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Can Selling Meal Kits Increase Your Restaurant’s Customer Base?

February 17, 2020

Offering meal kit options to your diners could increase your restaurant’s customer base and boost profits.Curious about this new revenue opportunity? Smart Foodservice Warehouse shares the latest trends and statistics.

Meal Kit Trends & the Restaurant Industry


It’s no surprise that meal kits are a booming business. Diners choose meal kits because they provide quality meals at home with minimal prep. These recent stats illuminate how the meal kit trend is growing:

  • Meal kit purchases increased dramatically in 2018, with 14.3 million households purchasing meal kits. That’s up 3.8 million households from 2017.
  • In-store meal kits sales reached $93 million in 2018.

Who’s hungry for meal kits from their favorite restaurants? The answer, almost everyone. Millennials, baby boomers and Gen Xers are expected to choose in-home dining over restaurants in the coming years. By offering their own meal kits now, restaurateurs can reach a diverse customer base and grow it for years to come. 

Generational Life Stages and the Effects on the Dine-In Restaurant Industry

Generation Z, millennials, Gen Xers, and baby boomers are all currently experiencing restaurant culture at the same time, but in varied ways. Their ages and life stages all contribute to how they relate to and frequent restaurants.

  • Millennials, Gen Xers and baby boomers are expected to cut back on dining out by 2024, and turn toward preparing meals at home. 
    • Baby boomers comprise approximately 20% of the population
    • Gen X accounts for approximately 21%
    • Millennials represent roughly  25%
  • Generation Z is the main demographic expected to increase its dine-in restaurant frequency in the next five years. 

    Take a moment and think about what those stats mean for your restaurant. While Generation Z looks promising for restaurants in the coming years, there are three generations that could potentially reduce their dine-in experiences. 

    Getting ahead of the curve now and offering meal kits could help increase your customer base and, in turn, profits. These generations still want delectable meals, just within the comfort of their own home. So why not offer them your restaurant's mouthwatering menu, but with the ease of a meal kit?

    Restaurant Meal Kits vs Third-Party Delivery

    The prevalence of third-party restaurant delivery companies makes it easy for consumers to get their favorite restaurant meals at home. 

    •  Statistics show that 50 million people will try a meal kit delivery service.
    • 49% of consumers said they would buy a meal kit from their favorite restaurant.


    While it's a savvy way to reach demographics that are turning toward home meals, a meal kit can offer even more in terms of freshness and customer experience. 

    • Delivery services often charge high commission fees ranging from 12% to 30%, which can cut into your restaurant's profits.
    • Delivery services can have lengthy travel time from the restaurant to the customer’s home, which isn’t an ideal customer experience.

    Make In-house Meal Kits Work for Your Restaurant

    More and more restaurants are including meal kits as part of their business plan. Looking for ways to welcome meal kits into your culinary realm? Why not display grab-and-go style dinners like Everytable’s meal kit concept? How about partnering with companies like The Chef Meal Kit to expand your take-home meal horizons? 

    Offering take-home versions of favorite menu items allows restaurants to serve their current client base in new ways, secure profits in the future, and keep their brand at the top of their customers’ minds.

    Increase Meal Kit Profits with Smart Foodservice


    Looking for a wholesale restaurant supplier to help you keep up with meal kit demands? Smart Foodservice offers exceptional products at competitive prices, so you can keep food costs down without compromising on quality. What’s more? We offer online ordering and easy pick up. Sign up for an account today. 

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