Thanksgiving is known as a holiday for home cooking, but this year restaurants will see a bigger slice of consumer pie as the food industry shifts toward speed and convenience — often at the expense of supermarkets.
One advantage restaurants have now that they didn’t have, say, 2019, is that they can use the digital ordering tree to more easily meet consumer needs, making delivery or takeout an increasingly convenient option for those who want to spend the holiday at home. want to celebrate with their friends and family.
Research from PYMNTS’ How We Eat Playbook, co-created with Carat of Fiserv, found that consumers are now 31% more likely to buy meals to eat at home than to dine in restaurants. It also found that nearly half of consumers are now ordering online for takeout more often than before the start of the pandemic, and 43% said the same about delivery.
Also see: Restaurants and grocers see the way to bring in 200 million new customers
In addition, a study by Grubhub and Harris Poll found a general shift towards ordering meals from restaurants for holiday meals, with younger consumers more likely to do so. In particular, while only 50% of baby boomers said they would consider ordering takeout for a holiday meal, that figure rose to 63% for consumers ages 18 to 34 and 65% for those ages 35 to 44.
“This year in particular, with all of our dining rooms open at full capacity, in addition to the off-premises, we are really anticipating Thanksgiving Day,” Anita Adams, CEO of Black Bear Diner, a full-service comfort food chain with 144 locations in 14 states, told PYMNTS in an interview. “So, a lot of effort and energy goes into, how do we balance those two very different revenue channels?”
She noted that the restaurant offers both the traditional turkey dinner and alternative options for consumers who prefer other proteins, adding that the brand “wants very much[s] to please all the guests who come in.”
Other restaurants and ready meal providers have changed tack and shifted their focus to providing all the fixings, knowing that consumers generally prefer to prepare the turkey (or alternative meal centers) themselves. By allowing customers to pre-order, companies were able to turn fears of ingredient shortages into an opportunity to boost sales. The October FMI survey of grocery shopping trends found that 26% of U.S. consumers were concerned that stores would stop selling their favorite holiday foods.
Jeremiah Zinn, chief technology officer of the food delivery service Freshly, which is owned by Nestlé, told PYMNTS the brand has already seen massive adoption of its holiday offerings, selling multi-serving side dishes in advance.
“This is an example of a product where people are much, much more likely to get stuck because they might want to focus their efforts on the protein — I’m going to create a moment to cook a nice turkey,” he said. “And then [with] the parties, they want consistency, and they want to be sure that they can capture something that will reach them at the right time in the holiday.”
Baskin Robbins went along the same lines, announcing a turkey-shaped cake in early November, aiming to meet consumer dessert needs, and White Castle has been spreading stuffing recipes with its sliders. Meanwhile, 7-Eleven’s prepared food company has taken the holiday not to boost sales for the Thanksgiving dinner itself, but all season long with its themed Thanksgiving Turkey Sub.
Looking ahead, research from the How We Eat Playbook also found that 82% of consumers plan to keep some or all of their digitally shifted restaurant ordering behavior going into the future. As such, grocers looking to maintain their sales during the holiday season will have to work harder to stave off restaurant competitors as the Thanksgiving rush can no longer be taken for granted.
Reduce, reuse, reconnect — how a Facebook group is helping Lakeview be more sustainable and build a community
A used bike, a bag of clothes, and a leftover burrito—each of these items was given a new lease of life through a community Facebook group.
The Buy Nothing groups are home to what are arguably the most positive interactions you can find on the social media platform. Their goal is to share resources to promote sustainability and connect people with their neighbors.
“Its purpose is very simple: give where you live and recycle and reuse,” said Aditi Chakraborty, the manager of the Lakeview Buy Nothing group.
The rules are simple too: members can post a “give” to offer items they no longer use, a “ask” to request an item that someone else might want to part with, or a thank you message to say thank you for what the community has done for them. Buy Nothing emphasizes the use of a gift economy, so there is no money, no barter, no expectation of anything in return – just ask and give.
People offer typical items that appear in thrift stores, such as furniture for new renters, clothing that would otherwise go unsold at Goodwill, and neglected kitchen gadgets.
But people are also giving out homemade cookies to share, skincare and makeup they’ve tried but didn’t like, unused concert tickets, and even a DoorDash burrito that was delivered to the wrong address. Everything is shared and, if possible, nothing is lost.
“We’re talking about a mindset shift,” said Elise O’Malley, program manager at Plant Chicago.
The non-profit organization in Back of the Yards offers educational workshops, a farmers market and guidance for small businesses to promote sustainability and a circular economy, where resources are reused in new ways rather than turned into waste.
“Right now, the global economy in which we operate is a linear economy,” O’Malley said, “where producers draw resources from the earth … to make products such as plastic water bottles or cheap clothing that consumers turn once or only a handful. Through reuse… we play a role in preventing the extraction of those resources.”
O’Malley explained that, in addition to diverting items from a landfill, reuse reduces the amount of energy used to make new products and fights climate change by minimizing activities such as deforestation and pollution. It even saves the emissions that would arise when shipping these products. Instead, Buy Nothing members can just walk to their neighbor’s house, a few blocks away.
“The sustainability aspect gets me the most excited,” said Wendy Lawler, an avid member of the Lakeview Buy Nothing group.
Lawler joined the group during last year’s quarantine, when neighbors felt more isolated than ever. Initially only looking for a place to sell her children’s clothes when the donation centers were closed, she soon became immersed in an economy of kindness.
“I know it’s crazy,” she said, “but I swear it’s worked over and over where I turn off the things I don’t need, and I get exactly what I do.”
Lawler tries to make a difference in sustainability in every way possible. In addition to making her own nut milks and starting a compost bin, she uses the group to reuse items whenever possible.
In Lawler’s greatest upcycling achievement, she took the phrase “buy nothing” to a new level.
“As my daughter’s birthday approached,” she said, “I thought, there’s a way you can still exercise that same sustainability mindset while also honoring the fanciful, whimsical, magical experience that a birthday is for a small child. “
Another member sparked Lawler’s interest when they made a “give” post for giant three-zero mylar balloons, which they donated after their thirtieth birthday party. Lawler used the “three” balloon for her daughter’s party, along with other decor from Buy Nothing Gives. She collected clothes, toys and games from both the Facebook group and local thrift stores. She even reused an edible arrangement she’d gotten two days earlier for her own birthday for her daughter’s “cake” — putting the whole party together without buying anything brand new.
“It was nice to see that you can do sustainability in a way that is still magical, fun and amazing,” Lawler said.
But the party didn’t end there.
Lawler said she will be using the “zero” balloon from the original “thirty” in a few weeks for her son’s tenth birthday. A few days after her daughter’s party, she reused a pink bouquet of Buy Nothing balloons and took them to the hospital to celebrate her mother’s last radiation treatment. And the “three” balloon found its third home at another three-year-old’s party, along with some costumes Lawler also threw in after talking to the child’s mother on Facebook Messenger.
In the Lakeview group, items go round and round, connecting people as they travel around the neighborhood.
Lawler’s partner will even look for broken items people give, replace old parts, repair them, and send them back to the group in brand new condition for someone else to use.
“Now it’s starting to look like a quest,” Lawler said. “It’s like a fun scavenger hunt.”
Climate change is a global problem, and with big business being the biggest culprits, it can seem hard to make a difference. But O’Malley thinks individual actions still have value and impact.
“Your individual behavior communicates your values to others,” she said. “There’s some kind of elusive value of creating a ripple effect.”
As part of Buy Nothing Gives, it’s common for people to post updates on how they’re using the items they’ve received, and send photos of how the gifts are doing in their new homes.
“It’s nice to see where these things end up, and then it’s kind of a perpetuation to get more out there,” Lawler said.
In the Lakeview group, this kind of ripple effect has had visible results. Since Chakraborty volunteered to be the admin of the group in May 2020, the group’s popularity has skyrocketed.
“Our group has grown tremendously since I joined,” she says.
The group now has more than 5.3 thousand members. In fact, it has split several times as so many people continue to join, creating new groups in Lincoln Park, Ravenswood, and more.
“If you don’t have one in your own community, if someone is interested, you can start one,” Lawler said. “I think it makes the community stronger. I really like it.”
Amazon India wants to buy stake in Inox Leisure, others; Jeff Bezos on the hunt for media bargains
Jeff Bezos is looking to diversify Amazon India’s entertainment business with a view to acquiring multiple movie and media distribution players, including Mumbai-based cinema chain Inox Leisure, The Indian Express reported. With a pandemic hitting businesses like multiplex chains hard with repeated lockdowns and social distancing standards, Amazon India is looking to take a stake in some companies, aided by deep pockets from the world’s richest person. The Indian Express report states that Inox Leisure is one of several candidates that Amazon is looking for for its diversification exercise.
Although Amazon has been operating its over-the-top (OTT) content business in India since 2016, the pace of growth has not been what the company expected. After initial growth in the first six months last year, its OTT service Amazon Prime has not grown as expected, the report said. “There are currently three to four deals in this space under evaluation, including some distressed assets. Amazon India is in advanced talks with some of them,” the report said.
Listed Inox Leisure has been reporting consecutive losses since the pandemic started last year. In the January-March quarter, Inox Leisure reported sales of 90 crore, down 75% from the previous year, attributed to a lack of content. The company reported a net loss of Rs 93.7 crore. Analysts at ICICI Direct expect the company to report a loss of Rs 235 crore this fiscal year, aided by expected revenue decline.
Amazon India had invested $1.5 billion in its Indian company just before the pandemic, most of which was pumped into its e-commerce business. According to the report, Amazon’s major entertainment deal could lead Jeff Bezos’ company to focus more on this side of the business and away from e-commerce. Amazon faces e-commerce policy changes and inflexible challenges from Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Retail and Walmart-backed Flipkart. Amazon had previously held talks with US-based movie theater chain AMC to acquire a stake, but the talks were fruitless.
Inox Leisure, one of the largest cinema chains in the country with 153 multiplexes and 648 screens. Most of the company’s screens are located in the west of the country, followed by North, South and East. On June 30, the promoters of Inox Leisure held a 43.63% stake, while 56.23% is government-owned.
On Monday, Inox Leisure share price rose 1.7% to finish at Rs 302.5 each. The price of the Inox share has risen 5.46% so far this year. The company’s market cap stands at Rs 3,705 crore.
UPDATE: Inox Leisure clarification to fairs
We would like to inform you as below:
1. There are no discussions between ‘INOX Leisure Limited’ and ‘Amazon’, nor have there been any in the past.
2. Under the circumstances, the above news item published on various platforms of Indian Express dated July 27, 2021 is factually incorrect.
Your weather update: Get ready for some rain across the country on Thursday
Severe thunderstorms and heavy rainfall are expected.
PHOTO: Duncan Alfreds, News24
The South African Weather Service released a level 2 yellow warning for disruptive rainfall caused by slow-moving thunderstorms, which can cause flooding of susceptible formal/informal settlements or roads and low-lying areas, affecting bridges and major roads.
This can lead to longer travel times and difficult driving conditions on unpaved roads, and localized damage to mud-based/makeshift houses/structures. This is expected in places above the southern parts of Limpopo, the northern and eastern parts of Gauteng, as well as Highveld of Mpumalanga.
The weather in your province
Gauteng Occasionally it will be cloudy and warm, with scattered showers and thunderstorms.
The expected UVB sunburn index is high.
Mpumalanga will have morning fog along the slope, otherwise cloudy and cool to warm, with isolated showers and thunderstorms, but spread over the Highveld.
limpopo there will be morning fog in the east, otherwise cloudy and warm, with isolated showers and thunderstorms, except in the Limpopo Valley.
The North West and Free Stands will be fine and warm to hot, becoming partly cloudy, with scattered afternoon and thunderstorms, but isolated to the west.
It’s getting cloudy, with fog, in the Northern Cape first along the coast, otherwise fine and hot to very hot, becoming partly cloudy, with afternoon and thunderstorms in the east.
It will remain cloudy along the far north coast, where it will be cool.
The wind along the coast is moderate from the south to southwest.
The western cape will be good and cool to warm, but cloudy to partly cloudy and cool, with isolated afternoon thunderstorms in the northeastern parts and light rain along the south coast east of Cape Agulhas towards evening.
Winds along the coast are strong to strong from the south to southeast.
The expected UVB sunburn index is extreme.
The western half of the eastern cape partly cloudy at first in the north, then cloudy and warm, with light rain along the coast and scattered showers and thunderstorms, but isolated in the west.
Winds along the coast are light to moderate from the south to southeast.
The eastern half will be cloudy and warm, with scattered showers and thunderstorms, but light rain in places along the coast.
Winds along the coast are light to moderate from an easterly to northeasterly direction.
KwaZulu-Natal over the interior will be morning fog, otherwise partly cloudy and warm, but hot in places to the north.
In the afternoon it will become cloudy with scattered showers and thunderstorms.
Winds along the coast will be moderate to moderate northeasterly.
The expected UVB sunburn index is high.
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