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At-Home Hospitality

The predicted ‘summer of socialising’ is set to drive the rising ‘at-home hospitality’ trend into a brand-new phase, according to new research from KAM Media.

Consumer demand is significant with 9-in-10 wanting the brands which they’ve had in their homes during lockdowns to continue offering these ‘at-home’ solutions even when restrictions lift. 62% want their favourite restaurant brands to start selling ‘cook at home’ meal boxes nationwide.

The research, carried out in partnership with eCommerce platform Slerp, found that UK adults are so excited to finally meet up with friends and family that a larger than normal amount of socialising ‘at home’ is predicted; 36% said they will have friends/family over more often vs pre-pandemic.

41% of UK adults said they are planning on having picnics with friends and family, 31% are planning garden parties and 39% will invite friends and family for BBQs. And it’s not all happening in the garden, when restrictions allow 28% are planning a dinner party inside. 

KAM say that demand for ‘at-home’ solutions from pubs, restaurants and hotels remain very high. The research found that 11.5 million UK adults (22%) have ordered a ‘cook at home’ meal box in the last 12 months, with an even larger proportion (40%) intending to purchase in the future.

But KAM suggests in order to capitalise on this growing demand, operators must not sit still and need to continue to evolve.

Katie Jenkins, Marketing Director, KAM Media: “’At-home’ solutions will soon hit the mainstream as we move towards a future of multi-channel hospitality. That means that where consumers may have been forgiving of the kinks in new delivery services during initial lockdowns, brands now really need to up their game. Competition is already pretty fierce and now is the time for operators to cement their brand as a ‘go to’ for their target customers and/or target ‘dine at home’ occasions.”

The research suggests that the next phase of ‘at-home hospitality’ solutions will need to move from a purely functional transaction to an experiential one, with operators thinking beyond the food they offer and considering the total experience as well as offering solutions for different occasions. 

There is a clear demand from consumers for ‘at-home hospitality’ experiences for a range of special celebrations for example, with 43% saying they would buy an ‘cook at home meal box’ when celebrating an adults birthday party at home. 23% say the same for Valentine’s Day and 22% for children’s birthday celebrations.

“Forward thinking operators are not only providing quality food to eat at home but offer the entire experience including branded packaging, drink pairings and even tableware and playlists! Operators really need to think of each ‘dine at home’ delivery as a gift arriving on their customer’s doorstep. It is an extension of their brand and everything about the delivery, packaging, and yes of course the food and drink impacts how they experience the brand.” comments Jenkins.

Another key opportunity is ‘staycations’ with the research identifying that 16.2 million UK adults intend to stay in a self-catering holiday home in the next 12 months. 58% of them are open to purchasing a ‘cook at home meal box’, 27% an ‘ingredient box’ and 20% a ‘picnic hamper.’ 

JP Then, Founder, Crosstown and Slerp: “The benefits of selling a ‘dine at home’ solution direct online is clear. Not only can it help operators navigate reopening by combatting no shows and encouraging business during off peak hours, but it creates an additional revenue from assets you already have. In hospitality, experience is everything. Now more than ever, you need your online offering to mirror your offline experience. As we navigate the rest of 2021, listen to want your customers want. As challenging as this time has been, it’s also an exciting time for the sector. If you embrace positive innovation this research shows, there’s huge opportunities to be had.”

KAM Media and Slerp have partnered to create a free whitepaper for operators highlighting the key findings from the research and opportunities to grow their ‘at-home’ sales. Download it here.