1. Shopper & Customer

Looking Outside the Box of Restaurant Sectors: The Lines Are More Gray


Hello, culinary adventurers, food industry professionals,
and meal mavens! Once again, it’s Steven Johnson your Grocerant Guru® from
Tacoma, WA based Foodservice
here, ready to delve into the evolving world of dining where
boundaries blur and the focus sharpens on what truly matters: the meal itself.
In today’s dynamic foodscape, consumers are increasingly prioritizing meals and
meal components over the traditional sectors that once defined where their food
came from. Let’s explore this fascinating shift with a cornucopia of facts,
numbers, and industry insights.

The Changing Consumer Mindset

Gone are the days when consumers were strictly loyal to
specific restaurant sectors. In the past, one might have a favorite
quick-service restaurant (QSR) for a burger, a casual dining spot for family
meals, and a fine dining establishment for special occasions. Today, the lines
are grayer than ever, with 78% of consumers reporting that they are more
interested in the quality and convenience of the meal itself than the category
of restaurant it comes from.

Meals and Meal Components: The New

The modern diner is a savvy one, often mixing and matching
components from different sectors to create a personalized dining experience.
Here’s a breakdown of this trend:

Convenience and
: According to the National Restaurant
Association, 72% of consumers are more likely to order from restaurants that
offer customizable meal options. This trend is driving a rise in modular meal
components, where diners can select their preferred proteins, sides, and sauces
from various providers.

Health and Wellness: Health-conscious consumers are increasingly piecing
together meals from different sources to meet their dietary preferences. A
Technomic report found that 65% of consumers seek out specific healthy
ingredients, often leading them to choose meal components from places like
salad bars, smoothie shops, and protein-focused eateries.

Cross-Sector Innovations

The blending of restaurant sectors has sparked innovative
approaches to dining, with grocerants (grocery stores with restaurant-quality
food) leading the charge. Here are some eye-opening examples:

Grocerant Growth: Grocerants are thriving, with the sector growing by 3-5%
annually. Consumers appreciate the convenience of grocery stores offering
ready-to-eat meals, allowing them to pick up a rotisserie chicken, a gourmet
salad, and a freshly baked dessert all in one place.

Hybrid Dining
: The concept of “dine-in grocerants”
is becoming increasingly popular. These hybrid spaces provide a restaurant-like
atmosphere within a grocery store, where customers can enjoy a meal and then
purchase the ingredients to recreate it at home. This model appeals to 58% of
millennials who value both the dining experience and the ability to cook at

The Role of Technology

Technology is a major catalyst in this sector-blurring
phenomenon. Let’s dive into the digits:

Online Ordering and
: The convenience of online ordering
and delivery services is a significant driver. A study by Statista reveals that
online food delivery revenue is expected to reach $182.3 billion by 2024. This
surge includes not just traditional restaurants but also grocerants and meal
kit services.

: Advanced data analytics allows
restaurants and grocerants to offer personalized recommendations based on
consumer preferences. 68% of consumers are more likely to choose a dining
option that provides tailored meal suggestions, according to a survey by Deloitte.

Embracing the Gray

So, what does this mean for the future of dining? As your
Grocerant Guru®, I foresee a continued blending of restaurant sectors, with an
emphasis on meal quality, convenience, and customization. Businesses that can
adapt to this trend and offer diverse, high-quality meal components will

Think about this, the sector lines are blurring, but the
focus on delicious, convenient, and customizable meals remains crystal clear.
Whether you’re grabbing a quick bite from a QSR, assembling a health-conscious
meal from a grocerant, or indulging in a fine dining experience at home, the
future of dining is all about looking outside the box and savoring the best of
all worlds.

Until next time, keep exploring and enjoying the culinary
landscape with an open mind and a hearty appetite!

international corporate presentations, regional chain presentations,
educational forums, or keynotes contact:
Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA
based Foodservice Solutions.  His
extensive experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator, consultant, brand /
product positioning expert, and public speaking will leave success clues for
all. For more information visit
GrocerantGuru.com, FoodserviceSolutions.US or call

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