July 27, 2020

IndyRestWhitepaper-2020.jpgIndependent operators that are nimble and quickly evolve to shifting consumer trends find the most success. That flexibility and innovation will be more important than ever for independent restaurants navigating the current foodservice environment. COVID-19 has forced major changes to how, where and why consumers interact with restaurants.
Highlights include:

  • Independent restaurants are a critical piece of the foodservice industry, making up approximately 68% of the more than 700,000 U.S. restaurant and bar locations.
  • Consumers have become accustomed to off-premise foodservice as dining rooms closed due to the pandemic. Now, consumers are saying they will continue to primarily use takeout, drive-thru and delivery restaurant services.
  • Weekly specials and LTOs can be a cost-effective way for operators to stay fresh and relevant. It can catch the eye of a new customer or motivate an existing customer to keep coming back for a new experience.
  • Gen Zers and millennials are among the most frequent users of foodservice, and their expectations and behaviors are evolving. With daily commuting patterns shifting during the pandemic, empasis on dayparts is also changing, as are consumers’ motivations for restaurant visits.
  • Operators will be more receptive than ever to assistance from their distributor partners, especially in the areas of product support and obtaining critical information.

Technomic developed this white paper exclusively for IFDA and its members to gain better insight into the independent restaurant market. The paper is free to all IFDA members and can be downloaded here.

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