Tell Me What You Want, What You Really Really Want?

The Rise in Choice Fatigue


Charlotte Price
Senior Social Media & Influencer Marketing Specialist

Decision fatigue is something we’ve heard being discussed more and more – for many, it’s a question of too much choice.

It’s a growing feeling amongst consumers, and one area we’ve really noticed its impact is on the restaurant landscape in major cities like London. We’ve seen a trend in reduced menu options, and a rise in the number of specialised restaurants with a single streamlined offering.

The restaurant space is increasingly competitive, especially in London, but if we look at some of the most successful chains right now – Honest Burger, Flat Iron, Burger & Lobster, Homeslice, Franco Manca etc. – each has a relatively narrow focus, with their intention to then have a better-executed dish.

According to research by the restaurant finder app Zomato, 1 in 10 restaurants that opened in London since April last year are focused on a single dish – that’s double the number compared to the same time period the year before. Single dish restaurants or those with a small menu cut out choice, hassle, and give diners a more stress-free dining experience.

So where did all this decision fatigue come from? We think that the apps and digital services at our fingertips which deliver our groceries and dinner, handle our laundry and even switch our heating on mean we’re increasingly accustomed to things just being sorted for us and made easy. Mark Zuckerberg & Steve Jobs, for example, both have/had a very simple wardrobe so they can save decision making energy for decisions with higher stakes. We think even Google has had an impact here, going from just searching for what we type in to now guessing what we want and finishing our sentences.

It all boils down to a desire to be told what we want – second guessing consumer choices before they’ve even had the chance to think about it themselves is key in digital marketing. The restaurants which really nail this are going to be the ones to continue to specialise, and capitalise on these trends moving forwards.

Need help getting cut-through? Drop us an email or call to see what we can do for your hospitality business.

Photos courtesy of: Honest Burger, Burger & Lobster, Flat Iron & Franco Manca

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