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CHICAGO – Today's consumers regularly order takeout food, with 51 percent reporting they do so at least once a week. They turn to grocery stores for takeout more than any other segment when fast-food concepts are excluded, according to Technomic Inc.'s new Takeout & Off-Premise Dining Consumer Trend Report.
While offering takeout brings special challenges for retail operators and catering programs, it is also an attractive way to increase unit sales, especially as the economy continues to recover, the report found. Focusing on creating products that are specific to takeout, and not just the logistics of takeout, will help grow programs.
"Convenience is key for the takeout customer," said Technomic Senior Vice President Joe Pawlak. "They want consistently high-quality, well-packaged meal solutions that can be sourced in truly convenient ways. Enhanced amenities and services — from updated delivery and call-ahead services to easy-to-use mobile apps and online ordering platforms — can help provide an edge over competitors and improve takeout and catering sales."
Key findings of the report include:
- Takeout consumers expect consistency and they look for takeout fare to match dine-in occasions. Out of all traffic drivers measured, including freshness, temperature and portion size, 68 percent of consumers said it is most important for takeout and dine-in food to taste the same.
- Fifty-six percent of consumers said a convenient location is one of the most important factors in deciding where to purchase takeout, while 48 percent said quick food preparation is an important consideration.
- Call-ahead services are vital to success in takeout programs, with 69 percent of limited-service takeout customers and 61 percent of full-service takeout consumers stating that they would likely use call-ahead ordering if it was offered.