close down, and some brands that already have a heavy operating structure have been hit hard. At this time, many capitals began to calm down and become more rational. There have also been more objective considerations on the catering business model and investment enthusiasm.
Of course, the epidemic not only changed some business models, but also accelerated the development of some business models, such as vertical live sales and brand franchise models.
Seven dining trends after the epidemic
Based on the four points analyzed above, I think that the epidemic will have at least seven impacts on catering:
Channel changes: communities become new investment channels for opening stores
The community is closer to the mainstream consumer group, and the user group is more stable. In the epidemic, everyone also felt the convenience of dining and shopping in community stores, without having to go to shopping malls where crowds gather. Many community restaurants are recovering faster than catering in supermarkets. In addition to the past few years, the community’s business services have also gradually diversified and become more comprehensive, and the epidemic has cultivated this awareness and consumption habits.
Therefore, the store was opened to the street before, and now it is generally to the shopping center. In the future, it may gradually be deployed in the community. Because it is closer to the user, there will be more possibilities for consumer demand. For example, if you order something on your mobile phone on the way from get off work, you can pick it up at the community store. Especially in the fast-food and high-frequency categories such as fast food to meet the needs of satiety, there will be more and more brand chains in the future. The community is a new consumption scenario and investment channel.
“Cost-effective”: the same price, a higher perceived value experience
Cost performance does not mean low prices, but customers spend the same money to get higher value and experience. It is self-evident that if there are obvious differences in the store environment and sanitary conditions between the two stores with similar tastes, it is self-evident. Many people understand this truth, but many companies cannot. why?
cost. This improvement in experience generally leads to an increase in costs. But customers do have this demand. Here, through the reconstruction of patterns and costs, we can reduce investment in areas where customer perception is not strong, and focus on investment in areas where customer perception is strong. This allows customers to spend the same money, get a better experience and value perception, and companies can make money.
Regional niche categories will slowly increase
Whether a category can be popularized, the public’s knowledge of this category is very important. With the convenience of transportation and the unbounded exchange of information, even in a small mountain village in the northwest, you can know Chongqing Hotpot and Li Jiaqi. Coupled with the rise of shopping malls and other channels and the standardization of supply chains, various regional cuisines and categories such as Yunnan cuisine, Northwestern cuisine, Northeast cuisine, and Hunan cuisine have been able to reach all parts of the country.
The epidemic has spawned more consumer scenes, and the regional niche categories will be more and more. The integration of people in first- and second-tier cities has also allowed various niche categories to have sufficient demand to achieve profitability. But don’t think that all niche categories have opportunities. It is necessary to evaluate the potential demand of the category in the business district and determine whether it can support the profitability of a single store.
Online and offline integration: offline experience, online retail
Catering is an experience-driven industry, and offline experiences are always irreplaceable online. But online and offline are not isolated relationships, but fusion and complementary relationships. Just like going to dinner now, I first select a certain store through Dianping. I finish eating offline, then pay with my mobile phone, and then wind up my circle of friends-you said, is this meal more online or offline? ?
In the epidemic, the consumption habits of online takeout and online shopping have also become more mature. Convenient logistics and various fresh-keeping technologies have accelerated the trend of online food and beverage retailing. For example, Haidilao’s self-improving instant hot pot and Baman rice noodles (formerly Fu Niu Tang)’s rice noodles retail. Small stores are also available, such as some homemade chili sauce, which will also be retailed as an accessory.
The purpose of catering food is not only to increase some operating income (some retail account is very low), but also to increase the connection between the brand and customers. Because it is impossible for customers to eat in your store every day, but if some of the relevant retail food under your brand/store can be placed in the customer’s home, this increases the time and opportunity of exposure, which is equivalent to advertising the brand every day. Remind customers to remember the brand and choose the brand.
But don’t retail for retail. Food and beverage retailing is based on customers’ recognition of the brand or store. If the food in the store has not been completed, the experience is not good, and you want to increase the turnover by retailing-this is the end of the story.
Customer fandom: from “product-centric” to “customer-centric”
This is reflected in the establishment of private domain traffic and the management and maintenance of customer relationships. In the face of the epidemic, businesses that keep customers in their own hands in advance have an advantage. By retailing dishes and taking out to customers, they have reduced a lot of losses. Big brands usually leave customers on their platforms (public account, applet, etc.). Small and medium-sized catering companies should also bind long-term users, such as on WeChat or other platforms. Customers who are in their hands and operating well are real traffic. While keeping customers in their own online channels, we must also focus on making consumer behavior data quantifiable and measurable, to facilitate a better understanding of customer needs, and to achieve better product iteration and brand optimization.
Opening mode: small and beautiful catering brands will be more popular
Large stores have high investment costs and long investment return cycles. Small shops, such as specialty snack shops, and some convenient fast food shops, etc., to solve the demand for eating while walking, it is easier from the aspects of operating costs, investment, copying and joining. In the future, the brand will become more and more professional. With the intervention of the central kitchen model and related technologies, the overall cost will decrease and product standardization will increase. This will reduce the cost structure of catering and shorten the return on investment. It will also attract More investment institutions.
Chinese food prospects: opportunities for the rise of local Chinese brands
The brand itself is also a cultural symbol. China’s increasing comprehensive strength and cultural self-confidence have a subtle influence on local catering brands and catering culture. Eating KFC and McDonald’s was a fashion act before. Now this feeling is getting weaker and more and more people are returning to Chinese food and Chinese specialties. Chinese food is more suitable for our Chinese stomach. Coupled with the continuous development and optimization of Chinese food, it has a positive effect on the development of Chinese food brand categories.
Moreover, foreign countries have a natural understanding of Chinese cuisine. With the popularization of Chinese food, such as the central kitchen, many Chinese catering brands have more advantages in going abroad.
Finally, the epidemic has caused the loss and impact of most businesses and individuals. It is a fact that not everyone can turn a crisis into an opportunity. But we still have to resume the market, not only to seize the opportunity that suits us, but also to have a risk prevention awareness and a normalized response plan.