A.Movie Where Time Is Still.And.Their Are Machines Eating The Past Restaurant Trends In 2011

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Restaurant Trends In 2011

Despite the sluggish economy, the restaurant industry continues to be the cornerstone of a strong American economy. According to the National Restaurant Association, industry sales are expected to reach $604 billion in 2011, a 3.6% increase over 2010.

When it comes to impact on the overall economy, US restaurants employ nearly 13 million full table and quick service workers or one in ten US workers. If you include restaurant suppliers, marketing companies, media and generally related suppliers, the number of revenues affected by restaurant sales balloons up to more than 20 million.

Duane Sweeney, President and CEO of the National Restaurant Association stated that, “It has been a very challenging time for our industry over the past two years, and while there are still challenges ahead, we are pleased to report that the outlook is improving. With a total economic impact of more than $1.5 trillion, the restaurant industry is a strong player in the economic recovery and will continue to provide consumers with the choice and convenience they As the cornerstone of communities across the US, restaurants will continue to be an essential part of our daily lives.”

Although the economic and industry forecasts are positive, the vast majority of restaurants are struggling to stay alive. With the possible exception of New York City, the income gap cannot be filled with menu price increases. Customers are still watching their budgets and eating out is often the victim.

Two out of five customers report that they could not dine out as much as they used to. Over 60% of Americans in the US have adjusted their budgets to the sluggish economy and 24% of people say they will spend less on restaurants than they did in 2010.

Over 90% of restaurants are small businesses with fewer than fifty employees. While the big chains have an advantage in large marketing and advertising budgets, local restaurants have an advantage when it comes to new food trends.

  • Technology has leveled the playing field. Regional and local restaurants can set up and manage social media to attract new customers. Imagine the potential of reaching a teenage market that literally sleeps with their cell phones or a single personal review uploaded virally to their 300 closest friends. Cheap, but priceless.
  • Prospective and existing customers expect online menus and now they want that menu on their mobile phones and tablets. The cost of building and maintaining mobile websites and apps is so much that small local restaurants can’t afford to go with them.
  • Another big trend of 2011 is the growing momentum of the “Go Local” movement. It’s not about the West Coast or the East Coast; It’s about my city, my neighborhood and my food. People not only buy locally grown or homegrown food, but they also look for that local support in their restaurants.
  • People are tired of processed foods and nutritionally deficient foods. They want whole ingredients and prepared restaurant meals.
  • Customers are more likely to return to restaurants that expand and adapt their menus to include a wide variety of healthy and inexpensive meals.
  • Comfort food is inside. People want the food they grew up with and cherish. In these difficult times, people want healthy comfort food and local and regional restaurants that are more appropriate and knowledgeable about the local cuisine.
  • In addition to local cuisine and home comfort foods, customers are also looking for the exotic and unique. Flexible local menus are better able to provide the special culinary experience people need.
  • Super hot trend: mobile food service is taking off! Many restaurants take a cue from their “cockroach” catering colleagues and take their restaurants to the customer.
  • In 2010, the passage of health care reform forced many chains to disclose the calorie counts on their menus. The road to nutritional transparency began with ingredient and nutritional labeling in processed food, but now this trend is “strengthening” with the use of smartphones and other mobile devices to download, through barcodes on the menu, detailed information on the use and sources of food ingredients.

So what is the cutting edge of customer service? Hand-held devices used to receive orders that appear immediately in the kitchen and automatically track inventory. Some restaurants go one step further by allowing patrons to order their own food on their mobile devices and even pay the bill without waiting to be served.

This is a great day for regional and local restaurants. Never before has so much market penetration been possible for the small business and the beauty of technology is that the independent or small chain restaurant can look just as cutting edge and Japanese as the big guys.

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