The cost of food, which is on the rise following strained supplies over the hot summer, is one of the most important factors behind consumers’ decisions to eat out, as 45% of Brits look to reduce their leisure spend.
Almost 30% of consumers asked by Bidfood for its Consumer Views Study said they wanted smaller portions of British classics at cheaper prices, while a quarter said they sought outlets that offer takeaway options that are cheaper than dining in.
Healthy menu choices were important to 20% of those asked, variety and experiential dishes were important to another 20%, while 14% claimed they preferred menus that were available at all times of the day.
Bidfood insights manager Lucy Pedrick said it was important to discover what consumers wanted in order to attract more footfall in a difficult market.
“Without a doubt, the biggest deal breaker for consumers today has to be the cost of eating out,” she said.
“With decreased disposable income to contend with, people are looking for extra value for money and certainly don’t want their food going to waste – that’s why smaller portions and discounts on takeaway options ranked among the highest in our survey,” Pedrick added.
Remaining competitive requires outlets to quickly react to emerging food trends and preferences.
“Some 50% of consumers themselves recognised that with changing menus and service offerings, pricing structures and greater personalisation, eating out frequently could be reinvigorated,” Pedrick said.
Meanwhile, a Censuswide survey about the quality of vegetarian dishes in the dining sector revealed that 70% of diners asked would avoid an outlet if it did not serve a vegetarian option.