Guide to Evaluating and Understanding F&B Consumer Research

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F And B Consumer Research

With the rise and innovation of restaurant technology, the foodservice industry has become increasingly complex – an embarrassment of riches, as some might say. As a result, restaurants now have access to web-based and mobile tools that leverage customer data and analytics to better understand and strategize consumer preferences. Through the use of research methods, funded and complimentary studies, along with a number of other data resources, restaurant-tech providers can arrive at decisive conclusions to shape their business plans.

This guide will provide an overview of how to evaluate food and beverage (F&B) consumer research, complete with approaches to understanding consumer behavior and data points from a holistic perspective. From sales prospecting and marketing to growth planning and data enrichment, discover the tools and strategies you can employ to enhance foodservice market intelligence.

Sales Prospecting in the Foodservice Market

The sales prospecting process in the foodservice market revolves around understanding the needs of each customer and the market. Prospecting helps you to identify target markets most likely to purchase your products or services, as well as connect with customers faster and more efficiently. To achieve this, you must take into account not only data but also the newest research, trends, technologies, trends of the foodservice industry, and other data specific to the food service industry – all in an effort to stay ahead of the competition.

To start, familiarize yourself with the various tools and approaches used for market research. Quantitative research, such as surveys, polls, and focus groups, can help you understand customer attitudes and behaviors, which may often vary regionally and demographically. Likewise, qualitative research, such as interviews, ethnography, and case studies, can help you to gain a more insightful understanding of consumer preferences. Both approaches provide valuable information for sales prospecting and accurately tracking foodservice trends.

Marketing to the Foodservice Market

Attracting and retaining customers is integral to the success of any restaurant-tech company. Analytics-driven marketing strategies can help you to identify and engage the right people at the right time to increase the chances of obtaining a sale. Additionally, sales representatives can gain a comprehensive understanding of the foodservice market with the help of customer intelligence tools, such as demographic segmentation. This type of data enrichment allows you to surgically target the right customers in your desired market and increase the ROI of your efforts.

Though marketing strategies may seem generic, to succeed in the food service industry, you need to have a comprehensive understanding of the market specifics. Subsequently, like with sales prospecting, you must have an ample number of resources for gathering and analyzing data. From observing new consumer trends and preferences to using specific foodservice data fields for new product development, the data should include a mix of primary and secondary research.

Find Kitchens & Expand Operations

Aside from marketing and sales, knowledge of the foodservice market is also essential for improving production operations. Using both publicly available and collected proprietary data, the kitchen team can efficiently identify specific foods and dishes that resonate with customers. With the help of industry intelligence, the team can always stay ahead of the curve in terms of consumer preferences.

Additionally, industry insights can be aptly used when it comes to strategic planning and the expansion of operations. Analyzing competitive data with the help of analytics can help restaurants find successful strategies that have been tested by competitors and scale them to their own business. Foodservice market intelligence also enables managers to locate restaurants and kitchens ideal for franchising and branch out into new locations.

Data Enrichment

Once you have acquired any market data, it is essential to enrich it for added value. Even the most comprehensive data can have incorrect or outdated records; thus, cleansing the data has become a norm for many restaurant-tech providers. The data could be sourced from third-party databases or the company’s own databases. Companies should also consider developing their own data points to specifically answer their own questions.

Beyond enriching the data, integrating existing data systems with newly acquired data with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) services can automate parts of the analysis. This can help the sales and marketing teams to save time and focus on more task-oriented activities, and the kitchen team to optimize their dishes in real-time. Furthermore, AI-driven predictive tools can further inform renovations and root-cause analysis.