The restaurant industry is a booming industry with an estimated 1.7 million restaurants in the United States alone. The industry has been on a steady incline for the last few years and shows no sign of slowing down.
However, with a boom comes a bust cycle- and that’s exactly what is happening now. With higher rents, labor shortages, and even more competition from grocery stores and meal delivery services, it can be hard to stay afloat as a restaurant owner today. But don’t worry! Here are 3 ways you can keep your restaurant alive in 2022:
1) Get innovative with technology
2) Use your restaurant's data and make changes
3) Model what is working from others
Innovative Technology for Restaurants
As the restaurant industry evolves, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the changes. Make sure your restaurant is ready for 2022 by adopting new technologies, expanding your menu offerings, and investing in marketing. Restaurant owners are always on the lookout for new, innovative ways to make their restaurants more efficient and profitable. From apps like GrubHub, which allows diners to order their food online and pick it up at a specified time, to heavy investments in automation for kitchens, restaurant owners are realizing that there is money to be made with this platform. In fact, according to an article by USA Today, “restaurants that invested in at least one kitchen robot saw a 5-8% increase in profits within the first year". And who can blame them? With rising costs and more competition, there's no better time than now to invest in these advancements.
Some restaurant owners have partnered with a restaurant call center, such as OrderSolutions, in order to alleviate staffing issues and wage increases. Restaurant call centers typically provide highly trained agents to take phone orders for a particular restaurant brand, allowing in-store staff to focus on other tasks. It is generally cheaper than 3rd Party Mobile Apps too, which is very beneficial. OrderSolutions has a specific emphasis on up-selling additional menu items with their agents, and has been one of the most influential companies to the restaurant industry in recent years. See more here.
Using Data to Make Decisions
Technology and data go hand in hand, but restaurant owners must understand which technological solutions provide data and the ones that don't. Data is information one can use to make informative decisions that will positively influence their business - it is a safe way to make improvements. 3rd Party Mobile Apps will withhold data from the restaurant, and will not give access to all of the customer's contact information. This is a very large drawback since a restaurant could analyze how old the customer is, how far away the customer lives, how often they order, what repeating menu items they get, etc. From just compiling simple data, restaurants can build special offers, rewards programs, new marketing plans based on customer profiling, and much more. Thankfully, the restaurant call center alternative provides data back to the restaurant since it is directly tied to the performance of the service. In order for the restaurant call center to do a better job, knowing popular menu items and customer re-orders helps both the call center and restaurant make more money - a double win. Use data gathered from technology or manually in-store to make better business decisions!
Modeling Success from Others
Visit restaurants that are similar to yours to see what they are doing with technology. Investing in new tech now can help you make your restaurant more efficient and less expensive down the road. If you know of certain restaurants in your area that are doing exceptionally well, visit them and stay for a while to analyze what they are doing differently. Then you can model their methods for your own restaurant. You can gather operations insights, menu offer insights, technology ideas, and more.
Expanding your menu will also help save your restaurant in 2022. With more competitors entering the market, you may need to offer something different than what is currently available in order for customers to come back. Consider including niche dishes that bring in a diverse clientele or popular dish specials that draw interest from locals. See what dishes are bringing in customers from similar restaurants to yours.
Digital marketing is an essential part of promoting your business today, but there are many other ways you can promote yourself as well! Hosting food truck events or cooking demonstrations at local craft fairs can be a great way to gain new customers. Consider partnering with another company who shares the same target audience as you do - this will not only give you more business opportunities but also help bolster each of your businesses.