After foraging through new survey data, we discovered insights that could be worth billions to the catering industry. We served them up as a satisfying piece of visual thought leadership.
With one in four Brits now restricting their diet in some way, “special dietary requirements” have moved into the mainstream.
But are restaurants adapting to our ever-expanding list of dietary demands?
Caterer.com, the UK’s largest hospitality recruiters, surveyed over 2,000 Brits following a dietary restriction of some kind, from people with allergies to vegans and no-red-meat-ers.
They asked us to prep the data, find the freshest insights, then serve up a rich, surprising piece of thought leadership for the industry to tuck into.
Two big trends emerged from the survey data, revealing that “selective eaters” – as we chose to call them for our story – could be an incredible opportunity for UK restaurants.
The first was that far from being fads, dietary restrictions tend to be long-term commitments. Nearly half of all respondents had followed their diet for over 10 years.
The second was that selective eaters are prepared to spend more on their meals – and that they would eat out more often if restaurants catered for them better.
Taking selective eaters at their word, we calculated the potential revenue gains they could bring to restaurants.
The results were staggering: selective eaters would spend an additional £9 billion each year if restaurants improved their offering for them.
If you compare this with UK restaurants’ current estimated turnover of £40 billion, it becomes obvious that catering for selective eaters is an opportunity restaurants cannot afford to lose.
Brilliant news for restaurants, but how can they realise this revenue potential?
The data held the answers, straight from selective eaters’ mouths. So we laid out a handy five-point list: provide details of ingredients used, list allergens on menus, more choice, greater flexibility and staff in-the-know.
To give the piece an appetising editorial treatment, we made subtle nods to dining throughout the visualizations, taking inspiration from menus and restaurant recipes.
As part of this creative approach, we visualized the data points like food on a plate.
These playful charts allow the reader to make easy comparisons between data points and create a visual language for the viewer to become familiar with throughout the piece.
Elsewhere, simple bar charts to compare the cost of an average meal for different selective eaters were designed as a subtle nod to a restaurant bill.
These light touches were complemented by an otherwise very clean design that would appeal to Caterer’s younger audience and let the story stand out.