Consumers are in­creasingly leaning on foodservice op­erators to provide them with meals both on-premise and off-premise, which presents operators with the sometimes daunting task of developing deliv­ery, online/mobile ordering and carryout programs that are seam­less and user-friendly. Some oper­ators may choose the third-party delivery route, but that has its own challenges.

Retail, noncommercial and restaurant operators surveyed in February for Winsight’s State of Foodservice study were asked about the business-building po­tential of the aforementioned pro­grams—in addition to others—and carryout topped the list at 44%. Social media and marketing efforts also ranked high, signaling a desire to stay in front of consumers even when they aren’t walking through operators’ doors. A majority of op­erators surveyed are on Facebook and Instagram (two of the largest social-media outlets); however, 29% said they still aren’t using so­cial media or mobile applications to engage with guests.

And while a majority of opera­tors surveyed expect foodservice sales to improve in the next year, operators are still troubled by reg­ulatory issues. Mostly, they’re worried about having to balance minimum-wage increases with labor costs, but menu-labeling changes that went into effect last year are also a cause for concern.

Source: Winsight State of Foodservice Study