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3 Restaurant Customer Trends to Prepare for Right Now

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Topics: Restaurants

May 14, 2019

The National Restaurant Association will be hosting its annual show in Chicago this weekend, spanning three days from May 18 through May 21. In advance of the event, the Association released its “2019 State of the Restaurant Industry Report,” which identifies several key trends restaurant operators should be wise to, whether you’re attending the annual show or not. The report identifies employee recruitment and retention as the number one challenge facing restaurants, but the key takeaway of the report is the focus on three evolving customer demands: 1) easier opportunities for take-out and delivery, 2) technology that improves the dining experience, and 3) improved environmental sustainability.

With at least two of these trends, modern technological solutions exist that you can implement in your restaurant if you haven’t already. The report shows that restaurant operators have already been and will continue to make significant investments into their businesses.

  • In the last three months, 55% of operators made a capital expenditure on equipment, expansion, or remodeling
  • 57% of operators say they plan to make an expenditure within the next 6 months

The question you need to ask yourself is whether the capital investments you’re making are taking into consideration the customer trends the report identified. The report focused largely on millennials (adults aged 21 – 38), who now comprise the largest living adult generation in the United States. 

What Millennials Want

  • 50% of millennials and 38% of all adults in the US say the are more likely to have restaurant food delivered than they were two years ago
  • 56% of millennials placed takeout or delivery orders using a restaurant mobile app or online ordering from a restaurant website
  • 60% of millennials want more convenient ordering and payment options, including with takeout and delivery
  • 51% of millennials want the ability to choose their own tables on a seating chart from a restaurant website
  • 42% of millennials would pay to participate in a loyalty program that offers guaranteed reservations on busy days and skip-the-line privileges
  • Millennials are the demographic most likely to use self-service kiosks at quick-serve restaurants and coffee shops
  • 60% of millennials want technology to provide more detailed information on food, such as nutrition, allergens, and sourcing

The statistics are a lot to digest, so let’s break it down into the solutions you can incorporate right now to meet these customer needs and gain a competitive advantage.

SpotOn Restaurant

Take-Out & Delivery

Does your business offer online ordering directly from your website with an integrated menu that sends order right to your POS? Do you deliver food? If not, have you considered utilizing a POS software integration like ItsaCheckmate to funnel third-party delivery orders (e.g. GrubHub, DoorDash, etc.) directly into your POS?

Improving the Dining Experience and Streamlining Operations

Does your restaurant have a modern, cloud-based POS that can easily be configured to your business’s needs, while reducing operation time and cutting costs? Here is a list of just a few features a modern POS has to offer:

  • Intuitive POS interface for quicker employee onboarding and faster operation
  • POS integrations for employee management, such as scheduling, clock-in and clock-out integrations with payroll, etc.
  • Mobile pay capabilities
  • Remote/mobile reporting and operations capabilities, such as manager approvals
  • Customer-facing screens and/or self-service kiosks for quick-serve and coffee shop sectors

Did you know that it doesn’t cost tens of thousands of dollars for a sophisticated restaurant POS anymore? Learn how SpotOn Restaurant can help you unlock the potential of your business.

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