The restaurant industry is constantly changing, and consumers are responsible for the kind of experience restaurants are trying to give to us. I’m sure many restaurant owners didn’t think years ago that they would be attracting and building customers through some of the ways they are now. Technology, dietary trends, and government laws are some of the few things that keep the restaurant industry evolving.
If you work in the restaurant industry, there are a few things ready to shake up 2016. Read the rest of this article to learn about more restaurant trends for 2016 and what can affect the industry.
The Delivery Game
In today’s society, people want things almost immediately. We’re able to order anything online and have it delivered to us the same day! We’ve always had that option with food, but now that standards have been changed.
The delivery game affects everyone from fast food chains to white tablecloth restaurants. Services like Amazon Prime Now and UberEATS are services that collect user data and are able to tell when people are ordering and what they like to eat. They also promise a meal delivered in a more than satisfied time frame.
Food delivery services are making it easier for the consumer to research what kind of food they want to eat, where they can get it, and they don’t have to make a reservation or go pick it up. This is causing restaurants to have less and less control over their marketing.
The younger generation is more concerned about the “Netflix and Chill” lifestyle, than worrying about waiting 30-40 minutes from their local pizza place to deliver when they can have a fine dining meal in a shorter time frame.
If you’re a restaurant, consider how these trends could be affecting you and how you can appeal to the customers asking for these types of services.
There has been various different health and food trends hitting the United States Recently. Vegetarians and Vegans have a stronger and more active voice these days, as well as dietary changes such as cutting out gluten, or diets like the paleo diet have grown in popularity. All of these things affect what consumers are looking for when dining out.
Genetically modified organisms have made a big splash in the conversation of “clean eating.” Consumers have made up their minds (before any related health concerns have been scientifically proven) that GMOs are something they don’t want to consume.
There has been talk of GMO labels on menus and food packaging. This will force restaurants to clean up their menu items and market a “non GMO menu”.
Cutting Down On Carbs
Pasta sales have dropped by 6% in the U.S. Americans are focused on healthier lifestyles, focusing more on proteins and veggies. Pasta was always an inexpensive menu item for most restaurants, however, that’s not what diners are asking for.
The cost of protein is causing restaurants to rethink what they’re throwing out. Many restaurants have a “use it all” mindset trying to not waste product that wasn’t a part of their current menu. Chefs are now refocusing on the “ugly” foods and how to reinvent expired foods or leftovers.
Dan Barber, the Blue Hill at Stone Barns chef can be one of many who’s responsible for making this new mindset a movement in the restaurant industry. He’s been preparing gourmet dishes made completely of typically discarded ingredients, such as vegetable pulp and misshapen pasta.
Veggies Are The Star
Many things are contributing to the reason veggies are taking the place of proteins on some menus. The cost of meat prices, a healthier lifestyle, the growth of farmers markets, and the request of no GMOs are some of the contributing factors.
Buying seasonal vegetables reduces costs for restaurants and adds in a sense to excitement to the menu. Chefs aren’t preparing tasteless veggies, they are really preparing complex dishes that feature veggies in a whole different light.
To avoid fines, restaurants need to abide by the government’s ever changing rules regarding employee pay. Employers have to contend with rising labor costs, because of new mandates to cover full-time staff with health insurance and because the minimum wage could increase sharply depending on the state or city where they’re located.
What can restaurants do? Most will respond by increasing their wages, however that means the cost of menu items will rise.
Others will experiment with technology in the kitchen and implement automated processes that will cut down on the number of staff needed.
A restaurant in Philadelphia has implemented a “no tipping policy.” This could be a way for restaurants to manage costs and still be able to afford a full staff.
Why You Need To Be On Top Of Restaurant Trends
Changes in any industry can happen organically based on the change in society. However, it’s a good idea to be up to speed on what’s happening in the restaurant industry so you can better prepare for pleasing your customers.