The new normal for hospitality players

Are you a restaurant owner/food entrepreneur looking for post-pandemic pointers? Check out this handbook for some helpful takeaways coming directly from the Millennials.

The lockdown was not kind to the hospitality industry. If you run an F&B outlet, looking to invite people back into your spaces, understanding the nature and extent of reassurances that consumers need moving forward is critical. It might help you arrive at innovative trust levers, build a bespoke language of trust and start a fresh dialogue. After all, so much has changed now around how we eat, what we eat, and what helps us choose with the uncertain future looming still.

Delving deeper into the experiences of 14 participants gathered from our ‘The Hunt for Food’, post-pandemic study, we emerged with some key takeaways and suggestions for the future. Some of these we are already seeing in action, so we can confidently say we are getting the right read on this ‘new normal’. It is asking one to co-create and collaborate over.

"I prefer healthy (food) for sure… bcoz it’s need of the hour... I understood that in order to be healthy you need to have food which is also healthy.. so I prefer that over anything."
Male, 24 years

Here are our top 6 learnings around what consumers are hoping happens:

  • Make it simple - say it with pictures. With labels and qualifiers around food unravelling past ‘vegan’ to talk about key ingredients, preparation, impact and other facets, icons can go a long way in making the menu feel like less of a maze.
  • Make ‘Safety first’ the top of your messaging across channels. Consumer concerns around hygiene and food safety, especially around handling and delivery, are at an all time high. We don’t expect this to change anytime soon, so a reassuring post around practices being followed can go a long way.
  • Clear the air - literally! Social distancing and circulated spaces are essential to ensuring long-term sustainability to post-pandemic interactions. Investing in some air-quality tech may reveal significant returns in the short-term as well. After all, a grateful consumer is likely to return the thoughtful gesture in return, multifold. 
  • Innovate for ‘in-home’ dining experiences (premium, contextual to post-pandemic micro moments) for the still-anxious consumer craving a great meal. We found it helps consumers to know up-front what would travel well, portion sizes, health factors and other details to navigate the diversity and decide well.
  • Over-communicate as a rule. Look for and mention the finer call-outs that can impact the consumer experience in smaller ways. Small can be big, especially if we are talking about looking out for allergies, thinking ahead on storage and waistline concerns. :)
  • Nudge towards a more mindful workspace. Adapting to new normal needs can pose a challenge. Give your mind a break and create rituals and processes that help integrate new behaviours seamlessly. Put on your design-thinking hats folks, and put a meme above the sink already! 

*Participant name is changed to protect identity.

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