By now, restaurants across the nation are learning to expect the unexpected. COVID-19 has brought changes to consumer habits that are here to stay. This shift makes it more critical than ever to evaluate and review restaurant performance.
If anything, however, 2020 has prepared us for the shifts that are coming.
1. Intelligent staffing
Tracking restaurant traffic (regardless of whether guests log into WiFi or not) has made intelligent staffing a competitive differentiator. Using Bloom Intelligence, restaurants can evaluate traffic trends and staff their locations accordingly. Because of this technology, the chances of accidentally overstaffing are significantly lower.
2. Seasonal menus
Seasonal menus provide another reason for guests to come back a few times a year for their favorites. According to Technomic, 59% of consumers say they are more likely to buy menu items described as "seasonal."
3. Thoughtful marketing
The margin for marketing error is getting slim. Because of this, it's more important than ever to create strategic and thoughtful marketing campaigns based on careful demographical research. With Bloom Intelligence, food & beverage establishments can track average customer age, sex, postal codes, and more. Then, they can organize changes accordingly based on consumer marketing responses.
4. Track visitor activity
Do you know the average length of time a visitor spends in your location? Do you have visit time goals for efficiency? Are you tracking guest loyalty and churn? If not, 2021 is the year to start. Tracking visitor behavior can allow restaurant management to create revenue and satisfaction-driven key performance indicators. As famous psychologist Abraham Maslow once said, "If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail."
5. Track sales and inventory
Tracking sales and inventory is crucial to understand what supplies come into and out of a restaurant, what's leftover, determine profit margins, and catch downward sales slopes before becoming a larger issue. One statistic has found that up to 10% of food in restaurants goes to waste.
6. Increase online reviews
Whether restaurant, coffee shop, and bar owners love reviews or not, they cannot hide from them. But they can bury them, respond to them appropriately, and manage reputations proactively. Using Bloom, industry professionals can send positive-specific reviews to the online review platform of their choice. According to Forrester Consulting, 43% of executives say their sales will increase if they suppress negative reviews.
7. Re-evaluate costs vs. return on investment
It's essential to evaluate menu items and other costs annually. Restaurant management should look at their spend, and re-evaluate purchases that do not create a return on investment opportunity.
8. Update branding
It's more important than ever to stand out amongst the competition. Now is the time to evaluate branding to ensure that it fits into core demographics.
9. Consider drive-thru, pickup, and delivery capabilities
Recognizing higher profits, Starbucks recently announced including drive-thrus in all of their new coffee shops. More than half of consumers say that they have changed their shopping habits since Coronavirus. Only 21% of consumers have not made any changes to their visit activity following COVID. Many consumers find convenience in curbside and pickup capabilities that will likely continue after the COVID-19 pandemic crisis is over.
In many ways, COVID has pushed the restaurant industry 10-years ahead at lightspeed. Many of the remnants of the pandemic's effect on industry expectations will continue into the new year. While we're not out of the woods yet, this upcoming year will be the perfect opportunity to re-evaluate and plan for the future.
Many leaders in the food & beverage industry breathe a collective sigh of relief as 2020 ends, and 2021 strategizing beg...Read full article
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