All-day dining holds the key for business growth

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Pushing footfall: using natural ingredients is one way pubs can pull punters in for breakfast
Pushing footfall: using natural ingredients is one way pubs can pull punters in for breakfast

Related tags Eating Cga

Pubs must tap into all-day dining to grow their business because it is a key area that consumers are driving, according to foodservice experts.

The All Day & Casual Dining ​white paper-style report from Bidfood in conjunction with CGA has found that one in three Brits have eaten out at breakfast, mid-morning or mid-afternoon in the past six months and 35% are eating out at breakfast more frequently than two years ago.

The needs of consumers at breakfast are notoriously difficult to fulfil, citing a filling meal, healthy food and high-quality hot drinks as more important than at any other day parts, along with the expectation of value, the report, which featured surveys including more than 10,000 consumers, focus groups and business leaders stated.

To tackle this, pubs can use simple, natural ingredients along with a coffee offer that is ready to take away to tap into the increasing potential of breakfast customers.

Staff costs and engagement is the biggest challenge to all-day dining by operators, according to the report, alongside food price inflation and a potentially different portfolio of ingredients, opening earlier (or later) also has significant cost implications.

To combat this, licensees need to ensure they have a strong knowledge of their local market including proximity of office locations, footfall and local attractions.

All-day success

Understanding competition by day part and flexing the offer as appropriate will set up pubs for success throughout the day.

The report also found that consumers expect elements of stability within an all-day dining menu as when asked about the ideal number of dishes on a menu by day part, the average opinion ranges from 7.4 (at breakfast) to 13 (at early evening).

Clever use and reuse of ingredients can drive cost efficiencies, provide clarity for consumers and maintain quality perceptions of operators.

Storage and back room systems need to be designed with all-day dining in mind along with clever shift policies that remove the feel of set services and staff ‘down time’ between traditional eating and drinking day parts.

A relaxing atmosphere is important to customers when they choose where to visit at mid-morning and mid-afternoon while speed of service falls.

With more than half of business leaders stating that ambience and atmosphere is a defining factor for all-day dining, environment and service style should reflect consumer demands.

Evolving market

Customer dwell time and spend can be increased if operators provide free Wi-Fi (the most important aspect in all-day dining according to consumers).

Offering drinks refills, including coffee and USB portals to encourage work, can also help. By doing this correctly, consumers can span multiple day parts and create incremental revenue opportunities.

However, the research also revealed that consumers are confused with the definition of ‘all-day dining’ as just half (50%) of diners said they were familiar with the phrase. 

Bidfood insights manager Lucy Pedrick said: “The consumer mega trends of convenience, quality and availability have given rise to two of the most talked about, yet not fully understood terms in the industry – casual and all-day dining.

“Both exemplify how the market is not standing still and how understanding consumer habit is vital in succeeding in the market.

“Our white paper-style report tackles these concepts head-on, to provide operators with a comprehensive insight into the evolution of all-day dining, a better understanding of consumer behaviours and advice on how to make all-day dining work.

“Be it location-based research, menu optimisation, or turning low tempo into high spend, the white paper is intended to shed light on two of the biggest trends driving our industry today.”

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