The Restaurant of the Future
A vision evolves. Consumer demands for convenience and seamless digital experiences are on the rise, further accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. How can food establishments elevate customer experiences to be successful with the next-generation guest? We’re serving up insights into three trends that are shaping consumption patterns among restaurant guests and examine actions restaurants can take to thrive in the future. Three trends shaping the restaurant of the future. The restaurant industry is grappling with questions that used to be certainties. What does a modern-day ordering experience look like? What does it mean to operate a restaurant in 2021? What counts as a restaurant, anyway? In late 2019, the answers to those questions were already in flux. Since then, many forces have accelerated change in the restaurant industry, and the shifts are not always obvious. Similar to early pandemic trends, there are three main factors at work influencing restaurants: convenience, digital, and safety. These catalysts overlap and influence each other greatly, but together they point toward a single, overarching mandate for restaurant brands to fundamentally change their business models.
Running Your Restaurant
In the Great Resignation. You’ve heard of the Great Recession, but have you heard of the Great Resignation? The term describes the labor crisis we’re currently suffering through. While the phrase ‘great resignation’ was coined as part of the 2021 labor crisis, honestly, I don’t see it changing in 2022 based on what I’m seeing today. While it’s a real challenge, there are things you can be doing today to attract and keep employees for the long run in your restaurant. The unfortunate reality is that we did this to ourselves as an industry over decades. In early October 2021 at the South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Show where I was a speaker, the keynote speaker, John Pollock with Technomics, the numbers people for the restaurant industry, said in his presentation that the steady decline in hospitality workers wanting to work in our industry and their happiness or lack thereof was nothing new. It had been getting worse year after year. COVID didn’t create it, nor did it make it that much worse, but it did continue that downward spiral. What is a restaurant owner supposed to do? Here is a short list of what you should be considering as a part of your long-term plan broken into two sections: Attraction and Retention.
U.S. Restaurant Sales Forecast to Hit $898B in 2022
Reports National Restaurant Association. The U.S. foodservice industry is expected to reach $898 billion in sales this year, returning to pre-COVID pandemic trajectory, the National Restaurant Association said in its 2022 State of the Restaurant Industry report released Tuesday. The Washington, D.C.-based association, in the new report that’s available for download, noted that foodservice sales remain, in inflation-adjusted dollars, about 11% below where they were before the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in March 2020. “What we did this year is include a deflated a look at total industry sales because menu price inflation has been running at such an aggressive rate during the pandemic,” said Hudson Riehle, the association’s senior vice president of the research and knowledge group, in an interview Monday. “When you deflate it in terms of real gains, it’s still down by well over 11%. That’s still a hefty number. Wholesale food costs were up 7.9% in 2021 and hourly labor costs in eating and drinking places was up about 8.6% for the year, he said.
Hotels Continue Moving Toward Recovery in 2022
And Protection. The hotel industry will continue moving toward recovery in 2022, but the path will be uneven and potentially volatile, and full recovery is still several years away, according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA)’s 2022 State of the Hotel Industry Report. The report, which reveals shifts in consumer and business sentiment, was created in collaboration with AHLA Silver Partner Accenture and is based on data and forecasts from Oxford Economics and AHLA Platinum Partner STR. “Hotels have faced enormous challenges over the past two years, and we are still a long way from full recovery. The uncertainty about the Omicron variant suggests just how difficult it will be to predict travel readiness in 2022, adding to the challenges hotels are already facing,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA. “The slow return of business travel and fewer meetings and events continue to have a significant negative impact on our industry. The growth of leisure and bleisure travel represents a shift for our industry, and hotels will continue evolving to meet the needs of these ‘new’ travelers.”
Restaurants to Customers
Don’t call us, we won’t call you. When restaurants abandon their phone lines, it can make the lives of employees easier but leave diners confused and frustrated — or relieved. Harley Esposito, 30, was surprised when she couldn’t find a phone number for Hotel Greene, a mini-golf, bar and restaurant space near her home in Richmond, Va. After going to Hotel Greene for a work event, she needed a copy of her receipt. Looking through Hotel Greene’s website, she saw a small note: “We do not have a phone line.” “I Googled them and didn’t see a phone number listed, and I was like: Oh, that’s weird,” she said. “I was just surprised by it more than anything, because I’ve never seen it before. I was like: How do they expect people to get in touch with them?” In their first month of business in the summer of 2019, Hotel Greene would get a stream of calls to the front desk asking about the wait for a table. Mr. Gottier said that a host offering people wait times in advance can be fruitless since the waits can change quickly in real time. “It was just this constant barrage,” said Jim Gottier, 67, the co-owner of Hotel Greene, adding, “to pay someone $15 an hour, or whatever, to do that is just outrageous.”
NYC Restaurants Starved for Diners
Crime and COVID blamed. New Yorkers have plenty of reservations — about going out to eat. Table bookings in Manhattan restaurants are down 64% in January 2022 compared to pre-pandemic January 2020 – only San Francisco (-66%) and Cambridge, Mass. (-75%) have fared worse, according to new data released by OpenTable and crunched by celebrity statistician Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com. Brooklyn boites are starved for diners, too, with reservations down 55%. Data for the other boroughs were not available. “It’s a ghost town out there,” one Little Italy restaurant manager told The Post, citing the failure of city officials to contain crime and chaos, which drives away both tourists and local diners. “New York City can’t recover unless bars and restaurants are at the core of the recovery,” said Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance. He cites several major headwinds for Gotham eateries: a lack of tourists, empty office buildings and skittish diners in a city “hit hard by the pandemic” where “people still have different comfort levels” about eating out in public.
NY Restaurants Hit Hard by Indoor Dining Drop-Off
Survey says. New York’s omicron-fueled spike in COVID-19 cases has unsurprisingly dealt another blow to the state’s battle-weary restaurants. According to a January survey released by the New York State Restaurant Association, 93 percent of restaurant respondents have seen a decline in demand for indoor dining in recent weeks and 86 percent of restaurants report that “business conditions” are worse now than they were three months ago. Reservations platforms, too, have noted the recent declines in demand for indoor dining. OpenTable reported a 64 percent decrease in Manhattan bookings in January 2022 as compared to the same period two years ago, according to the New York Post. Reservations were down by 55 percent in Brooklyn. In response to the recent surge in case counts, 55 percent of restaurants reduced their operating hours; 26 percent reduced seating capacity; and 7 percent temporarily moved to takeout and delivery-only.
Chicken Reported to Be Doing Well
After successful restaurant transplant. When the chef Jonathan Waxman opened Barbuto in 2004, the bookies of the food scene put long odds on its survival. Since making Jams into one of the defining New York feeding grounds of the 1980s and then losing it and two other restaurants by the end of the decade, Mr. Waxman had become something of a drifting gunman for hire, moving from one consulting job to another. One veteran critic told me confidently, when I said this new place looked promising, “He’ll be gone in a year.” In fact, Mr. Waxman was still there delivering his idea of Italian cooking 15 years later, when a new landlord who had bought Barbuto’s building just south of the meatpacking district chose to let the lease expire. By that time Barbuto had outlasted dozens of nearby restaurants that had been deliriously greeted when they appeared, only to sink without a ripple sometime later. Barbuto never changed chefs or adopted a tasting menu or went Nordic or eliminated meat or introduced an elaborate main course for 12 that had to be ordered weeks in advance or did anything else that made news, although just about every food publication in town took its turn admiring the roasted half-chicken under a shaggy patch of salsa verde.
Did You Know?
5 of the latest bar and restaurant trends in 2022. With the continued breakout of COVID-19 since 2019, owners and operators in the hospitality industry have faced many obstacles. From adjusting to increased safety measures to operating during the highest staffing shortage the industry has ever faced, bars and restaurants have no other option but to adapt to survive. In 2022, it is anticipated that we will see more restaurants turning to technology and automated solutions to increase efficiency and decrease labor costs. Below, we’ll take a look at 5 of the latest trends expected to make an appearance in 2022 that you can implement in your establishment so you can increase foot traffic and keep your customers engaged!
Restaurant workers are quitting in droves. This is how they are being lured back. Just a few years ago, snazzy restaurant perks included a shift drink at the evening’s end and maybe a crack at the rib-eye declared “definitely not medium-rare” by a diner. No retirement benefits, health plans or team-building retreats. The Great Resignation is upgrading restaurant industry benefits and perks. Restaurant owners are offering shorter workweeks, life insurance, mental health services, college tuition and more paths to career advancement. They are giving out free Spotify subscriptions, adding nursing stations for lactating employees, and promising signing bonuses and free food to anyone off the street who fills out an application.
Bielat Santore & Company – Restaurant Industry Alert
MONMOUTH COUNTY, NJ – PIZZERIA & ITALIAN RESTAURANT
Great opportunity to invest in an existing business with below-market rent to build a fantastic business. All the heavy lifting has been done building this business and attaining a cash flow, looking for the next operator to put his/her touch on this already strong business. Head chef employed for last 5+ years and looking to stay on as well as other key staff members. Below market lease makes this business very attractive.
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For more information contact Dan Lynch, Bielat Santore & Company, 973.886.4411.
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