In this week's newsletter, I look at a variety of topics in the restaurant industry. I tweaked my approach a bit so you can quickly see why I think this trend or innovation is important for your business.
Too subtle? Too bold? Let me know in the comments! As always, I can be reached at this email for all suggestions, ideas, and tips on what you’d like to see.
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Hi, I’m Greg, founder of NextStep [F&B] Studio. We help F&B brands and companies in China grow by implementing new F&B trends & innovations.
The Asia FoodTech Confidential Newsletter is my way to share what’s happening in the Food and Beverage industry with F&B professionals, FMCG experts, Tech entrepreneurs, and Investors with a focus on China and Greater Asia. Contact email@example.com.
1 - Coffee is everywhere in China, and it won’t be fading anytime soon
2 - 7-Eleven needs to catch up and do a full digital transformation
3 - Soon-to-expire food market is about to make a lot of people very happy
4 - The beverage industry is getting ready for a high-demand future
5 - The restaurant industry is having a hard time attracting staff. The problem needs to be addressed and fixed.
6 - QR codes helped many people during the pandemic. Could they help your restaurant too?
7 - Business owners are saying no to the increase of commissions from their delivery platform
8 - Would you like a finger-lickin' 11-course menu?
Let’s dig in!
WHAT’S NEW IN CHINA?
1 - Coffee events are booming in China
As you can see in our newsletter, there is not one week without a piece of coffee news. Here is a complete rundown on every coffee event by Felipe Cabrera, founder of Ad Astra Coffee Consulting, and what it means to the market, the trends, and the growing interest of consumers beyond China’s first-tier cities. “The China Coffee Association of Beijing states the country’s coffee consumption is increasing at an annual rate of 15%. In 2020, an average of one coffee shop opened per day in Chengdu (the country’s third-largest coffee market), now reaching a total of more than 6,000 cafés in the city. This indicates stable growth despite the impact of Covid-19.”
2 - 7-Eleven is getting a full upgrade in South China
Catching up sometimes means a full digital transformation. And 7-Eleven South China did just that on every level from the store management, customer management program, supply chain, and even franchisee management. Nothing better than a deep upgrade to make sure you are keeping up with the market.
3 - China is jumping on the “soon-to-expire” trend and younger generations are loving it.
Soon-to-expire foods (still within their use-by date, sold at highly discounted prices) are attracting younger consumers and could represent a 40 billion yuan (US$ 6 billion) market by 2025. It is also a great way to address the country’s food wastage problem. Many bakeries are already offering discounted products in the last hours of the day and this could probably be extended to different retailers and restaurants working with daily-made products.
WHAT’S NEW IN THE REST OF THE WORLD?
4 - Beverage remains a very hot category
“Faced with restaurant and travel restrictions brought on by the pandemic, consumers increased their purchases of luxury spirits to elevate their cocktail experiences at home,” reported Forbes. New data from Distilled Spirits Council of the US (DISCUS) showed that sales of luxury spirits grew 43% in the last year (in the US), led largely by tequila and American whiskey. And the demand for specialty drinks is not slowing down. “Clearly more than a passing fad, manufacturers are now looking to the future, either by retrofitting existing facilities or developing new ones to meet changing consumer tastes”, reports Foodmag, and also meet the sustainability requirements that customers are now expecting.
5 - Can restaurants be fixed?
With the pandemic, restaurants are suffering all around the world. People have massively quit the industry and not so many want to come back…”It’s easy to understand how restaurants somehow became the exception to most employment norms: The hours are outside of the traditional workday; the industry attracts younger workers on their way to a different career; the pay structure is completely different from most other industries,” reports Early Magazine. “Restaurants choose to perpetuate inequality or unhealthy working conditions for employees when they don’t actively work against it. In turn, this disenfranchises workers who leave the industry.” It might be time to rethink what is wrong if we don’t want to be served by robots (and Roboburger is coming fast!).
6 - How can QR codes drive sales?
Once called the herpes of mobile technology (by Chris Sacca), QR codes turned out to be widely used in a low-touch economy. If you have not been in China in the past years, you will need to get inspired by this list of ideas to make good use of the QR code’s capabilities for access to basic information for your client, loyalty program, direct marketing, and a lot more...
7 - Hundreds of restaurants quit a delivery platform
Hundreds of Israeli restaurants have informed dining solutions company 10bis that their services will no longer be required, after being told that commissions are being raised. Commissions were to go from 10% to 12% for food deliveries and business owners didn’t feel like it anymore. "It shouldn't be that while we are sweating and fighting to halt the rise in prices and absorbing most of the inevitable price hikes you sit in your office with your air-conditioning, coffee, and cakes and just press a button and get richer by 25% just because you feel like you can get away with it."
8 - KFC offers an 11-course menu
KFC Australia put together an official 11-course degustation menu, which was created in partnership with Nelly Robinson, the Sydney-based chef, and served for $75. And as we already said in a previous newsletter, offering something special and limited could drive interest. “As you might've guessed, this is proving to be a popular offering, and KFC Australia has opened its online waitlist for anyone who wants the chance to down a gravy candle and a gold-dusted drumstick.”
Talk to me about these stories and what it means for your business!
The FoodTech Confidential Newsletter is supported in part by:
Stcavish + Co is an F&B market intelligence company, specializing in firsthand research and other data-driven information about restaurants, hotels, and more in China.
For information about our services, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or see us on LinkedIn.
That’s it for now
As you can imagine, while doing my research, I am finding a lot more things that didn’t make the cut here (and some are going straight to LinkedIn). Let me know if you’d like to know more and drop me a comment, just reply to this email directly or contact email@example.com.
Thanks for the mention Greg! appreciate it