Beat ‘Em or Join ‘Em: How Do You Deal with Market Upsets?

How do you deal with market upsets? The restaurant industry is known for its ability to introduce new and innovative approaches to how food is served, consumed, and perceived by the public, but when something comes along that shakes up the industry as we know it, that’s what’s known as an “upset.” Upsets make it impossible for you to do your job the same way you always have—and today we’re talking about an upset in the food tech space that you never saw coming.

What, me worry? A history of restaurant upsets

Since restaurants started, waaaay back in the day, there have been market upsets. The industry began as a “chef’s choice” meal for travelers at a local inn, but by the Middle Ages, the seemingly straightforward industry faced new laws that dictated what foods you were allowed to serve in your restaurant. For instance, to sell cooked meat, you had to be a member of a charcuterie guild.

After the fall of the aristocracy in the French Revolution, recently unemployed royal chefs were forced to open their own restaurants to survive. At that point, another market upset occurred—fine dining became a distinct competitor to the existing public houses.

More recently, the chain restaurant was established when car travel became popular and affordable for customers, and fast food was also established at that time. Now restaurants not only had competitors who served fancier food, they had competitors who served less fancy food, much, much faster.

Instant meals, guaranteed delivery services, and improvements in preservation technologies, as well as the rise of globalization created even more competition for restaurants, as customers suddenly had the choice to eat anything they wanted, without even leaving the house.

As a restaurateur, you live with the knowledge that soon, someone, somewhere, will change the way business is done, and you’ll have to carve out your new place in the evolving market.

But you didn’t think you’d have to worry about your bar.

“Like a Keurig, but for beer” –Mashable

Now, there’s a new upset on the horizon. Starting in the spring, SYNEK plans to unleash new technology that enables your bar customers—specifically your beer aficionados—to serve themselves tap-fresh beer in their own homes. Seriously. If you watch their video, you’ll understand why SYNEK is a new upset. You’ll also be able to plan your counter-attack.

What’s your plan?

The time to start planning is now. If your customers can get draft beer in their own homes, how will your restaurant or bar compete? Will you offer discounts to regulars? Will you start a loyalty program? Will you start a beer challenge or introduce trivia or other events to bring customers into your establishment? Whatever you choose to do about SYNEK, you should always be prepared for change on the horizon. The next big upset is always right around the corner.