NEW YORK, Dec. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — BentoBox, a hospitality platform empowering restaurants to own their presence, profits and relationships, today announced the release of its comprehensive 2020 Restaurant Trend Report. In a year of unprecedented change in the hospitality industry resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the report recognizes digital adaptation through the lens of more than 6,000 BentoBox restaurant customers worldwide.
The 2020 Restaurant Trend Report measures the digital transformation of restaurants, including adopting technologies like QR codes and direct online ordering to bypass third-parties. Moreover, it highlights the ingenuity of restaurants in pivoting their business models to leverage low-risk options, like ghost kitchens and pop-ups, and creating new customer experiences, both on- and off-premise.
Key findings from the report include:
- Direct Online ordering booms as restaurants recognize the need to bypass third-party marketplaces: Average monthly online order volume grew 250x since the COVID-19 pandemic began, with $59.18 spent per order, on average, across restaurant websites. The most popular day of the week for online ordering is Friday, with Mother’s Day 2020 coming out on top as the most popular holiday for online catering orders. The most ordered menu item of 2020 came from South Carolina chain, New York City Pizza, and its “New York” thin-crust pizza. Beyond individual orders, meal kits saw a surge of popularity as at-home diners looked to create interactive dining experiences while social distancing. At-home meal kits increased 13x in 2020 from 2019, with some of the most popular options including NYC-based ICHIRAN’s Take-Home Ramen Kit and New England Lobster’s Lobster Roll Kit in San Francisco.
- Digital transformation accelerates forward as restaurants go virtual: Across both on- and off-premise experiences, technology played an integral role in powering safe options for customers. New and existing tools like QR codes served an essential role in maintaining social distance as restaurants approached contactless dine-in capabilities fit for our new normal. In addition to restaurants increasingly adopting technology, the popularity of ghost kitchens skyrocketed, increasing 60x in 2020 from 2019. These virtual restaurants acted as a low-risk way to test new concepts and locations in a digital dining environment.
- Restaurants support essential workers, see influx of donations from diners during unprecedented times: BentoBox restaurants donated almost 11,000 meals to frontline workers since March, totaling over $190,000. While restaurants looked after frontline workers, diners lended their own efforts to support restaurants and their staff in 2020, offering donations, gift cards, tickets towards online classes and merchandise purchases. BentoBox launched its COVID-19 Relief feature through direct online ordering, which allowed guests to add donations to their orders at checkout. In total, diners donated over $360,000 directly to restaurants and their staff through their websites and purchased over $90,000 in gift cards.
“This year’s restaurant trends highlight the grit and perseverance of the hospitality industry during a year of unprecedented challenges,” said Krystle Mobayeni, Co-Founder and CEO of BentoBox. “Together, restaurants, industry leaders and diners rallied to adapt, pivot and rebuild, setting the stage for a more sustainable, self-reliant future. BentoBox is dedicated to supporting restaurants as they build strong, digital-enabled businesses — while maintaining their unique vision of hospitality.”
BentoBox empowers restaurants to own their presence, profits and relationships. The hospitality platform disrupts third-party services that come between the restaurant and the guest. BentoBox puts the restaurant first and offers tools that drive high-margin revenue directly through the restaurant’s website. BentoBox is trusted and loved by over 6,000 restaurants worldwide including Union Square Hospitality Group, Eleven Madison Park, José Andrés’ Think Food Group, Manresa, Dominique Crenn Dining Group and H-Town Hospitality (Hugo’s, Xochi). Based in New York City, BentoBox is one of Inc. 5000’s fastest-growing companies.