New studies from Culinary Visions® show the rise of grab-and-go culture for locals and travelers alike. Two studies asked 3000+ consumers questions regarding food hospitality and food market culture, revealing a consumer trend towards delicious yet convenient meals.
"Hotels are constantly adapting to travelers' ever changing needs. As grab-and-go meals continue to trend, travelers expect on-site meals that can keep up with their ever-changing schedules, and hotels are catching on," said Sharon Olson, Executive Director of Culinary Visions. "Looking to popular food experiences and attitudes among locals is helping the hospitality industry predict the needs and wants of their guests and fuel to-go food culture."
Here are five insights to help understand the relationship between hotel patrons and local grab-and-go culture.
Convenience Fuels Travel
It's no surprise that hotel guests look to local food markets for convenient bites. Eighty percent of those surveyed eat their meals around their schedules instead of planning their schedules around their meals, showing that travelers need to lean on fast and easy food options that fit their evolving routines. Food markets on-site or adjacent to hotel properties allow solo diners to create dining experiences. When studying consumer habits in food market environments, 60% of consumers agreed that they like to roam around with a beverage and absorb the whole environment of the market.
Social Pit Stop
Even though consumers on the go are looking for a quick fix at mealtime, there's still value in the human interaction of quick service to-go options. Food marketplaces have captured a unique foothold within to-go food options with 60% of consumers agreeing that shopping at food markets is one of their favorite types of food experiences and 62% agreeing that they love the collaborative energy at a food market. Additionally, 57% of consumers enjoy going to the market because it's just as much a social occasion as it is a shopping trip, underscoring food markets' social appeal.
Not only do consumers appreciate the social opportunities within a food market environment but also the connection with the food vendors. 67% of the consumers surveyed agreed that they trust vendors at the farmers market because they see who grew and handled the food. So, while convenience is important, quality and service still factor into consumers' overall on the go food experience.
Artisanal On The Go
Quality remains a constant concern for consumers and has made farmers markets a hotspot for to-go eats that meet a higher standard. 62% of consumers were more impressed by visiting a farmers market than a supermarket and 67% of the consumers surveyed wish there were more farmers markets in their local area, demonstrating the power of an artisanal food environment.
These trends among locals uncover important insights for hotels to achieve customer satisfaction beyond accommodation preferences. 58% of travelers look for dishes with local ingredients and 75% of consumers found a restaurant that serves dishes unique to the area appealing. Since 58% of guests decide where to dine after they arrive at their destination, on-site recommendations from a hotel are a crucial element in one's traveling experience and can help guide guests to local food hubs.
79% of consumers surveyed prefer to stay at a hotel rather than a rental property because of the services offered at a hotel, emphasizing the importance of hotel offerings that meet consumer demands. Hotel guests are looking for a quick bite and 64% of consumers agree they are interested in a hotel marketplace store that is more convenient than a restaurant or café. If high quality options are available, travelers want to buy. 62% of participants said they would purchase fresh grab-and-go meals from a hotel marketplace suggesting that to-go meals are often an important part of their experience at the hotel.
Technology vs. Premade Meals
Technology within foodservice offers consumers the speed and convenience they're looking for from food providers with almost half of consumers believing that using technology to order food is easier than ordering from a person. However, consumers are still adjusting to technology within foodservice. 43% of people would be uncomfortable with robotic technology delivering food to their hotel room and 53%of consumers believe that using technology to order food does not ensure the order will be correct. With food ordering and delivery technology still in a developmental phase, premade meal options offer consumers a more reliable convenience.
About the Survey
Culinary Visions® "Modern Hospitality Study" surveyed 2,000 Americans ages 18-55+ about their preferences and interests regarding modern hospitality trends dealing with technology, community and atmosphere, and the personalization of food. The "Food Market Culture Report" surveyed 1,039 in regard to their food experiences when visiting various food markets, from permanent to pop up food focused market style experiences.