Covid-19 has impacted every business across the world. For the restaurant industry, it has been a roller coaster ride. As 2020 comes to an end, many restaurants face an uncertain and unpredictable future. Recovering in 2021 will require managers and owners to recheck all current business aspects and adopt new business strategies that can boost sales.
Restaurant Industry Trends To Watch In 2021
- Take-out sales will continue to dominate. Restaurants that set their sights on surviving the pandemic focused heavily on take-out sales. That is going to continue to be a big trend for the industry.
- Limited time offers and new menu offerings. Being creative will be one of the biggest keys to overcome the challenges that COVID has brought to the restaurant industry.
- Luxury dining experiences. High-end dining gives customers a memorable experience when they go out.
- Outdoor dining in restaurants. This trend was well underway prior to COVID and will continue its popularity after the lockdowns are lifted.
Events may become even more important as customers look for ways to bond and celebrate with friends and families. Restaurants can offer a smaller, indoor space where loved ones can gather to mark events like graduations, weddings, and anniversaries.
- Food and meal delivery are here to stay. Restaurant managers should design menu options to-go. Making it easier for your customers to order in will keep you relevant to a changing industry.
- Restaurants will be able to offer more pop-up experiences and party vibes. Boost sales through pop-up experiences. People will also be longing for entertaining experiences with creative themes.
- Highlight health with wholesale produce. Consider menu additions that help boost the immune system, reduce stress or offer a feeling of wellness.
- Travelling through food. Allow customers to travel with global menu options. These items can offer comfort, connection, and culture.
- Brand expansion with retail options. For restaurants that have a signature item, managers should focus on selling it for home use. For example, if your salsa is a best-seller, consider bottling it for customers.
- Technologies to ensure a hygienic environment in a restaurant. Many digital options are available to make eating out safer. These include digital order stations and payment options as well as AI-empowered drive-thru experiences.
- Massive online ordering. Restaurants need a strategy to handle the increase in online and take-out orders.
New Year Resolution Ideas For Restaurant Owners
The first month of the year offers a unique opportunity for you to finally pull the trigger on some big changes. While the changes and opportunities you create will be unique to your business, here are some new year’s resolution ideas for restauranteurs.
- Give your menu an upgrade by implementing a new restaurant POS. Freshen your brand, customer experience, and save time and money.
- Change to a digital reservation system. This will not only help you stay organized, but it can also improve customer service.
- Be more efficient by managing accounting operations using POS integrations and cloud-based technology. Doing this can help prevent errors and save time.
- A well-designed restaurant floor plan to attract guests. This can improve the customer experience, enhance safety and mobility.
- Appreciate staff, value their needs and create a more streamlined scheduling process. It is also important to communicate changes to your staff.
- Update your restaurant menu with good design and understanding menu management insights. This can help prevent your customers from being overwhelmed by too many options.
- Enter new markets such as food delivery apps and facilitate delivery services in an efficient way.
- Keep all commercial food equipment such as refrigerators clean, healthy and well maintained.
- Keep the restaurant interior and exterior, especially the kitchen area, clean and hygienic.
- Give priority to Covid-19 protocols and restrictions. Staying in compliance is vital to staying in business.
- Measure success regularly by going through POS reports and analytics.
- Improve your digital presence. Post content regularly on your site and on social media.
- Take the legwork out of marketing. Stock up on supplies early. Build a network of fans that can spread the word.
- Improve your internal operations. Review processes for areas that can be improved.
- Cash in on your customers’ resolutions. Create healthy menu options that make it easier for customers to stick to their resolve.
- Adopt technology wholeheartedly. Go all-in with digital tools to make your business run smoothly.
- Develop a training program. Make employee retention a key goal for the new year.
Cool Ways To Boost Restaurant Sales in The New Year
Here are some cool and creative ways you can boost your sales in 2021.
- Stay top of mine by updating customers on new events, new menus etc., using an email newsletter.
- Wish them a Happy New Year via email or on your website.
- Appeal to your customers’ new year desires.
- Bring back lapsed visitors. Reconnect with customers that haven’t stopped by in a while.
- Bring back the big spenders. Create offers that will attract customers who tend to buy more.
- Super targeted social media advertising. Create a strategy but don’t be afraid to veer from it.
- Update your business plan and review your objectives regularly.
- Maintain an accurate database by sending regular mail or emails, keeping track of birthdays and anniversaries or keeping other information about your customers.
- Use your website and social media network to reach out to new audiences.
- Ask for reviews and post reviews of your happy customers on your website.
- Take it on the road. Consider some pop-up events or food truck celebrations that you can join in.
- Review your communication material regularly.
- Throw an open house.
- Add seasonal specials to your menu.
- Offer new year gift cards.
- Raise your prices, reduce costs, improve customer service, or add new menu items.
- Know the latest trends
Even as we enter 2021, we should still remind ourselves that the effects of COVID-19 are still prevailing. As a restaurant owner, it is better to make new decisions and adopt new strategies for the coming year so that you can survive your business in this highly competitive world.
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