The Menu – the latest insights on restaurant technology trends, customer successes, and best practices.

3 Tips on Igniting a Quiet Quarter in the Restaurant Industry

Tim Brown
Vice President, Global Sales Consulting, Oracle Food and Beverage

If in the last couple of months as a restaurant operator, you have experienced and an eerily quiet quarter, fear not. You are not alone.

According to Foodservice analyst Peter Backman, the restaurant industry has been lacking its usual buzz recently, with speculation that Brexit is undermining consumer confidence.

The UK’s frugal mentality appears deeply ingrained despite the growing number of individuals who describe their current finances as “OK-Healthy,” according to Mintel’s 2018 Eating Out Review. This mindset is impacting consumers’ discretionary spending, resulting in consumers going out for fewer meals and considering less-expensive alternatives.

However, restaurants can capitalize on current consumer trends to reverse slumping sales. Here are three worth exploring to create opportunities:

Trend #1 – Delivery

We’re continuing to see an increased interest in delivery in the restaurant market. The UK’s big-name brands such as Sainsbury’s, Pret A Manger and Bistrot Pierre have jumped on the bandwagon to partner with online aggregators or launch their own delivery services. Third-party food delivery services and dark kitchens (also known as cloud kitchens or ghost kitchens) also have helped traditional eat-in restaurants expand their footprint and join the online delivery space. Such activity has resulted in 48% of consumers saying they have more choice in takeaway options than they did just 12 months ago. It’s not all plain sailing, however, as more choices mean more consumer budgets become stretched across multiple restaurants. In addition, consumers are becoming increasingly bored of the same old deals and promotions (Mintel, 2018), which should serve as a cautionary tale for restaurateurs.

Trend #2 – Quick and Friendly Service

Consumers who are still choosing to eat out are apparently preferring cafés, coffee shops, and burger/chicken bars. Younger demographics are driving this demand, spending their dining dollars predominantly with quick-service restaurants. By comparison, 77% of consumers 45 and over are still willing to spend their time more leisurely and are motivated mainly by an establishment’s good and friendly customer service (Mintel, 2018). 

Trend #3 – Healthy Alternatives

Health-consciousness is affecting consumer behavior. In fact, 73% of consumers say they are on a strict weekday diet and that they would like to see an increase in the customizability of dishes across restaurants and take-aways. The appetite for such meals may also help explain consumers’ interest in chicken and burger restaurants, with 54% of millennials agreeing that these outlets offer healthier alternatives at prices offering good value.

What does this mean for the restaurant industry?

If you have been experiencing an eerily quiet quarter, it may be worth examining these trends to find ways to reignite business.

From integrating delivery systems to accelerating service by streamlining your restaurant POS system to improving the bottom line with restaurant inventory management, Oracle Food and Beverage is committed to help grow your restaurant.

If you are interested in learning more about restaurant POS systems, integrations, and trends, subscribe to our blog or speak with an expert today!

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