Keeping up with changing market trends is an essential part of operating a restaurant business. The restaurant industry has a volatile competitive environment. It’s impossible to predict what customers will demand next, so you have to keep an open mind for innovations.
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Particularly, with the recent economic turnaround, we are seeing a new market environment. Some things were regarded as options before but are now considered as necessities. Keeping up with innovations and trends will allow you to gain a competitive advantage as a business owner.
To give you an idea what are the innovations and trends you can leverage, we’ve created a list to serve as your guide. Read along to know more about what consumers are looking for in a restaurant nowadays.
Trends and Innovations In The Restaurant Industry
For your business to flourish, staying abreast of industry changes is important, as well as ensuring that you know what your clients need. In the face of a new business environment, owners such as yourself were forced to follow different safety and health guidelines for your operations.
Until now, you have probably adopted new products and business practices, which have successfully resulted in the emergence of new trends, many of which will shape the industry in the future.
Please take a look below at the key areas you need to focus on. It is worth your while to use this list as a guide when you are running a restaurant.
Restaurant Service Trends
It is important to understand the modern consumer’s preferences for presenting a product or service before delivering it. Due to the effect of the pandemic, they may be extra mindful of sanitation. Take a look at the following service trends to see if some can be applied to your restaurant.
Virtual Kitchen, Dark Kitchen, Cloud Kitchen, it doesn’t matter what you call this type of setup. As modern diners are looking for safer access and a wider variety of food delivery, it is no surprise that this type of business model became more popular over time.
This delivery-only setup is a practical way to build a business that offers convenience and good food at the same time. Although it has a couple of setbacks, its advantages surely cover those.
In the early period of its launch, small and independent food business owners conquered this model. But seeing how it brings every brand to greater heights, some of the major restaurants and quick-service establishments started adopting this business model as well.
Burger King London, which is already an established QSR brand, has recently launched its first dark kitchen. In their view, this is a valuable service expansion that will drive their brand into greater growth.
By now, you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that not every item on your menu is delivery-friendly. Online food ordering system are more than just delivering food right to your customer’s doorsteps. Quality food and service play a major role, as well.
Free your customers this dilemma and formulate a better menu for your takeaway and delivery service. This also helps provide job security on your team as they’re being assured that their service is still needed.
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While indoor dining is slowly making its comeback, the popularity of drive-in establishments is also rising. No matter what tools you deploy to maintain and improve sanitation in your establishment, some diners will not be comfortable with the old routine.
Using this setup, consumers can simply order online or in advance and get to eat inside their cars. Additionally, it promotes social distance from customers, which is conducive to improving overall sanitation in your establishment.
Not every customer has the luxury of waiting in line for their takeaway. Especially with corporate clients, they are always on the go, and they would like to reach home as soon as they can. How will you cater to this group? By offering them curbside pickup service.
Provide the option for your customers to pre-order their items and to decide the pickup time. It is one of the most cost-effective and reliable methods of food delivery since you do not need to hire a delivery team, and the food can be served as soon as it has been prepared.
Food Delivery Trends
One of the restaurant trends to stay, food delivery service, has grown and stemmed into different approaches. Consumers have different needs and preferences, and the industry is always open to addressing them by offering new delivery trends.
Even as the world’s continuously conquering the effect of this pandemic, it is still very much present. Contactless transactions are more preferred by consumers compared to having, even minimal, contact with another person.
With contactless delivery, your customers can simply complete the transaction online. From there, you may deliver the service or items they have purchased.
Grocery delivery has also become a great venture for business owners during the pandemic, and it’s seen that it has come to stay. Consumers are loving the idea that they don’t have to travel down to their local supermarkets just to have access to products and ingredients.
As a restaurateur who has lesser operating hours before, offering such service is also helpful to maintain the good condition of your inventory. Leon, a popular fast-food chain in the UK, utilized this opportunity to keep their operations running and save their suppliers as well.
Customers are now into cooking their meals for safety and health reasons. Leon provided ready meal-type pouches, via delivery or click-and-collect. These refrigerated meal pouches can be heated, stored, or frozen to their households.
This hybrid setup of a grocery store and restaurant is considered an excellent move from restaurant owners all over the world.
Modern diners miss social drinking. Whether they’re not into the drinking game, the feeling of having a good talk over alcohol is a great way to end a stressful work week. And due to the new protocols on social distancing, it is now difficult to turn things the way it was before.
Due to their incapacity to serve drinks and host guests, bars have turned to alcohol delivery services to stay profitable. Alcohol delivery offers your customers a wide range of options, whether they wish to enjoy a cold beer or drink their favorite mixed drink in the summertime.
Meal Subscription Delivery
Diverse subscription services are beginning to appear as more people spend money online. In the same way that services such as Amazon Prime and Hulu require your customers to pay a monthly subscription fee, this type of service requires your customers to pay a set amount each month.
By offering these services, your clients can create their own weekly or monthly menu plans. Upon choosing the menu, they will receive the ingredients promptly and begin to cook. You may also consider providing ready-to-eat meals to your customers who prefer easier food access.
Restaurant Technology Trends
The global pandemic is making restaurants’ health a top priority, and advanced technology is emerging to help ensure restaurant safety. Numerous restaurants and hotels are using contactless payment systems as a way to prevent bacterial and viral transmissions.
Single POS Payment System
To reduce the transaction time between your servers and customers, table-side payment is launched. The client will no longer need to wait in line for someone to process the payment after they’ve finished dining. Their tables are equipped with their own POS system, so they can close transactions easily.
Zero-Contact Temperature Check
To show that you’re taking care of your customer’s well-being, you have to take a contactless temperature measurement from every customer upon entering the restaurant. This is to check for fevers to reduce the risk of sick people entering the restaurant.
You may try out digital-infrared thermometers for this. The infrared sensor measures the amount of light emitted by the scanned body and displays a reading of its temperature on the LCD screen in only a few seconds.
This tool is very flexible to address every concern of your operations. You can use this to give your customers easier access to your online menu, social media profiles, and even your website.
Quick Response or QR codes allow for the encoding of information, which can be scanned by the camera in a smartphone, depending on the unit, or retrieved through an application.
Advanced Online Ordering
Bigger restaurant chains have developed apps to simplify ordering and to offer the best possible service to their customers. Your app can also be used to enhance your marketing efforts by sending out push notifications regarding specials, promotions, and discounts.
Additionally, these apps can save past purchases to streamline the checkout process. There have been other restaurants accepting orders via text message, as well as an increase in restaurant orders being placed via social media platforms.