The convenience of restaurants has made them an indispensable aspect of modern life. However, the advent of the digital age and evolution of dining culture is expected to create massive changes in how the restaurant industry operates. In fact, the changes are already afoot, and we are already seeing how the following trends impact the way people choose where to eat and order food.
1. Expansion of takeout and delivery menus
Take outs and deliveries are no longer just limited to fast food and pizzas; consumers are using such services to enjoy a wide range of food. Instead of relying on advertisements, flyers or phone directories, the ordering process now is centred on smartphones and search engines. Mobile apps have become the dominant ordering medium, while third-party delivery services such as Foodora, Wolt and Delivery Hero are dispensing the need for consumers to leave the comfort of their home or office.
By adopting more flexible ordering and billing solutions, small restaurant owners can tap into this growing market and stay ahead of the curve.
Curious to know how OPEN can help you integrate remote ordering in to your POS? Read more here.
2. Rising popularity of home meal kits
Irregular working hours and difficulty in finding time to shop for groceries have turned ready-made home meal kits into a vital service for some. Consumers can now enjoy delicious and high-quality dishes using easy-to-follow recipes and accurately portioned ingredients.
Restaurant owners can ride this wave by selling similar pre-packaged kits for their customers. Just buy the ingredients and pack them inside a grocery bag with a small note containing the cooking instructions – your customers will love this option!
3. Zero Waste Movement
Global food waste is a serious issue that places unnecessary strains on the planet’s already volatile ecosystem and climate. Today’s generation is more aware and sensitive of such wastage, and they increasingly want to reward restaurants that attempt to operate sustainable and environmentally-friendly businesses.
If you can optimise your food preparation and recycling processes, and demonstrate it to your customers, you will win their loyalty.
Learn how OPEN Insight can increase your understanding of your data and as a result lower your food waste.
4. Meat-plant blends
Obviously, not everyone is suited for a vegan lifestyle. However, a growing number of customers are willing to consider incorporating plant-based ingredients in dishes to reduce meat content. This will help to reduce the production and pollution footprints of meat producers.
Plant-based products such as soy, grains, algae, and fruits, among others, can be used on dishes like burgers, meatloaf and even pasta. Experiment with such products, and include these dishes in your menu to attract this trendy crowd.
5. Rise of the mocktails
Happy Hour is one of the greatest marketing strategies of the 20th century. It creates a daily demand which boosts the bottom-line of outlets serving alcoholic drinks with practically no advertising or promotion costs. The camaraderie enjoyed by regulars also creates a sense of group loyalty which is hard to break.
Dining establishments offering mocktails, or non-alcoholic cocktails, can also attract similar demand. What’s stopping you from launching a mocktail Happy Hour this weekend?