How Fast Casual Can Woo Business Travelers

Business dining accounts for nearly 20 percent of all annual travel expenses in the United States. Estimates in 2018 alone, show business travelers spent more than $77 billion on meals, snacks, and drinks while on the road.

Wooing these business customers could be a boon to fast casual and quick serve restaurants, especially at a time when those traveling for work are increasingly opting for less formal dining experiences.

According to one recent study, more than half of all business travelers indicated that they preferred to dine at fast casual restaurants while on the road, while another 34 percent of respondents said fast food was their go-to while eating out for business.

Two factors have largely driven that choice: Value and speed of service. Road warriors often eat their meals in their cars and hotel rooms, and place a high value on drive-thru and grab-and-go options. These business customers are increasingly cognizant of their company’s bottom line, opting to patronize fast casual and quick service restaurants that offer coupons, reward points, and rebates.

Technology has become a game-changer for business travelers looking to grab a meal while in transit for work. Nearly 63 percent of business travelers indicated they have at least one dining-related apps on their mobile phones. Fast casual and quick service restaurants that have launched apps in response, hoping to lure busy professionals into their drive-thru and curbside pickup lanes.

Others have gotten into the delivery game, teaming up with apps such as UberEats, PostMates, Grubhub, and others to provide meals so that business travelers can eat in the comfort of their hotel rooms. An increasing number of these travelers say they prefer the value offered by these apps when compared to the cost and value offered by hotel room service.

Over the past few years, the availability of healthy dining options has also been identified as a top priority among business travelers – especially as Millennials continue to enter the workforce. In fact, the availability of fresh, healthy food items was said to be the number-one priority for 77 percent of all business travelers. When selecting where to purchase a business meal, 64 percent of these business travelers said they considered both the number and quality of healthy dining options. Another 43 percent of business diners indicated that being able to peruse published nutritional information was a driving factor when it came to selecting which fast casual or quick service restaurant they would patronize on the road.

Menu boards and drive-thru screens that include information on calories and other nutrients, as well as those that clearly identify which items are gluten-free, can be a valuable asset to these business customers, allowing them to make informed food decisions.

About The Company

OrderMatic Corporation develops solutions that enhance the customer transactional experience in new and innovative ways. OrderMatic designs and manufactures drive thru menu boards, branded next generation signage, and drive in products and accessories for quick service restaurants, retail merchants, and sports and entertainment venues.