Reimagined new normal business strategies for food service giant in two weeks
Learn more about Mindtree's innovative, cost-effective & interactive bespoke digital platform
COVID-19 has enforced a radical change and the food service industry is struggling to pivot in a flash. The goalposts have quickly shifted from taste, variety, and a high-touch in person service to safety and hygiene. In the new normal, the industry is forced to play and win in a scenario which is very different from the past, as cultural shifts and changes in consumer choices & spends set in.
The challenges for the food service industry are multifold and captured below:
- Responding to dynamic cultural shifts with agility – The cultural shift in consumer dining choices has been unprecedented. A staunch example is Europe, one of the hardest-hit regions by COVID-19, where eating out has been a cultural norm. In the new normal, a consumer is no longer expected to start the day with tea/coffee in a Café, indulge in lunch at a Bistro, stroll around to have cake in a Salon De Thé, and end the night with dinner in a Brasserie.
Instead, restaurants are expected to actively transform themselves into ghost kitchens – to process food for home deliveries or takeaways in a no-touch/frictionless delivery model while maintaining utmost hygiene standards.
- Ability to generate fast and cost-effective business visibility – Historically, restaurants did not leverage technology as a service model to actively reach out to their customers. Majority of the customers came in for a dine-in experience, while home deliveries were mostly taken care of by aggregators. In the post COVID-19 world, the dine-in footfalls have minimized and operations are now more focused on takeaways and home deliveries.
In addition, ensuring that the revised WHO standards for food safety are met and advertised can help food service businesses regain customer trust. Given this scenario, restaurants are now more eager than ever before to leverage technology to ramp up positive visibility, generate user awareness, and process orders.
- Responding to dynamic shifts in consumption trends with agility – In times of uncertainty, consumers tend to go back to simple, tried & tested, and comfort food. Also, customers will prefer to order three-course meals and meal kits so that families can plan for an entire day of leisure at home. This could result in restaurants skimming down infrequent or exotic SKUs, and sticking to the core SKUs that work well with their customers.
- Ability to innovate on promotions – In the new normal, restaurants will have to find aggressive and innovative ways to create customer stickiness. The solution might be something as simple as free deliveries, or as outlandish as bundling food deliveries with groceries and toiletries. Bold promotional strategies to engage customers will be launched, and the solutions will need to be scaled up based on quantifiable results in hand.
COVID-19 has changed the food service business landscape as we knew it. In order to combat these changes, the client recalibrated its business strategy from being focused primarily on offering food solutions to restaurants, to pivoting their model to help restaurants navigate the shift in customer needs. They leveraged Mindtree’s digital platform to come up with innovative & cost-effective ways to help restaurants re-engage with its customers, and adopt a new operations model with minimal downtime. This helped restaurants leapfrog from a high-touch in person model, to a no-touch digitally assisted service model.
Mindtree actively collaborated with client to deliver such an interactive digital platform in a groundbreaking minimal turnaround time.
Below are the salient features of the digital platform:
- Fast and cost-effective business visibility – The platform helped restaurants use social media to create fast, easy, and cost effective business visibility in the market. The consequent leap in user awareness helped businesses get on wheels for the new normal.
- Data models for hyper-personalized menu inspirations – The client leveraged the platform to effectively inspire restaurants with impactful SKUs and recipes by quickly learning from any shifts in consumption and cultural trends.
- Data models for bespoke marketing campaigns – The client was able to create right campaigning and dayparting models for restaurateurs by quickly learning from restaurant traction data.
- Scalable across geographies – The platform is now live in multiple countries across Western Europe, and will go live in countries across the Middle East, South Asia, and South America shortly.