This month, The MCA Digital Growth report gave us some telling insights about the future of technology within the sector, Fast Casual provided some pointers on making sure operators are ready for mobile and the coffee sector enjoys a boost.

Changing behaviour of Millennials and use of mobile technology are top long-term consumer trends affecting the UK Hospitality sector
The MCA Digital Growth report conducted 70 Board-level interviews across the sector and found:

  • Excellent customer service is the most important corporate competency followed closely by cost control
  • 70% of executives think digital technology will have a large impact on business in the next 3 years
  • 55% believe of all the digital technologies, customer communication and automation will have the biggest impact on business in the next 3 years
  • 55% expect social media to significantly impact the business over the next 3 years
  • Top 5 most important long term trends affecting the industry include:
    1. Changing behaviour of Millennials
    2. Demand for home delivery
    3. Eating on the move/more mobile lifestyle
    4. Mobile technology
    5. Aging population
  • Time and integration are the 2 main frustrations for the contemporary IT leader in the Hospitality sector


Make sure staff are ready for mobile to avoid pile-up of digital orders
Wildly successful mobile ordering systems such as Starbucks have had an unintended consequence of longer wait times as baristas and kitchen staff are overwhelmed by multiple channels of orders according to Fast Casual.  Simple rules to manage the ordering and pick-up process include:

  • Preparing staff appropriately as well as tactical hiring, better training and measured ingredients stations. Have the right employees at the right places to manage waves of orders.
  • Mobile loyalty. Companies can develop a personal, strong brand relationship with customers through their smartphone.
  • Real time intelligence to help employees deliver the best product and a more tailored service.
  • Stay ahead of customer needs. Use mobile to empower employees to know things like who ordered what, how far customers are away from the restaurant, when to fire orders and when patrons arrive at the restaurant.


App time will take up nearly 20% of total media time this year in the US
Americans are spending more time in mobile apps and less time within browsers according to eMarketer.  This year, the average US adult will spend 2 hours 25 mins per day using apps, a jump of 10.3% over last year.  However, as app time increases, the number of apps being used is in decline.  Last year, consumers used an average of 21 apps per month on their smartphones, that is expected to drop to 20.1 apps.


UK coffee shop market expected to grow 29% in the next 5 years
The UK coffee market is predicted to reach sales of £4.3bn over the next 5 years according to new research.  Other findings include:

  • The market has grown 37% in the past 5 years
  • Between 2015 and 2016, sales increased 10.4%
  • 65% of all Brits have visited a coffee shop in the past 3 months
  • Coffee shop usage peaks among consumers aged 16-24 (73%)
  • 58% would like coffee shops to offer discounts to customers who use their own mugs


The restaurant industry is at a cross-roads as quick-service diners head elsewhere
According to a survey by AlixPartners, high frequency diners (at least twice a week) plan to cut back on fast food and fast casual visits by 8% and 13% respectively over the next 12 months.  Reasons include:

  • Traffic is on the decline as rising menu prices battle supermarket convenience
  • 50% cited saving money
  • 32% plan to use their funds for travel instead
  • 31% cited ‘personal services’ such as hair and nail services
  • 56% electing for ready meals due to lower prices

The study also considered the importance of technology and loyalty programs for brands:

  • 42% of Millennials said technology was very or extremely influential in their decision to dine out.
  • 40% care if there is free WiFi at the restaurant
  • 19% say loyalty programs are very or extremely influential in their eating out decision


22 minutes a week spent on average popping out for coffee
The average worker spends just over 22 minutes a week nipping out for coffees according to a report by Honest Coffees

  • 11% leave work once a week to pick up coffee
  • 10% step out 2 or 3 times a week
  • 6% leave 4 or more times a week
  • 37% and 24% of women of men make regular coffee trips to cafes to pick up a takeaway coffee
  • These coffee trips are costing an average of £150 to each worker
  • Coffee drinkers are nearly three times more likely to stay late at work
  • Those who regularly drink 4 to 5 cups a day are 22% more likely to work 60 minutes more than their contracted hours