Intelligence and technology consultancy TWC has published a report highlighting key themes for operators and restaurateurs to consider in the months ahead.

The TWC Trends Spring 2021 study shows that 39% of people say they will return to eating out once they have had their second vaccination, but that they are looking to eat something different, experience something new and enjoy the stimulation of a new environment.

TWC’s development director Tom Fender said: “Whether like many of our European counterparts you buy products in a restaurant or eat out in a convenience store, these lines are blurring and it is all about new experiences which in turn lead to new opportunities for those operators who are prepared to adapt to thrive.

“Furthermore, our data shows that consumers are likely to expect amped-up experiences from what they can create at home. If they can make a cappuccino at home, the one they buy out of home will need to be better. If their home cooking is OK, they will want ‘awesome’ when dining out.”

Fender also believes that with a significant number of hospitality businesses sadly unlikely to reopen and consumers unable to go out since 2020, everything is up for grabs.

He added: “For those that have made it through and are on the brink of reopening, summer 2021 is the time to build new customer relationships, focus on the offer and understand how it is resonating. People are likely to be more forgiving initially, but perhaps this is the time to take a fresh look at customer experience – what worked before for the old crowd might need tweaking.

“This report focuses on the long-term impacts on consumer behaviour. We believe that the immediate after-shocks of Covid-19 have been copiously covered and the hospitality industry has a firm grasp of the likely sales patterns for 2021.

“Meanwhile, there is a paucity of analysis of the seismic shifts that are taking place beneath the surface that will fundamentally and irrevocably change our sector.

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