Over the last few years, there have been many changes in the restaurant industry. The pandemic has seen many restaurants shut down, new types of restaurants open, and everyone try to adjust for new policies, demands, procedures, restrictions and lifestyles. If someone had asked you 10 years ago where we’d be in 2022, you likely would not have guessed it!
Even aside from forced pandemic closures, re-openings, masks, vaccinations, and all of the other conditions that have come at us since COVID-19 swept the globe, there are other changes that might have surprised you 10 years ago.
Your Online Presence Will Be More Important Than Ever
The days of looking up a restaurant in the phone book or driving around the neighborhood to find somewhere to eat are long past. More commonly now, we look up what’s near us on our phones and computers. Using Google, Siri and Alexa, this is easier than ever – all we have to do is ask our device to tell us where to find tacos, and suddenly the information is at our fingertips. This is, of course, so convenient … but it also means making sure your restaurant shows up there, too.
What This Means For You Now: Create a local business listing on Google and keep everything up-to-date so your business is easy to find.
Online Ordering Will Continue to Increase
Placing orders via websites and/or apps has become very common, and while much of that can be attributed to the pandemic, online ordering makes up 25% of all Starbucks orders and 75% of Domino’s orders. Online ordering started many years ago but has recently increased greatly. Of those online orders made, 60% of them are made on smartphones.
The trend of online ordering, especially via smartphones, is only going to continue in the years ahead. Ordering on mobile apps will also continue to increase.
What This Means For You Now: Make sure you have a functional website with online ordering capabilities. Update it often to ensure you’re not getting left behind technologically. Make it a priority.
Dine-In Experiences Will Not Go Away
As much as we love curbside pickup and delivery, the experience of sitting down for service in a restaurant is not replaceable. We do many stereotypical things in restaurants, such as celebrating important events, meeting up with old friends, going on dates, and enjoying a culture that isn’t our norm.
What This Means For You Now: Don’t cut corners on the immersive experience in your restaurant, regardless of whether you’re running a quick-service or fine dining establishment.
Ghost Kitchens and Delivery Will Increase
Even though we’ve just claimed that restaurant dine-in experiences will continue to remain a key method of food consumption, it is also important to remember that people are working remotely and eating remotely as well. Forced closures shut down many restaurants during COVID, and people started eating at home more. However, for a variety of reasons, there are many people who cannot cook for themselves on any given day. Restaurants are still necessary.
What This Means For You Now: Be sure to offer delivery options, either in-house or through a third party. You may want to consider allowing your restaurant for use as a ghost kitchen in your off hours.
Automation and Robotics Will Be Key
As technology increases, our reliance on it will as well. There are many kinds of software that are already available to make your job in the restaurant easier. Food inventory management, phone automation, bookkeeping software are all available. In fact, some restaurants are already using robots as servers due to staffing shortages.
What This Means For You Now: Technologies are here to stay, and they’re meant to help. Automate whatever you can. Automations are convenient and can often save you money in labor costs. You don’t need to immediately start using robots in your business, but you may want to find out about Reachify’s amazing call deflection and SMS automation technologies with a quick demo.