Restaurants are finding themselves in a transitional period at this time of year, as the holidays are over and the cold weather is staying. For the transition from 2013 to 2014, we even have two new adjustments to make. Sriracha and bananas just might disappear from shelves if trends don’t change, for one.
The recession is largely over, yet CNBC reports that restaurant sales have been stagnant, as consumers are still in a recession mindset; no need to spend money when you go out when you can just have a nice dinner at home for cheaper. While actual receipts have gone up very slightly, the amount of visits are stagnant.
These trends, deduced by The NPD Group, might just be the ticket to bringing in more customers in 2014.
- The Improving Economy
By sheer virtue of the economy getting better and better, people will have more money they can expend on trips to restaurants.
- Sub Shops, Gourmet Coffee and Donuts, Fast-Casual
These food locations might just be on the rise for sales, given how they’ve increased in recent years.
- Protein Prices
Beef will get harder, scarcer, and costlier, while chicken will drop in price and become more prominent.
- Demographic Shifts
Given an ever-changing set of demographics, Asian and Mexican populations will increase the interest in certain dishes, ranging from fruits to noodles.
- Older Generations
Baby boomers and seniors stay consistent, if not increasing, in their attendance to restaurants.
- Differing Discounts
Instead of physical coupons, discounts and promotions will be changing in the face of technology.
- Mobile Technology
Smart phones, tablets, and more are changing the face of restaurants; customers are interacting less with each other and more with their devices, and some restaurants are taking the waiter and waitress out of the equation and swapping in tablets for ordering.
- Healthier Options
Due to a variety of factors, such as a the nutritional needs of the older set, the tradition for fresh food for immigrant sets, and the desire for healthier eating from younger sets, healthy food will be on the rise.
Accompanying the recession’s end is a recovery of fine dining sales.
- New Concepts
New styles and types of restaurants will make their debut this year.
Are you ready to tackle the challenges and pressures of 2014 at your restaurant? Making sure you have the freshest foods while accepting and endearing yourselves to both the older crowd and the younger, more technologically-endearing crew will make sure your restaurant stays at the forefront of change. If you’re a fine-dining establishment or even just a good sub, donut, or coffee shop, you might just be lucky enough to ride a trend that’s headed your way.