Although great food, top-notch service and steady profits are obvious goals for most restaurants – to maintain a successful and profitable eatery often relies on whether or not you stay on top of emerging trends.
The Parable of the Plastic Straw
As with most industries, trends in the restaurant business can work for you or against you. Take the reputation of the plastic straw for instance. 20 years ago, no restaurant thought twice about piling straws on the table while delivering a drink order.
These days, due to environmental concerns, the use of plastic straws has been frowned on and is dwindling in many establishments. And in some regions the use of plastic straws is even illegal. A trend not so great for the companies that supply straws as a food service, but for others, this trend is saving some money and even earning respect and social proof for those that have adopted the straw-less trend.
But let’s get to the point. Here we'll touch on much larger trends in the food service industry, ones that are even a bit scary to the budding restaurateur. Some of these trends could make or break a restaurant business.
Here are three scary things restaurants will face in 2020 and beyond and how to conquer them:
1. Dealing with Picky Customers
Yes, this is something that restaurants have always dealt with, but in 2020 and beyond restaurants are going to see an emergence in customers that have specific dietary restrictions. These limitations and personal choices can't be ignored by small to medium establishments.
Now that large restaurant chains are adopting special menu items that cater to the vegetarian, vegan, gluten free and keto diners, small to medium restaurants need to keep up to stay in the game.
So how do you know if keeping a supply of oat milk or gluten free bread in your inventory is worth it? And how can you ensure that you're not breaking your profit margins on special requests and bespoke dishes?
With a point of sale system that doubles as an intuitive business intelligence tool, you can tackle these though questions. With the latest POS software and the support of a knowledgeable team of point of sale experts, you can easily modify your reporting, menu and order process to incorporate dishes that will keep even the pickiest customers coming back. And utilizing the right software, you can ensure you're making money in the process.
2. Trying to Track Stock Intelligently
Tracking stock is about way more than just counting what you have and what you don’t. Picture this: your best-selling product is a mocha latte (aka chocolate milk mixed with coffee), your customers flock to your establishment daily to get their fix… the reason it’s so good? Well, you source your milk from one special supplier at a small farm outside of town, the same guy you’ve been using for seven years whose cows are pasture-raised, grass fed, etc. Their milk is totally delicious and quality - THAT’s the secret sauce of your famous mocha latte.
But one day you wake up and realize you're barely breaking even on your best-selling product. Unbeknownst to you, for the past seven years, your supplier has very, very slowly raised the price of his goods, so slowly you barely noticed until you realized you have no breathing room on the margin between the cost of your best-selling product and what you’re actually making. Each time you re-up your stock of this product, you’re bleeding profit. You can’t raise your price by two dollars to correct the issue or your customers would practically riot, but if you’d had the proper tracking software and alerts in place in an all-in-one point of sale solution, you could have avoided this problem.
3. Battling Old Technology
Digital restaurant ordering is expected to triple by 2020. And restaurants still operating on old school point of sale systems with no options for online ordering, takeout or delivery will fall by the wayside. If you don’t have a restaurant or hospitality point of sale system that has integrations capable of handling online ordering and delivery, you’re literally throwing money away, and it’s only going to get worse in 2020 and beyond.
Research reports that 60 percent of restaurant operators say that offering delivery has generated incremental sales. And orders placed via smartphone and mobile apps will become a $38 billion industry by 2020. But if you think that adopting online ordering or delivery at your restaurant is a major hassle or even impossible for your business model, you haven’t talked to the right restaurant point of sale experts.
At Epos Now, we not only have the latest in restaurant technology, like our award-winning Kitchen Display System. We partner with trusted brands of billion dollar industries. Companies with applications that can bring small to medium restaurants to the level of huge restaurant chains. A simple integration can allow you to offer customer loyalty programs, online ordering, delivery, and so much more.
Let us help you face the future with world class service and support.
Here to Save the Day (and Make You Money)
Nearly every scary scenario on this list can be combated with the right preparation and software, and with an expansive and intuitive point of sale system, your restaurant can overcome many of these challenges.
The right point of sale company can bundle all the features, hardware and software your restaurant needs into one scalable, affordable and reliable system that works perfectly for you. From Kitchen Display Systems to online ordering and delivery, nothing is off the table with the right integrations and support from a trusted provider.