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Restaurant Industry Trends Watch: Eating Local, Experiential Dining and Delivery

In recent years, there have been a plethora of articles outlining the state of restaurant industry trends and which ones are having their moment in the spotlight. While it can be overwhelming to keep up with seemingly never-ending changes, there are a few trends that seem to be here for the long haul.

Read on to learn more about these trends in the restaurant industry and what they may mean for your organization.

Experience is Everything

Today, the word experiential seems to be thrown around constantly. If you’ve read anything about the retail and restaurant real estate industry, you know that consumers increasingly prefer mixed-use developments where they can dine, shop, see a doctor and more. Not only do consumers want to have all of these types of businesses in one place, but they also want it to be fun, lively and an experience they will remember.

When looking for new sites for expansion, your organization should keep in mind the growing trend of experiential retail centers. You should look for sites that have a wide variety of cotenants that will allow consumers to check multiple boxes while they’re there, including dining at your location.

Eat Local

While consumers desire to have more unique dining experiences, they also are becoming more socially conscious regarding where they spend their dining dollars by opting to support small businesses and sustainable consumption. Restaurants can expect consumer preferences to continue to shift towards preference for healthier products that are locally sourced from organic or socially-conscious producers. According to this Forbes article, from 2007 to 2017, farmers markets in the U.S. grew by 100%, with more than 9,000 total.

For your restaurant organization, this is an opportunity to introduce healthier, more socially conscious items to your existing menu. Additionally, use these new items to create local marketing campaigns for potential customers to show your commitment to your community.

Food Delivery Services

As restaurant owners are struggling to bring customers into their locations, they are turning to food delivery to overcome decreasing traffic. Mobile ordering apps like UberEats and Favor have caused delivery sales to grow 20 percent in the last 5 years, according to the NPD Group. And although digital ordering is a large factor, phone orders still represent nearly half of the delivery business.

If your restaurant doesn’t currently offer delivery service, it may be time to reconsider. According to DoorDash and UberEats, the platforms are introducing consumers to restaurants they might not have tried otherwise.

The Bottom Line

The restaurant industry is continuing to change, but the fundamentals of good business remain the same. Restaurants that successfully navigate a changing industry understand their customers, both potential and current, which helps them to make the right investments and stay ahead of their competition. By using customer analytics, you can use data to make informed growth and marketing decisions for your organization.

Want to learn more? Explore our customer analytics overview for more information.

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