Sunday, 19 June 2016

Trends: Restaurant, Consumer & Menu

If we judge what's to come by the speed of change in the past few years, the stride of technological and social transformation will only accelerate. Our life style has changed and is in fact changing drastically and a huge change can be seen in the hospitality sector as well.
Technology is now global and now we have faster food service, efficient kitchens, and real-time customer relationship management and marketing via mobile devices. Changing consumer
expectations & behaviors will drive restaurants to meet shifting needs with re-imagined styles of service, menu offerings, pricing and targeted messaging.

So, if we look at  3 major sections (Restaurant, Consumer & Menu) in the hospitality sector we should be able to analyse the change we will see.

The Restaurant
Restaurant architecture & design needs to embody both high-tech advancements & low-tech hospitality, appealing to consumers hungry for modern flourishes like cashless payments as well as old-fashioned human touch. Quick service chains should embrace the upscale décor, introducing arts & graphics in their décor, it will be all about giving a personalised touch to the look so that consumers can easily gel in with the ambience. It’s the time of HD camera’s and selfies, in short we take pictures wherever we go and if we come across a great décor we just can’t miss taking pictures.

Great food is always appreciated  & it remains the main factor that brings the guests to the table again and again but if good food can be presented brilliantly, it would simply complete the package.

Seating Style: Restaurants are upgrading seating & fixtures that are more casual yet  stylish, adding a ‘wow’ factor to their atmosphere.

Modern Kitchen: Advanced equipment and food prepared at a higher-quality means restaurants can now move from boring and dull kitchens to bright and practical ones,  after all , that’s where all creativity takes place.

Front of House: Some restaurants may put seating in full view of the kitchen, and many concepts will add more tableside exhibition cooking.

Local Touch: This tends to be a big hit, when restaurants showcase regional architecture with some touch. This brings the travellers closer to understanding the local culture.

Charging points: This is becoming increasingly popular,  be it a restaurant small or big, if they don’t have charging ports for customer’s phones, cameras, tablets or laptops it will be huge thumbs down. Travellers, visitors expect these services as they are more often than not on the run and they would like to keep their gadgets charged.

Energy Efficient: LED lights, reduced-consumption equipment, savvy heating, air conditioning systems, & recycling all score points with guests.

The Consumer
Consumers today like to travel, explore and experience. They have the ability to judge if a restaurant suits them. Eating out at restaurants or spending money on lavish food is a big trend. Although this trend is here to stay and more & more people are embracing it, . this life style completely depends on how deep their pockets are. Keeping this in mind  entrepreneurs are increasingly reinventing themselves  and opening restaurants on a smaller scale and presenting us with a restaurant business where they can offer their delicious delicacies and can create an ambience for frequent and busy or travellers. This is one good way to allow people from different incomes & sectors to be part of the experience.
Consumers will continue to  look for new & better experiences and it is the responsibility of the restaurants to not to let them slip into mundane routines by ensuring their priority is to be innovative and pleasing their customers. This is something that will keep customers loyal to the restaurant.

The Menu
Got a great menu, get an app. More & more restaurants are switching to apps where they can display the best of what they offer. Allowing consumers to get a first-hand knowledge of what the restaurant is all about.
It’s called ‘customizing the food’, as the smartphone & tablet revolution continues, people are ordering more & more online. So the ability to order and pay for their food from their handheld devices, and to sort the menu items conferring to nutritional value or price is now the most important thing to do.

The hospitality sector will always be on the rise. New recipes, new décor will always attract customers. It’s an adventure in itself. With restaurants becoming more accessible everywhere, consumers do hope to experience something new & special.

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