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Part of your responsibility as a restaurant owner is to understand the market trends that will propel your business to success. Supply chains, location, labor, technology, your products, consumer demand, table turnover, the national economy, and even the weather can affect your café's sales.
This guide will help you to understand some of the latest trends in the restaurant industry. By the end of the article, you should have a good idea of how to research where your business concept fits into the market, what factors will affect its success, and how you should use all of that information in your café's business plan.
What are the positive forces propelling a new café's success?
A loyal base of regular customers is one of the best measures of a restaurant’s success. But, there are key elements that you can prepare to ensure that your new café attracts the right fans.
Cafés that have a compelling concept and unique brand identity will have an easier time bringing their vision to life. Write as much detail about the concept, menu, and mission into your business plan as possible. Whenever you hit a roadblock, your business plan will help you around it with ease.
Spend time crafting a clear mission statement that aligns with the goals of the restaurant, answering the following questions:
How does your café cater to local consumers?
How does the concept fit into the market?
How will you hire and retain excellent staff?
Will your business expand into additional locations?
How will you manage those expansions, financially and logistically?
Marketing is another key element that drives restaurants’ success. Write details of how you will spread the word around town and on social media in your business plan.
Technology empowers feedback for restaurants. When your customers leave reviews of your café, be sure to listen. Lean into what customers are praising and consider making changes that increase accessibility and create goodwill with your customers.
Last but certainly not least, your restaurant’s finances are critical to its success. As you build your business plan, learn how to discuss and write about key concepts like profit and loss statements and prime costs, or how much it costs to operate the café.
By the end of this restaurant marketing guide, you’ll be equipped with the tools and tactics needed to create a following of loyal and loving guests.
How fast is the restaurant industry growing?
It's no secret that the restrictions on restaurants necessary during the COVID-19 pandemic hurt a lot of restaurants. But, the food service industry is making a comeback. Everyone has to eat, right?
In 2022, the food service industry sector is expected to add 400,000 jobs. The industry, overall, is forecast to grow by 12.4% from 2021, reaching $898 billion in sales overall.
When writing your café's business plan, it’s good to research the industry trends in your area. Talk to members of your state’s chapter of the National Restaurant Association. Or, find local small business owners to ask about the positive trends (and challenges) that your restaurant might encounter.
Are there types of cafés that are growing particularly quickly?
The sector of the restaurant industry that is growing fastest is off-premises dining, making it a particularly good time to think about adapting your café concept for high-quality takeout meals.
As the pandemic winds down, diners are eager to get back into brick-and-mortar businesses. But flexibility often wins the day. cafés that are able to offer both stellar in-person experiences and takeout meals will be able to serve a wider range of consumer needs.
Delivery-only concepts like ghost kitchens, dark kitchens, cloud kitchens, and virtual restaurants are popular with younger generations. And, those consumers are demanding plant-based meals in sustainable, eco-friendly packaging.
Consider these trends as you make decisions for your business. Potential investors will be impressed with the depth of your knowledge and see that you have what it takes to succeed.
What are the new technological trends emerging in the industry?
Digital technologies have transformed almost every sector of business, and the restaurant industry is no different. Point-of-sale (POS), reporting, finances, marketing, and ordering are all empowered by technology. Those delivery-only restaurant concepts that are trending are only possible because of third-party delivery apps and powerful restaurant management software.
Digital record keeping has simplified restaurant management, letting business owners take full control with intuitive reporting that considers everything from last year’s sales to labor costs. Those reports can help you learn when and how to order supplies and materials and allow you to streamline your café's menu, so you’re only selling what customers demand.
Create a killer restaurant business plan, with these tips on writing an executive summary.
How to write about café market trends in your business plan?
Your café's business plan includes a section detailing the state of the restaurant industry and market analysis. Your write-up of those trends and the analysis should be focused on the factors that are unique to your business.
For example, if you plan to open a brick-and-mortar concept, detail how you are catering to an unserved market niche with a unique restaurant. Provide potential investors with information about the demand for your menu and sales forecasts based on local consumer demand.
It’s important to be honest with yourself (and investors) about the potential of your business. If you foresee challenges, write about how you will overcome those.
One common challenge cafés are facing is hiring and retaining great staff. How will you create jobs for your employees that are both sustainable and fun?
Here are writing tips to help you make the details of your café's market analysis an interesting read (really!)
Always keep the audience in mind. Use some of the vocabulary introduced in this article.
Find your voice. You’re selling your skills just as much as the concept. Infuse your unique vision into your writing style.
Keep it simple and clear. It's tempting to throw in lots of clever flourishes when writing, but clarity should be the number one priority.
Ready to write your café industry and market analysis? This guide helps you to start researching the information necessary to build a convincing case for the success of your business. The market analysis is a critical reference for the rest of the business plan. So, make sure to give it the time and attention it needs!
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