5 Themes Driving Consumer Behavior in 2019

In 2019, consumers continue to be the driving force behind the way restaurants are evolving, as they continuously strive to adapt to meet consumer demands.

This year, we have identified 5 distinct themes that will determine the way consumers behave:

Privacy

With identity theft, phishing scams, and fraud increasing at an alarming rate, consumers are beginning to become more concerned with their digital footprint.

According to GlobalWebindex, “25% of consumers strongly agree that they are worried about the internet eroding their personal privacy.”

Between social media platforms, mobile apps, online shopping, e-commerce, marketing platforms, and customer loyalty programs, consumers no longer have full control over their own personal data.

For restaurant owners, ensuring that online ordering and loyalty platforms, mobile apps, third-party partners, point of sale providers, technology vendors and payment solutions are secure and compliant are an absolute must. Learn more on how to protect your restaurant and employees from security breaches.

Individuality

In 2019, more than ever before, consumers are flocking to brands that allow them to embrace their individuality by offering customized products.

Beauty brands are offering customized monthly subscription boxes based on eye color, hair color, and skin tone.

Grocery chains are offering delivery or grocery pick-up, and customized shopping lists and suggested meal plans.

Restaurant point of sale providers are offering monthly software and hardware subscriptions, with customized menu builds, features, and services based on goals and needs.

Consumers can now walk into Fast Casual and Quick Service establishments and create their own bone broth, salad bowl, or burger.

Guests want to feel as if they are leaving their individual footprint throughout their shopping and dining experiences.

Wellness

2019 brings a heightened consumer focus on one’s overall state of being- mentally, physically, and emotionally.

Health, wellness, and taking pride in one’s local community have all become popular trends, and have each made a lasting impression on the way brands must structure and market themselves to consumers.

The Farm to Table movement has taken the restaurant industry by storm, and traceability of ingredients has never been more important to guests, as the emphasis on wellness continues to rise.

Listing caloric information, a breakdown of macro nutrients, and showing where ingredients are locally sourced from on menus or digital signage have become popular methods used by restaurants to support this consumer behavior, in addition to offering gluten free, vegan and other healthy options.

2019 Restaurant Technology Trends ReportIn the PAR Technology 2019 Trends Report, valued partner Smarter Takeout states, “customers are more conscience of where their food is coming from than ever before.  If restaurants are better able to predict what items are wanted by customers, they are better able to source it locally.   Today’s consumers appreciate restaurants identifying and highlighting gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan and organic choices or even allergen triggers.”

Convenience

With over-scheduled and fast-paced lifestyles being the new norm, consumers are feeling stretched thin more than ever before, and are continuously striving to find ways to simplify their hectic lives.

According to Nielsen, “Rising internet penetration, denser urban locations, faster paced lifestyles and challenging working hours are adding more and more layers of complexity to consumers’ lives…..around the globe, consumers need and look for convenience in all forms—whether simplicity, time saving or suitability.”

“Convenience is not only about store formats, products or packaging. It means more than the latest technologies or new engagement strategies. Rather, it is about every encounter, interaction and action that can help fulfil consumers’ growing demand for efficiency.”

Restaurants must continue to adapt in order to remain relevant and competitive in the industry.

Convenience was once an added luxury that set apart the guest experience but has now transformed into a demand and an outright expectation from consumers.

How can restaurants embrace this trend and offer new ways to offer convenience?

Connectivity

From Apple watches, to FitBits, to The Nest, to Amazon Alexa’s, consumers are living in a digital world where they are consistently connected to all areas of their lives via their digital devices- from receiving emails and text notifications, to counting their number of steps, down to adjusting their thermostats from the app on their Smartphones .

Now more than ever before, consumers crave a connection, and the lines between “real life” and the “digital world” are becoming more and more blurred.

Consumers rely heavily on their social media friends aka connections, to make important purchasing decisions.

According to HubSpot,

  • 74% of consumers rely on social media to make purchasing decisions
  • 8/10 consumers are influenced by their friends’ social media posts
  • 46% of consumers read online blogs DAILY
  • 60% of consumers read online blogs WEEKLY

To embrace this trend, restaurants must have a digital presence and market their brands across social avenues. Learn more on how social media is the secret marketing weapon for your restaurant!