There are more than a million restaurants and food outlets in the US competing for customers. Plus, new restaurants are launched every day flaunting delicious menus and fresh concepts. So how can established businesses stay ahead of the competition? To start, they can spruce up their restaurant’s efficiency by using suitable restaurant management software.
The restaurant industry attracts annual spending of about $800 billion in the US. Plus, the industry is constantly changing as it responds quickly to customer interests. Therefore, you need to adopt your management methods to meet the expectations and tastes of your customers to stay relevant amidst the tough competition. In this article, we reveal five popular trends that you can add to your management strategy this year.
Healthy Local Ingredients
Consumers are increasingly going green and also supporting local farms. They are asking for food with local ingredients in both high-end restaurants as well as small fast food outlets. Diners wish to know whether pesticides were used on the greens they eat and how the salmon and other fish are caught.
Sweetgreen is a salad bar that supports local farmers and hence has loyal customers in seven states. Customers throng to this restaurant as they wish to contribute to sustainable farming, support green environmental practices, and make healthy food choices. Therefore, restaurants of all types would do well to add farm-to-table sourcing practices to attract knowledgeable diners.
Focus on Eliminating Tips and Offering Fair Wages
Restaurants are focusing on increasing their salaries to attract highly skilled employees. Many restaurants are eliminating tipping because dining room wages are much higher compared to kitchen income. Talented cooks are hard to come by because they are not paid good salaries. Therefore, restaurant owners are trying to bring fairness and transparency to their salary system. They are managing their finances more evenly by ensuring that service fees and extra costs are added to the bill and the prices of menu items. Plus, they are increasing dining options to offset losses.
Positive Work Culture to the Fore
Chefs like Anthony Bourdain and Gordon Ramsay are known for their temperamental characters. But of late, the restaurant industry is moving beyond this stereotype to accept a positive work culture. Restaurants realize that if they provide a supportive atmosphere to their employees they will feel fulfilled and extend their appreciation to customer service.
More than perks such as free food, good wages, and benefits, employees value a strong and positive work culture. A research study published in Cornell Hospitality Journal names “positive organization culture” as one of the traits of successful restaurants. Therefore, managers should focus on eliminating negativity and adding encouragement and appreciation to their workplace. This will help employees to perform at consistently high levels even in stressful situations.
Casual Dining is Becoming Popular
Businesses such as Shake Shack and Chipotle are leading the rising wave of fast-casual food joints all around the US. Casual dining is becoming popular and the restaurant industry needs to cater to this trend by offering casual fares at affordable prices.
Consumers wish to have a casual and relaxed dining experience without formalities. Therefore, high-end restaurants need to get rid of their formal paraphernalia and deploy unfussy items such as communal dining tables made with raw materials like rustic metal and wood.
High-end restaurants are also creating a relaxed atmosphere by encouraging community gatherings. For instance, Stir Boston offers private meals and cooking lessons to build a more personal and intimate connection with their consumers.
Use of New Technology
Many sectors have gained a lot by deploying innovative technologies and software solutions, and the restaurant business has not been left behind. Successful restaurants are using effective digital tools to bolster their business operations and practices. Leading Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions are more flexible and less costly compared to conventional systems. Plus, they provide remote access capabilities and can be used anytime, anywhere.
Brick-and-mortar restaurants are embracing digital technology to keep pace with innovations in the industry. But they are finding it hard to reach consumers in the 18-35 age demographic. Restaurants need to redefine their offerings by using mobile technology. Let’s take a look at emerging trends in restaurant technology:
Restaurants are collaborating with software designers to create tools and apps that make it possible to digitally select menu items, view tables in real time, process delivery and sales tickets, and dispatch dish orders to the kitchen. Successful restaurants are refurbishing their processes by making the most of these software options.
Effortless Order is a software solution that enables restaurateurs to offer online ordering and their menu can be accessed by patrons from any internet-connected device. Plus, consumers can choose whether to pick up the food items or get them delivered. Each restaurant can use its own application that customers can download.
This kind software solution offers multiple benefits: First, restaurants can remain competitive by using the app. It minimizes errors as patrons can order on their own. The system helps you to retain your customer base and expand it. Plus, you are likely to get larger orders as patrons will have more time to select their choices online compared to the rushed orders that usually take place on phone.
Cash is likely to become passé as mobile payments are expected to be widely used in the future. However, mobile wallet vendors such as Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, and Google Pay are facing challenges as they try to drive demand and change user behavior. Restaurants would do well to research which mobile wallets are easiest to use for patrons and adopt them for their business.
Customers are not happy when employees take away their credit card for payment. They do not wish to lose sight of their card and would prefer to use a restaurant tablet device for self-checkout. Thus, restaurateurs should look to use a tablet POS system to enhance efficiency and payment security.
We hope this article on popular trends in the restaurant industry helps you understand the opportunities and challenges faced by establishments in this sector of late. If you are using any innovative methods or technology solutions to run your food joint, feel free to share the details with us.