Restaurants & Dining

Restaurants are experimenting with robots, but customers aren’t enthused: Labor crunches and high costs are pushing fast-food chains like Chipotle and Panera Bread to adopt automation front and back of house.

High prices are taking their toll on people’s desire to shop: Consumer spending in the US increased slightly in February, but consumer sentiment remains depressed.

Restaurants scramble to roll out loyalty programs: Hardee’s, IHOP, and Carl’s Jr. are the latest chains to leverage loyalty to offer personalized experiences and deepen relationships with consumers.

Unionization efforts pose a challenge to brands’ images: Labor efforts at Amazon, Apple, REI, and Starbucks show a side of these popular brands that could turn off consumers.

DoorDash was once again the most downloaded US food and drink app in 2021, racking up 37.0 million downloads, 5% fewer than in 2020. McDonald’s jumped to second on the list with 24.0 million downloads, 33% more than the year prior. Meanwhile, Uber Eats dropped to third place with 21.0 million downloads.

COVID-19 is back at the top of mind for many consumers: Survey suggests spread of omicron variant has led many to change their behavior.

On today's episode, we discuss what's next for Google Search, what it would take for advertisers to leave Facebook, regulating algorithms, how advertisers can get into gaming, restaurant robots, how to run better meetings, fun with flags, and more. Tune in to the discussion with eMarketer principal analyst Suzy Davidkhanian, analyst Blake Droesch, and director of forecasting at Insider Intelligence Oscar Orozco.

Among US retail categories, apparel and accessories has the biggest social media footprint, accounting for 53.3% of all posts and reactions to content, like comments and shares, across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter in July 2021.

Starbucks invests in more frictionless customer experiences: More fast-food brands are building up their drive-thru and on-the-go ordering capabilities, meeting changing consumer behavior in the process.

Foremost Business Systems offers point-of-sale hardware and software solutions for restaurants, which can help NCR build out its hospitality unit and boost overall revenues.

Pizza Hut looks outside of the box: The fast-food chain seeks to regain leadership in digital food delivery through AI and analytics.

On today's episode, we discuss how advertisers are adjusting as the pandemic eases in the US, whether Facebook Live Shopping can get off the ground, online shopping's deceleration, if faster delivery can really help retailers compete with Amazon, what to make of Snapchat's fourth-generation augmented reality glasses, and how much time we really have to enjoy life. Tune in to the discussion with eMarketer senior analyst Sara M. Watson, analyst Daniel Keyes, and analyst at Insider Intelligence Blake Droesch.

On today's episode, we discuss why Uber is trying to be a one-stop shop and how DoorDash outperformed Uber during the pandemic. We then talk about The New York Times' Q1 subscriber and revenue performance, NBCUniversal's thoughts on regional sports, and what stood out at this year's NewFronts. Tune in to the discussion with eMarketer senior forecasting analyst at Insider Intelligence Eric Haggstrom.

Many mobile app categories saw a boost last year as more consumers spent time with their devices during quarantines. According to our estimates for smartphone app user growth, grocery apps, food delivery apps, and health/fitness apps were the three fastest-growing categories in 2020.

Fast-casual restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill is a pioneer in meme marketing, having incorporated memes into its social media strategies since mid-2018.

Food delivery apps like Uber Eats, DoorDash, and SkipTheDishes—a Winnipeg-based homegrown competitor to the US-based services—had already established a foothold before the pandemic. The greater need for delivery last year elevated their influence in food service, even though the fees they charge have raised concerns in the restaurant industry and for regulators.

Following increased demand due to the pandemic, digital restaurant marketplace sales are on track to finish the year with $44.94 billion in sales, more than double the $20.08 billion in 2019.

As the restaurant industry faces continued operational challenges and indoor dining constraints loom across the country, many consumers are turning to food delivery apps.