The lunch menu has not fully recovered its followers, seven out of ten users have not yet resumed their usual relationship with bars and restaurants Y the sector’s business closure rate has doubled. These are some of the consequences that the pandemic leaves behind for one of the markets that has suffered the most, although not everything is bad news: on the side of opportunities, ‘delivery’ (food at home or in the place of work) and the consumption of prepared dishes, do not stop growing.
This is witnessed by the business association AECOC, responsible for the study that has guided the launch of the second edition of the Horeca Challenge, the program to help start-ups in the sector co-organized by Mediapro, Dust, Torres Family Y PepsiCo. These four companies will allot 18,000 euros to advise and be a testing ground for three business projects that are in an advanced stage (that is, that can be industrialized or scaled in the short term) and that can be applied well to the universe of ‘delivery’, Either to rethink new uses for the spaces of hotels, restaurants or cafeterias that are not recovering their level of activity or to improve the efficiency of digitization.
“What we do is a new reading of the context where we are,” he summarized this Monday Carlos Solana, responsible for innovation and digital business within Mediapro. And they do it with the market vision that the AECOC study has given them as a background.
Fear of contagion and the crisis
The information handled by this business association indicates, for example, that the COVID crisis has closed 15% of establishments in this sector and that this means doubling the usual mortality rate in this market. Also that there are 70% of people who have not recovered their way of consuming in establishments, especially due to fear of getting infected or because they consider that it is necessary to reduce expenses. Or that as much as the number of users who consume a restaurant menu at least once a week has risen 6 points between March and October of this year, the current percentage (29%) is still below the 35% prepandemic.
“The two most affected segments are consumption linked to offices and the part of tourism,” explained the head of the Horeca channel at AECOC, Patricia fernandez. “And a recovery is not expected for several months,” he added, referring especially to the tourist part.
The point is that this scenario leaves behind several new trends: according to AECOC, a third of teleworkers mainly seek speed in preparation (eleven points more than the rate among the general population), 35% order at home at noon once a week, almost half eat a prepared dish and about 30% spend more than before on consumption at home or to go. Overall, this format has gained more than two million new customers.
That is why, as explained by representatives of the four companies after the entrepreneurship program, that the ‘delivery’ has earned its own space in the Horeca Challenge this year. Mediapro, Damm, Familia Torres and Pepsico, which opens this year, officially opened the call period (which runs until February 6) for a program that will end in mid-July, with a ‘demo day ‘in which results will be presented to investors.