The food industry is getting a thorough shake-up, and shake-down, thanks to the ever-expanding influence of mobile technology. In the short-term, this has many franchisees and restauranteurs feeling uncertain what the future may hold. Over the long-term, however, there is much to love about these new developments – and much to profit from as well!

3 Huge Food-To-Order Market Trends

These trends are currently showing the greatest impact in the food-to-order market:

– Mobile delivery apps. Apps like PrimeNow, UberEats, GrubHub, Postmates Pop, Starbucks, Eat24, Dash, Caviar, Munchery, Lish, BiteSquad, Google….the list goes on and on. Some are nationwide, some international, some regional and some local. But all do essentially the same thing – connect hungry diners with good food via a mobile app-based order-and-deliver service.

– Cook-at-home kits. For those who fancy a slightly more traditional take on mobile dining, cook-at-home kits are enjoying similar popularity. The Purple Carrot, MealDay, Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, Plated….get every ingredient you need in perfect portions – just unpack and prepare!

– Chain-based food hubs. Panera, Starbucks and Chipotle are joining the likes of Dominoes, Red Rooster and McDelivery (McDonald’s new beta delivery service) to create “food hubs” just for delivery-only customers, thus taking the pressure off eat-in locations and streamlining for the new arm of their business.

2 Challenges to Evolve with the Times

There is an intimidation factor at work here when it comes to watching such a radical real-time shift in an industry that has been so set in its ways for so long. How will it affect your business? Can you evolve to successfully compete with your tech-driven competitors?

Here are two challenges the new tech-driven food & beverage industry is successfully meeting – find a way to do the same and you will find yourself evolving too!

New ways to solve customer problems.

All of these are customer problems that the new range of mobile-based and cook-at-home kits are successfully solving.

– Too little time to hunt for recipes and shop for healthy food to cook at home?

– No time to take a lunch break?

– Craving burgers at 3 am?

– Planning a surprise last-minute at-home date with your live-in love?

– In a hotel in a strange city, exhausted after your flight and hungry?

Your challenge: How well do you know what your customers’ problems and challenges are? It may be time to find out – and figure out if you can wrap in some of this new neat technology to solve them faster and cheaper than your competitors!

New ways to meet demand.

Wherever you find supply (such as in your own Core Hospitality Furniture warehouse, for instance) your next step is to search for demand.

– Who wants what you are selling?

– What barriers or obstacles do they face to acquiring your products or services?

– How are other industries innovating to overcome those barriers or obstacles?

– Are there middlemen tools you can use to connect your customers’ demand with your company’s supply?

– Do you have an “ultimate vision” for your company’s evolution, but you just can’t quite figure out how to pull it off…yet?

Your challenge: Do some sleuthing to find out what subscription services, apps and tools your customers use to shop elsewhere. Poll them as you have new fulfillment ideas to test the waters.

So as you can see, there is much to learn from what is now being called the “The Uber-fication of the Food & Beverage Industry in Australia.”