Our Stance: Second Edition

29/11/2018

Welcome to the second edition of Our Stance... This is a new feature with views from the Edinburgh Strategy and Insight team, with their thoughts on current news and views! The strategy and insight team is: Maddy Sim, Ian Martin and Moira Garden.

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Our Stance: Second Edition Our Stance: Second Edition

UBEREATS IS SO POPULAR, IT'S SHAPING THE ENTIRE FOOD INDUSTRY

Bloomberg reports that new culinary delivery-only setups are becoming all the more popular, and it’s turning the traditionally thin-margined restaurant industry on its head.

Ghost restaurants” (restaurants with no brick-and-mortar presence) have been gaining in popularity since 2016, allowing restaurants to crank out different cuisines under multiple virtual restaurant brands all from one industrial kitchen.

These brands have been so successful that UberEats is now using its data to actively encourage their creation, spotting what users are searching for in particular areas and encouraging ventures to cater to them.

Uber’s use of data to spot the cuisines people are missing out on in certain areas reminds me of Netflix – incidentally the company whose data I’d most like to mine.

Netflix bought a remake of House of Cards when it noticed an overlap between those who watched Kevin Spacey films and those who watched the original House of Cards series on the BBC. Even for Netflix, a company who obsesses over their algorithm, this was an impressive use of data to spot what people wanted and react accordingly.
 
So I love the use of demand data to serve customers. As an ex PPC-er, how could I not? I also support the fact that it’ll be easier for foodies to share the fruits of their labour with the rest of us, as they are no longer reliant on setting up a ‘traditional restaurant’. Setting up restaurants is notoriously expensive and risky, ‘ghost restaurants’ remove some of the barriers.

My reservations? That it becomes so much easier to operate a ghost restaurant that we start to lose the real ones. That companies like Uber, with their questionable practices, make too large a cut. That we rely on data to predict what people want, rather than offering them the new and surprising. That I start spending every Saturday in my pyjamas eating ‘what I think I want’ (usually nachos) rather than making myself presentable to go out and support local restaurants. 
 
I’m slightly ashamed of my reservations – I feel like I’m entering the ‘back in my day’ age group where my reactions are those of a luddite rather than a disruptor. But then maybe I just really love restaurants.

For more on this topic, check out the following articles:
https://thehustle.co/ubereats-ghost-restaurants/
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-10-24/uber-s-secret-empire-of-virtual-restaurants

 

NEW THIS EDITION... A SELECTION OF OUR FACTS OF THE DAY

And as a special bonus, this week we’re rounding up some of the recent top ‘facts of the day’ sent on by our resident research and insight expert, Moira Garden –

London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has announced that there is to be a ban on junk food which will take effect from 25 February. The aim is to try and tackle child obesity.
“Under the scheme, posters for food and drink high in fat, salt and sugar will vanish from the Underground, Overground, buses and bus shelters”.
 
Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-46306198 

 

There was a heart-warming story on a cold November day, when a Hertfordshire-based DJ, who’d long had a listenership of 1, got his chance to extend his reach.
 
Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/nov/19/garden-shed-dj-audience-one-bbc-radio-special-deke-duncan

 

And finally, talk of ‘watercooler’ moments sparked some great commentary from our AV resident, James Harlow;
 
The Drum released an interesting article, discussing how DCM’s (Digital Cinema Media) view is that TV’s fragmentation is an opportunity for cinema, especially for the 16-34 market.

“The research found that cinema may displace live TV as the vessel for 'watercooler moments' due to the fragmentation of viewing habits thanks to video on demand (VOD) and streaming services, especially among 16-34-year-olds.”
 
Read more: https://www.thedrum.com/news/2018/11/21/dcm-sees-tvs-fragmentation-cinemas-opportunity?utm_campaign=Newsletter_Daily_EuropePM&utm_source=pardot&utm_medium=email
 

James commented;
 
For 16-34s social media has replaced watercoolers (remember them?) as the place to chat about the latest cultural highlights. TV drives a vast amount of social discourse, just look at the weekly email from Kantar on TV and social media buzz.
 
Even so, I bet you’ve all heard countless office chats about Bodyguard, Love Island, Killing Eve, I’m A Celebrity etc this year, and there are plenty 16-34s amongst us. Oh and have you seen Informer?  It’s brilliant.
 
Binge-watching and catch up means the need for #nospoilers can reduce the instant impact of ‘event TV’ but it also provides the opportunity to go back and catch things you might’ve missed and spread the word, increasing the scale and duration of AV content’s impact further than ever.
 
That said, I think DCM and Differentology are right to see cinema as *another* potential driver of major Cultural Moments.  It’s perhaps the only media left that commands full attention, no multi-screening, no distractions, full enjoyment. And tickets cost a mint so you want your money’s worth. Get your ads in front of those 100% engaged eyeballs and you can expect much greater cut-through than other channels.

 

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