As cases of the Coronavirus continue to spread, U.S. meat plants have been hit especially hard. With working conditions that make it near impossible to maintain social distance, nearly 20 meatpacking plants have temporarily closed in just the past few weeks. Consumers are already feeling it at the grocery store, with fewer selections, higher prices, and purchase limits to prevent another episode of panic buying. Restaurants are feeling it too, as many begin to ramp up for reopening with limited meat supply and rising prices. We recommend you prepare for a limited meat supply by including items on your menu that offer plant-based meat alternatives or are meatless comfort foods.
While some consumers are stocking up, there seems to be less panic this time around. Consumers have become accustomed to finding resourceful solutions and are willing to be more flexible and forgiving than before. When reopening your restaurant, be transparent about why you may be out of beef or other meats, and be prepared to offer crave-able substitutes. Be cautious in addressing rising costs, as diners are price-sensitive and there is a risk of seeming like you’re price gouging. By now, many probably understand that COVID is not a foodborne illness and that heated foods are the safest, so most will continue to order meat-based dishes when dining out, ordering takeout or delivery.
In this report, you’ll find data and insights around consumer perceptions and menu preferences, that you can address when reopening your restaurant. Key takeaways from this report are as follows:
- 38% of consumers are not concerned with ordering meat dishes at restaurants
- 29% of consumers will be less likely to order meat dishes at restaurants
- 43% said if there were no beef burgers available they would order a different type of burger
- 61% said they’d be open to restaurants featuring less meat in a dish
- 55% said they will choose restaurants based on availability of meat dishes
- 47% said they would switch to plant-based meat alternatives
- 41% said they were willing to pay higher prices for meat dishes at sit down restaurants.
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