Choosing which restaurant to dine at can be a tough decision for most consumers. Food quality and atmosphere are key components, but with so many competing establishments, restaurants need to start looking inside the mind of the consumer for other factors that help their selection process. The National Restaurant Association’s 2015 Industry Forecast revealed several important things consumers look for, and even expect, when considering restaurants. Here’s what you should consider…
Roughly one-fourth of consumers say that technology options are vital when looking for where to eat. This is much greater than 2014, proving that technology’s influence is growing within the hospitality sector. Both old and new generations are integrating technology into their daily lives and restaurants are realizing how big of a pull it has. Technology makes restaurant operations simpler while enhancing the guest experience.
Environmental issues have been of great focus for the last couple of years. Consumers have began to look for restaurants that value the earth as much as their business. Two-thirds of consumers say they’re more likely to consider a restaurant that has eco-friendly practices. This can go hand-and-hand with technology, as technological options help to reduce waste. Restaurants can also act in sustainable ways and learn to take steps to making their restaurant more green.
Unique Food Attributes
Consumers are starting to become more selective with their food choices. It is up to restaurants to provide the options that spark their interest. This includes:
– Healthier options: People are increasingly become aware of what they put into their bodies. Guests are paying more attention to the nutritional content of items on a restaurant’s menu and look for healthy buzzwords such as “gluten-free”.
– Local foods: 69% of consumers say they are more likely to go to a restaurant that offers local food options. Offering locally-produced foods is a trend that benefits restaurants and the community as a whole. Restaurants can change what they offer based off of seasonality and what is available at the time.
– Innovative and ethnic foods: Restaurants need to make their food stand out against their competitor’s. More people are searching for exciting and new options that they wouldn’t be able to create at home.