US Foodservice Disruptors Market Report 2021
“Amidst a struggling industry, nimble and innovative operators are disrupting traditional foodservice models, adding automation and new operating formats as well as online engagement strategies to continue reaching consumers. Many…

US Foodservice Disruptors Market Report 2021

£ 3,695 (Excl.Tax)

Report Summary

This report provides comprehensive and current information and analysis of the foodservice disruptors market including food industry disruptors market size, anticipated market forecast, relevant market segmentation, and industry trends for the foodservice disruptors market in the US.

Current market landscape

Consumers generally have a favorable view of restaurant technology and have adopted much of it over 2020 and 2021. However, operators will have to proceed with caution. 57% of consumers agree fancy sit-down restaurants should not use tabletop restaurant technology. Operators must employ technology in a consumer-focused manner, emphasizing how it improves the overall dining experience and highlighting efforts taken to protect diners’ data.

Throughout the pandemic, the foodservice industry was quick to pivot to off-premise operations to navigate restrictions. This spurred a chain of problem-solving and improvement initiatives that are driving innovation in the industry in 2021. LSRs that were better positioned to pivot operations have also been among the first to test new technologies and restaurant formats.

Future market trends driving foodservice disruptors

The US labor crisis is playing a major role in determining the future of the foodservice industry. Some operators have responded by raising wages and offering more employment benefits, while others are looking to automation in the kitchen to reduce the need for hiring more personnel.

Consumer interest and operators’ investment in tech-enabled off-premise offerings will remain high, with some larger players testing more innovative concepts such as drone delivery. Restaurant formats are also changing, with current players creating small-footprint, takeout- and delivery-focused locations, and more ghost kitchens and home-based food businesses are entering the market. Overall, how and where consumers interact with restaurants is being disrupted, with the interaction shifting to online and at-home or retail spaces, respectively

Read on to discover more about foodservice industry disruptors, read our US Better for You Eating Trends Market Report 2021, or take a look at our other Food and Foodservice Market research reports.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior and the foodservice disruptors market.
  • Consumer interest in and usage of disruptive restaurant technology.
  • Attitudes toward disruptive foodservice concepts.
  • How higher consumer expectations for convenience are driving opportunities in retail/foodservice delivery.

Covered in this report

Brands include: KFC, Miso Robotics, Spyce, SmartLynx, White Castle, Buffalo Wild Wings, McDonald’s, Picnic’s, Toast, NSF EyeSucceed, Grubhub, DoorDash, ClusterTruck, Reef Kitchens, GoPuff, Pie, Pie My Darling, Keto Krave, Cosmic Wings, Taco Bell, Dunkin’, Chipotle.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by Varchasvi, a leading analyst in the US Foodservice and Mintel Menu Insights sectors, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Amidst a struggling industry, nimble and innovative operators are disrupting traditional foodservice models, adding automation and new operating formats as well as online engagement strategies to continue reaching consumers. Many of these efforts are responses to labor and supply chain issues and pandemic-influenced consumer patterns, but will become necessary investments for long-term success in the industry. Even as consumers return to prepandemic lifestyles, they are continuing to place strong emphasis on convenience, and therefore innovation and investment in off-premise operations will become table stakes.
Varchasvi, Analyst – US Foodservice and Mintel Menu Insights
Analyst, US Foodservice and Mintel Menu Insights

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Key issues covered in this Report
        • Definition
          • COVID-19: US context
          • Executive Summary

              • Top takeaways
                • Impact of COVID-19 on foodservice disruptors
                  • Figure 1: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on foodservice disruptors, November 2021
                • Opportunities and challenges
                  • Mobile app innovation is crucial for customer engagement
                    • Figure 2: On-premise technology experience, 2021
                  • Consumers seek convenience through hybrid delivery paradigms
                    • Figure 3: Home delivery interest, 2021
                  • The US labor crisis creates a need for disruptive restaurant technology
                    • Figure 4: Quit levels, accommodation and food services, 2020-21
                  • Data privacy takes precedence over convenience
                    • Figure 5: Foodservice technology interest, 2021
                    • Figure 6: Attitudes toward disruptive concepts, 2021
                • The Market – Key Takeaways

                  • Delta variant disrupts the industry’s recovery
                    • The labor crisis has disproportionately impacted the foodservice industry
                      • The cost of dining is increasing for both restaurants and consumers
                      • Market Factors

                        • Delta variant adds headwind to restaurant recovery
                          • Figure 7: Dining out comfort level, 2021
                        • The US labor crisis is hitting the foodservice sector hardest
                          • Figure 8: Quit levels, accommodation and foodservices, 2020-21
                        • The rising cost of dining out and lowered consumer confidence create challenges
                          • Figure 9: Consumer expenditure for AH and AFH food, 2021
                          • Figure 10: Consumer sentiment about their finances, 2021
                        • Strengthening off-premise offerings is key to meeting new consumer patterns
                          • Figure 11: Expected work location in 2022
                      • Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

                        • Restaurant technology will keep evolving
                          • Current prototypes may prove to be fads, but the motivation behind them is deep-rooted
                            • Diverse operating formats allow restaurants to stay competitive
                            • Competitive Strategies

                              • Automation is the key to staying in business
                                • The kitchen
                                  • The staff
                                    • The service
                                      • Experimenting with restaurant formats
                                        • Vertically integrated ghost kitchens
                                          • Home-based food businesses
                                            • Small-footprint restaurant design
                                              • Figure 12: Captain D’s Small Footprint Restaurant Prototype
                                              • Figure 13: KFC’s Small Footprint Restaurant Prototype
                                              • Figure 14: Taco Bell’s Small-Footprint Restaurant Prototype, “GO MOBILE”
                                          • Market Opportunities

                                            • Investing in employee welfare initiatives can boost consumer brand perception
                                              • Social listening will support menu innovation, visitation
                                              • The Consumer – Key Takeaways

                                                • Greater mobile app functionality is key to strong consumer engagement
                                                  • Restaurant technology is a welcome improvement so long as it is designed to meet consumer needs
                                                    • Higher expectations for convenience fuel demand for retail/foodservice delivery
                                                    • Diner Segmentation

                                                      • Consumers have a generally favorable attitude toward technology and are interested in dining out
                                                        • Figure 15: Diner segmentation – Dining out approach, 2021
                                                        • Figure 16: Diner segmentation: attitude toward technology, 2021
                                                        • Figure 17: Diner segmentation, 2021
                                                      • Tech-savvy Dining Adventurers
                                                        • Tech-averse Dining Adventurers
                                                          • Tech-savvy Dining Loyalists
                                                            • Tech-averse Dining Loyalists
                                                            • On-premise Technology Experience

                                                              • Safety, convenience are driving tech adoption
                                                                • Enhanced mobile app capabilities drive stronger diner engagement
                                                                  • Figure 18: On-premise technology experience, 2021
                                                                • Mobile-exclusive perks can strengthen brands’ relationship with Millennials
                                                                  • Figure 19: On-premise technology experience – Restaurant mobile app ordering, by generation, 2021
                                                                  • Figure 20: On-premise technology experience – Loyalty programs through a restaurant‘s mobile app, by generation, 2021
                                                              • Home Delivery Interest

                                                                • Combined retail and foodservice delivery expands reach of both channels
                                                                  • Figure 21: Home delivery interest, 2021
                                                                  • Figure 22: TURF analysis – Home delivery interest, 2021
                                                                • Millennials, parents will expressly benefit from combined retail and foodservice offerings
                                                                  • Figure 23: Home delivery interest, by generation, 2021
                                                                  • Figure 24: Home delivery interest, by parental status, 2021
                                                              • Attitudes toward Disruptive Concepts

                                                                • Consumers will embrace disruptive restaurant technology if it enhances their dining experience
                                                                  • Figure 25: Attitudes toward disruptive concepts – Restaurant technology, 2021
                                                                • Position technology as a way to enhance social interaction
                                                                  • Figure 26: Attitudes toward disruptive concepts – Shareability, 2021
                                                                • Fine dining restaurants should keep tech behind the scenes
                                                                  • Figure 27: Attitudes toward disruptive concepts – High-end restaurant technology, 2021
                                                                • Millennials, Gen Z eager to engage with disruptive restaurant formats
                                                                  • Figure 28: Attitudes toward disruptive concepts – Restaurant formats, 2021
                                                                  • Figure 29: Attitudes toward disruptive concepts – Restaurant formats, by generation, 2021
                                                                • Personalized technology can lead to stronger diner relationships
                                                                  • Figure 30: Attitudes toward disruptive concepts – Restaurant formats, 2021
                                                              • Foodservice Technology Interest

                                                                • Consumers are wary of innovations that threaten privacy
                                                                    • Figure 31: Foodservice technology interest, 2021
                                                                  • Proof of concept and value is necessary for consumers to adopt technology
                                                                    • Figure 32: Foodservice technology interest, 2021
                                                                  • Younger generations want socially driven foodservice technologies
                                                                    • Figure 33: Foodservice technology interest, by generation, 2021
                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                  • Data sources
                                                                    • Consumer survey data
                                                                      • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                        • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                          • Abbreviations
                                                                          • Appendix – The Consumer

                                                                            • TURF Methodology
                                                                                • Figure 34: Table – TURF analysis – Home delivery interest, 2021

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