A new report released today by Eagle Eye, a leading SaaS digital marketing provider, reveals a significant shift in Canadian dining habits and their attitudes toward food and beverage brands, presenting new revenue opportunities for Canadian businesses heading into 2019.
Eagle Eye’s report, Changing Tastes & Flavours: Canadians’ Attitudes Toward Food and Beverage Brands Are Changing. Are F&B Operators Moving Fast Enough? comes at a time when Canada’s vast geography, rich landscape and varied demographics have created a national food and beverage (F&B) industry that is dynamic, competitive, and as diverse as its citizens. But even with the global economy’s unpredictability and fast-paced technological developments, the Canadian F&B sector has remained resilient.
Based on a survey conducted by Eagle Eye of 2,000 Canadian consumers and over 200 F&B professionals, the report looks at the relationship between how consumers engage with F&B establishments across the country, and whether F&B operators are equipped with the right tools and technology to meet those expectations. Key consumer statistics include:
- 71% have a meal outside of their home up to 10 times per month
- Younger generations and working professionals dine out more frequently, up to 20 times per month
- 62% of consumers spend up to $30 per visit
- 30% of Canadian consumers are currently members of a restaurant loyalty program
- 13% of Canadians use third-party delivery services like Uber Eats to order from restaurants, rather than through the restaurant directly
With more options and ways to interact with restaurants, bars, quick service restaurants (QSRs), taverns, and other F&B establishments, consumer dining habits have evolved significantly over the last twelve months. These behaviours include a higher frequency of restaurant delivery, getting fast food, buying prepared foods from the grocery store, getting takeout from a restaurant and ordering 3rd party food delivery services.
But while dining out remains at an all-time high for consumers, new data shows that many F&B operators are failing to engage with consumers—and losing out on revenue opportunities in the process:
- 38% of consumers have not received communications from a restaurant brand in the past 3 months
- Only 22% have received a personalized offer to prompt a first time-visit
- 35% have received an offer to prompt a return visit
- 60% of consumers would return for another visit if offered a coupon
- Only 30% of operators use technology, data and insights to identify their customers through promo codes, card payments or loyalty memberships
“Today’s food and beverage sector is increasingly competitive, but most operators lack insights into who their customers are, how often they visit and what they’re ordering,” said Tim Mason, Chief Executive Officer at Eagle Eye. “To capitalize on the revenue opportunities our report has uncovered, Canadian brands need to become digitally connected to gather customer data, create a direct marketing channel, and stand out from their competitors. With the right digital infrastructure, food and beverage operators can cost-effectively drive repeat visits and increase spend per visit.”
The report also speaks to major challenges F&B operators face across Canada, including:
- Fraud continues to impact the industry, with 79% of operators experiencing customer- and staff-related fraud
- 36% of restaurant owners struggle with rising costs but is most prominent among independently-operated businesses and those in operation for 20-plus years
- Staff turnover can be as high as 200-300% in a given restaurant
Strategies to overcome these challenges, and engage with customers in real-time via digital, mobile and social channels, are also addressed in the report, to help operators strengthen brand loyalty and drive revenue growth in a highly competitive market. —CNW