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December 16, 2020

How to Adapt to the Changing Face of Customization in 2021

Customization, perhaps more than any other topic in foodservice, has been in a constant state of evolution. From the early days of “have it your way,” the approach has been ever-changing. And over time, new challenges have popped up: cross-contamination, lifestyle trends, and ingredient allergies, to name a few. Operators pivoted by finding new ways to offer modifications and customization without disrupting service. Then the Covid-19 pandemic came knocking, and many operators found themselves without the capability to customize. Survival and safety took precedence, and with good reason.
Today, nearly half of consumers are eager to dine away from home again. As they do, will the expectation of customization come with it? And, if it does, how will you respond? In our most recent White Paper, we dug into how customization has shifted in 2020 and how operators and consumers have adapted.
In this White Paper covering Customization in 2021, you’ll find dozens of tips and insights, such as:

  • Almost two-thirds of Americans have either tried or are interested in trying new products like meal kits and family meal bundles, according to Datassential. Even more, out of diners who have tried the new options, almost all are interested in continued purchases even after the pandemic ends.
  • Half of consumers cut back on restaurant spending in the last month, yet convenience is still desired. 
  • 31% of consumers say to “allow me to customize” and 35% of consumers say to offer a mix of different price options.
  • 59% of consumers would feel more comfortable if restaurants switched to pre-packaged single-serve condiments.

The emphasis on value is pronounced right now as consumers recover from the stress of 2020. Balancing price, quality, and quantity will continue to be important in 2021. Reflect on what menu modifications worked well in 2020, and take stock of the year ahead. With your assessment and our tips, we hope you'll discover the best ways to offer your guests customization in the coming year. 


Joe Beitzel
Brand Marketing Director
Custom Culinary, Inc.