Sixty-eight percent of respondents report they are expanding or greatly expanding their foodservice offer, while only 3% say it is shrinking.
More loyal repeat customers was the top driver of past sales increases among operators reporting an increase. Other top factors included improved customer service (57%), improved menu options (54%) and more first-time customers (43%).
Lowering the bar?
While sales of most types of prepared foods have increased or stayed the same in the past two years, the biggest decrease was seen in sales at the hot bar, which includes features such as soup bars and buffets. Datassential suggestions improvements in hot prepared food counters might be cannibalizing sales from the hot bar as customers seek out made-to-order options.
Among those operators expecting a sales increase next year, respondents said the top sources of future sales include an increase in the frequency of regulars (64%), attracting new customers (59%) and an increase in apps/salads/side sales (40%).
Operators said they expected the largest sales increases at the cold prepared foods counter and the grab-and-go area in the next two years.