Imagine if you could start off 2017 with massive momentum by knowing more then your competition. In the statistics below, I’m going to give you some much needed context to paint a clearer picture of what to expect for next year.
2016 will be the 7th consecutive year of growth for the restaurant industry (expected to reach $783 billion). (Source: http://www.restaurant.org/News-Research/Research/Forecast-2016)
If you’re considering expansion, or just now getting into the industry, this could mean you are riding a wave of a strong bet (given that you are taking the right actions, listening to the right people, and implementing solid sales & service strategies).
Wholesale food prices have been up and down for most of the year, but are on pace to decline overall at a rate of 3.2%. (Source: http://www.bls.gov/)
This opens the door for more projects and potentially more profit. Things such as finally adding that bar to your dining area, or doubling down on Facebook ads.
Menu prices are growing at a rate of 2.7% for 2016. (Source: http://www.bls.gov)
Menu prices growing, AND wholesale food prices going down?
While this is certainly something to take advantage of, its not the whole picture. It is yet to be seen what the long-term implications are, but for the foreseeable future, the fact remains that people are spending more.
58% of restaurant guests never pay with their mobile device, while 83% do use
smartphones or tablets to look up restaurant locations, directions, and hours. (Source: http://www.restaurant.org/News-Research/Research/Mapping-the-Technology-Landscape)
This suggests consumers are comfortable using mobile devices (79% of diners agree that technology improves their restaurant experience), and are on the cusp of embracing the idea of mobile payments from their smartphones.
This inevitability gives you an opportunity for early adoption of mobile payments, with the added benefit of capturing email addresses to continue cultivating the relationship with your customers.
Most people prefer email receipts (42%). Next, they prefer print receipts (29%) and then
no receipts (18%).
This represents yet another opportunity to capture customer information to keep building the relationship through promos, contests, and notification of live events. Going forward, those who build relationships with their customers digitally AND face to face will have a distinct advantage.
56% of guests order from a restaurant’s website online daily, weekly, or monthly. (Source: https://pos.toasttab.com/restaurant-technology-industry-report)
Compare this to last year when 34% of consumers said technology makes them opt for takeout (Source: http://blog.qsronline.com/10-startling-restaurant-statistics-in-2015/), and you can see the obvious benefit in implementing an online ordering process..
47% of consumers say they would buy fresh, uncooked food items from restaurants. (Source: http://www.restaurant.org/News-Research/Research/Forecast-2016)
I wanted to throw this one in here because it represents a HUGE shift in how consumers see their favorite restaurants. This means they are viewing you as the authority in cuisine, and are wanting to take the experience home with them.
• What if you package your branded recipes with ingredients for them to take home?
• Do you brew your own beer? If not, can you partner with a local brewery to place your logo on the label and sell it in your bar/restaurant?
• Does this mean your customer will cook at home instead of visit you?
• Or does it mean your are in their kitchen… Your logo? Your brand? Your face?
Most restaurants will hesitate to take this step and miss the chance at a second sale to accompany the customer home, potentially grabbing a referral in the form of family who will see your logo over and over again.
While statistics certainly don’t tell the whole story, they are interesting markers to guide your actions. Hopefully you see a common theme in creating lasting relationships by staying in front of your customers, providing value, and deepening your connection to them.
There is no doubt that we are in a strong environment where those who pay attention to trends and movements will enjoy exponential benefits, and those who refuse to make adjustments will miss out.
How can you use these statistics to grow your business? What are some unique ways that these stats apply to your goals? Leave your thoughts below and share your opinion on how this will impact 2017.
Director of content for Bar Restaurant Success
Nick Fosberg is known as one of the highest paid, marketing and promotional consultants in the bar & restaurant industry and he owns 2 bar / restaurants in the Chicagoland area. He's famous for creating some of the highest grossing digital marketing promotions in the history of the bar & restaurant business..... without spending a penny on marketing. All done through e-mail & Facebook posts. Click here to get a free copy of my latest book.