How to Upgrade Your Restaurant’s Service for Modern Consumers

Today’s restaurant industry has become more competitive than ever, and it’s important to understand why. Technology continues to advance, and with that advancement comes consumers who are used to a certain level of convenience. If a restaurant doesn’t have the right level of service, they’ll typically take their business elsewhere. It is essential now more than ever to do the research into current market trends and make some investments to remain competitive. Here are just four major trends that you should be aware of and consider implementing into your own restaurant.

Specialty Menu Items

In today’s consumer market, it seems like you can find as many diets as there are dieters. While some of it comes from trends and fads, it’s also important to realize that people are becoming more and more aware of allergies and intolerances that they have to various ingredients. Whether it’s for health reasons, ethical reasons, or even just to copy their favorite celebrity, however, it’s important that you are aware of the rising need for flexible menus. The very least a restaurant of today should be able to do is inform customers of potential allergens in their menus. Providing carb estimates for those with diabetes can also show your customers that you are concerned for their health and wellbeing. Where possible, try to find ways to customize menu items to fit the dietary restrictions that may come your way. 

To-Go/ Delivery

Another major change in the modern habits of consumers is that everyone is becoming incredibly busier and less social. Because of this, more and more restaurants are offering take-out options or even delivery. While delivery isn’t possible for everyone, it will increase your patronage if you can offer to-go plates that your customers can use to take their meal home. You can make this easier on your staff by identifying entrees and sides that are quick and easy to assemble, then offering the option of take-home plates for those.

Dessert Displays

Food is a lot more enticing when you can see it, and having displays of some of your more decorative dishes can be a great way to draw in newcomers. Deserts, in particular, are a common favorite to display. To combine two solutions in one, try offering deserts as to-go items and place them on display in a three-door commercial display cooler or other display refrigerator. A customer’s eyes are often bigger than their stomach, or so the saying goes, so chances are they may decide to take a take-home desert with them on the way out if they can see it sitting there waiting for them.

Order-Through/ Pay-Through App Options

Mobile apps have changed so many industries. The restaurant industry is no different. Nowadays, you can order a drink or food from your favorite coffeehouse or restaurant and pay for it before you’ve even left the house. Offering this kind of service, plus a convenient pick-up option, can help draw in customers who are in a rush or want to avoid long waits. This also helps to prevent long lines that may turn away customers during rush times. If you feel like your orders could become backed-up this way, consider implementing a tracker on your app that tells them how long it’s estimated for their food to choose a pick-up time based upon how many people are ahead in a queue. This will also allow people to order their food long in advance, giving you plenty of time to prepare it and eliminating the chance of them waiting in a line.

Restaurant managers who want to increase their sales need to know how to take advantage of modern technology. As the market becomes more competitive and startup restaurants rise and fall, it’s important to stay on top of the best industry trends. Even if you don’t have a major budget for new services, take a look at what you do have and find ways to cater to the new convenience and customization needs of the modern consumer.

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.

On The Shop Front Lines: How Brick And Mortar Stores Can Fight Back Against Ecommerce

The retail sector has been engaged in a war of attrition with ecommerce for nearly two decades. In that time, it’s been beaten back, thanks to the inherently lower overhead of online stores. But it’s not been defeated yet. Now regular brick and mortar stores are again rising up for a renewed push back against the insurgents.

Physical stores need to focus on what they can do better than online stores: their displays. No matter how good photos and videos get, the online experience can’t create that visceral connection with shoppers. Customers want products that they can feel and touch and imagine owning. The online experience, despite improvements in technology, still feels abstract and distant.

Here we’re going to ask how you can better present your store front. Check out these tips.

Create A Focal Point In All Of Your Displays

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Pixabay

Interior designers have known for years that focal points are essential for creating great spaces. The same principle applies to shop fronts too. There needs to be something on the display that is interesting and immediately catches the eye. Displays shouldn’t be cluttered in an attempt to show all the products that you offer. They should display something interesting that can stand by itself. Remember, shop fronts aren’t about creating a visual brochure of all your products. They’re about enticing new customers into your store who will buy stuff.

Invest In Bespoke Signage

Every single store on the high-street has its own unique signage. But why? The main reason is obviously to signal the brand. But there’re other reasons too. For one, it makes the building more appealing and attractive. And second, signage helps shops stand out more than if the name is simply painted on the wall. If you want to get signage installed, you’ll have to use a company like SAS Rope and Rail. But once the job is done, you’ll finally have something that is distinct and helps make your business recognisable.

Find Great Lighting, And Use It

Retailers have known for years that great lighting is essential to a great shop front display. But in recent years, their options have multiplied. Now that we have LEDs, it’s possible to use lighting in ways that were unthinkable in the past.

For starters, it’s now easier to play with different locations for the source of light. LEDs are safe and small and can be placed just about anywhere. Professional displays always use multiple light sources to avoid unsightly shadows. At a minimum, place lights at both the top and bottom of your display to avoid shadows.

Experts also place lights “off-centre.” This is so that the shadows that their products cast are at a slight angle. Again, this helps to improve the aesthetics of the display.

Keep Your Display Ruthlessly Simple

Don’t try to use a single display to communicate multiple messages. Your customers will get confused, and your marketing efforts will fall flat. Instead, stick with a single product or theme. Remember, the purpose of displays is to attract people to your store, not direct customers to the exact product they need.