Food service trends in 2016

Anywhere and anytime

Consumers today have unprecedented access to restaurant-quality food whenever and wherever they desire it.

“One of the ways we’re seeing this manifest itself is through a lot of blurring of lines between restaurant segments,” said Paul Pendola, director of Foodservice at Mintel, citing the emergence of such segments as “fast-casual 2.0” and “upmarket casual.” Additionally, convenience stores, grocery stores, meal subscription services and meal delivery businesses threaten to steal stomach share from the restaurant industry.

“The implication for restaurant operators is that they really do need to do a comprehensive audit of their competitive set and start to think more seriously about who else is speaking to their consumer, when they’re speaking to that consumer and what they’re saying, and whether that message is resonating with the consumer,” Mr. Pendola said. “Because it’s very likely right now the competitor is not necessarily a like brand in the same segment.”

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