The restaurant industry is morphing…
The overcrowded restaurant sector is under continual pressure. It looks like it is dying – but in fact it is morphing. It is shedding it’s samey, sit down, get served, eat, pay and leave model for a slicker, more flexible and more appealing one. It is changing because we, as consumers are evolving.
Consumer behavior and people’s tastes are changing rapidly.
People crave variety and choice. They do not only crave it for the new flavours, but to be the first to try it – the first to snap it and the first to share it. New food experiences and flavours have become a status symbol in the world of social media.
Media giants are spotting opportunities to get into food, and the restaurant landscape is going to shift dramatically in the next 10 years. Timeout has started branding foodhalls and even CITY AM are partnering with restaurant chains to offer exclusive demonstrations and meals through their membership programme. Let’s face it – food is never going to go out of fashion! We need it for our survival.
Kids in the USA are now considering the foodhall offerings on university campus’s to help sway decisions on what university course to go for. BIG chains are fighting for these spots now.
Who is succeeding and who is failing?
Jamie’s Italian & Barbacoa are gone. Eds Diner, Giraffe and Patisserie Valerie, Frankie and Bennies, Carluccio’s, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Byron, Handmade Burger Co., Strada, Prezzo, and Chiquito’s are all under threat. Why are these household names and family style restaurants not be making enough money? What could they do differently? How could they grasp the attention of consumers and reinvent themselves?
Let’s look at why this is happening. Restaurants are seeing the same pressures as high street retailers are. Rents are higher, business rates are astronomical, (more so in cities) rising costs (food price inflation) as a result of Brexit and the weaker sterling pound doesn’t help. Not only this, but staffing costs a lot more now. The cherry on the cake is the oversupply of private-equity funded restaurants and fierce competition on every corner.
The restaurants which are flying high still: Greggs, Subway, McDonalds and PizzaHut – why are they still doing well? Perhaps it’s the speed in which they can purchase and eat their food in these establishments? Maybe it’s the nice cheap price point?
Home time is now a luxury
With people working longer hours – ‘home time’ has become a luxury. We, as a nation are not as desperate to ‘go out’ now that we have so much available on demand.
This economy has allowed people to improve on and create spaces in their homes which they are happy to hang out in – not desperate to get out to experience a different environment. Amazon has allowed for us all to have the things we want and desire around us. Happy ordering food to their nice comfortable houses – and being able to order practically anything they want – delivered within 30 minutes! Times are changing. Restaurants need to take these factors into consideration and reinvent themselves to fit into the evolved demand.
Here are a few things restaurants should be thinking about in order to remain relevant:
- Innovate, Innovate, Innovate!
- Look at where the consumers are! (university campuses)
- In and Out
- Grab n Go
- Delivery services
- Food Truck Fleets to go mobile and get in front of consumers
- Offer something other than food – CoWorking – eat and plug in
- Pick a different meal time – become a breakfast champion
- Offer healthier options
- Promote Vegan / Veggie options
- Promote Allergy Free Food
- Raise standards in produce and offer organic meat and veg
Here are a few other F&B organisations we admire because of their ingenuity:
These guys are still flying high – why? Because they are innovating.
PizzaHut & Toyota to create an electric food truck
Drone deliveries from UBER eats – The future really is here.
Ziferblat London- Pay per hour restaurants – pay to be there , not for anything else
Inamo London – Space age ordering systems a fest for the eyes and the tastebuds