4 Ways To Keep Up With Restaurant Trends
It can be a dizzying task to keep up with dining trends. Given the level of competition in the restaurant sector you can not afford to rest on your Laurel’s. So how do you stay on top of trends? How do you evolve without breaking the bank?
We have all slid into a booth that had rips and tears. Asked for a to-go box and have been handed a Styrofoam container. These are not minor infractions to the consumers of today. Customers are snapping and tweeting almost every bite and drink they ingest in a day, do you think anyone wants to associate their brand with a run down diner or a environmentally deaf brand?
I understand the expenses of wrapping all your booths and chairs and the margin hit your bottom line takes when you lose another $.07 on every to go container. But can you afford to not evolve with the times?
- Stay informed: The best way to stay up on food and dining trends is to subscribe to restaurant sector blogs, magazines and twitter feeds. The cost is often free and does not take a lot of time, the information is fed into your daily intake of socializing and communication so you don’t have to remember to look for it and set time aside to view it.
- Make a bunch of small changes all the time: Don’t put yourself in a situation where you are playing catch up. It can be really expensive if you are going to have to do a complete remodel and re-brand. Not to mention the most costly part, which is all of the customers you lost while your brand was not relevant and the marketing dollars you will have to spend to get them back.
- Get your team involved: Talk to your staff about what they enjoy about your establishment and what are some of their other favorite spots to eat and why. Find out if you can implement some of the positive aspects of other success stories
around you. Possibly a menu item that is locally grown and branded or a new bio-degradable container for your to-go items. Get your cook or chef excited to be creative and look at ingredients and combinations that are trending.
- Refresh your space: This one is easy, you want to keep you customers stimulated by your environment, keep it updated and fresh. My favorite way to reinvent my place is to simply re-arrange the restaurant. After two weeks the place becomes stale. It is amazing what moving a few tables, pictures and some lighting around can do to freshen up a place. This task also forces you and your team to do a bit of spring cleaning which will keep your place fresh and not looking dated.