Three Crucial Tips for the Next Generation of Restaurants
It’s no surprise that COVID-19 is driving big changes in the restaurant industry. Forced into unforeseen challenges ranging from closed dining spaces to contactless delivery, hospitality businesses are finding ways to operate despite the restrictions. How?
Since restaurants are no longer able to survive through physical, in-person experiences, pre-existing and new restaurant models such as Salted are creating dining experiences in absence of brick and mortar. For example, Ghost Kitchens, also known as Dark Kitchens, Delivery Kitchens, or Host Kitchens, have provided flexibility in the form of new revenue stream opportunities and decreased overhead expenses.
Restaurant owners who’ve adopted this new mindset also understand that the hospitality as we know it is forever changed. Here’s what the next generation of restaurateurs should know:
Trust is the new secret sauce – This manifests itself through cleanliness, order consistency, timeliness and transparency across the board — from the ingredients you use to the ordering process you employ. Trust is so important, in fact, that 84% of customers will not engage with a brand until trust has been established.
Investment in technology is essential – the pandemic has forced unforeseen tech upgrades across restaurants of all sizes, such as online ordering, QR codes for menus and contactless payment. The payoff for those who’ve adopted new technology is major. Take Domino’s for example: after choosing to invest in their tech infrastructure, and are now known as “an e-commerce company that happens to sell pizza.” During Q3 of 2020, total revenue rose 17.9% to $967.7 million, beating expectations of about $953 million.
The demand for Sustainability is here to stay – With restaurants relying primarily on take-out and delivery orders, using sustainable to-go packaging is more important than ever. A recent NRA study shows that eco-friendly packaging is the highest-ranking trend in consumer expectations. Switching from plastic to paper bags, eliminating Styrofoam, investing in compostable or recyclable to-go containers, and printing with soy-based inks are all easy ways to increase the sustainability of your packaging program. If necessary, you may even consider raising your prices modestly to accommodate for more eco-friendly packaging (since research also shows customers are willing to pay more for food packaged sustainably).
Those who are surviving this tumultuous season are adapting by implementing creative practices, proving just how resilient the restaurant industry truly is. At the end of the day, the best practice is to keep your customers in mind and listen intently to their feedback. Every day is an opportunity to pivot and be a part of a more sustainable future.