Restaurants saw September as a month of highs, lows, and technological revelations. With changing times, restaurants are thinking on their feet to keep prices down, profits up, and customers coming through the door. In this post, we'll recap some of the biggest news pieces released for the restaurant industry last month and the key takeaways that you can bring into your business.
Let's take a look at what's trending at Toast in this edition of the Toast Top 5.
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1. Healthy at a Cost
Restaurant-goers have spoken - and they want healthy food at an affordable price. However, it seems that some restaurants have been struggling to do both. To please customers, Hospitality Magazine found that 67% of small business restaurants have added healthier menu items, but 50% have absorbed the added cost themselves through schedule changes.
While we think there's merit in keeping prices for customers down, there are other ways of absorbing the cost. For example, engaging in predictive sales forecasting and taking control of your restaurant inventory can help you reduce waste and portion properly so you can serve healthy options are a mutually beneficial price point.
2. Lunch Prices Up, Lunch Sales Down
When Mom and Dad aren't giving us lunch money anymore, it's tough to justify buying lunch every day. Restaurant Hospitality is reporting that restaurant lunch sales are on the decline, with possible attributions being higher prices, an increase in telecommuters, and more online shoppers which keeps people off the streets and out of food courts. To account for this trend, try making it easy for your customer to come to you! Offers like online ordering, loyalty programs, and mobile payment increase efficiency in your restaurant and result in repeat customers.
3. Mobile Tech On The Rise
Everyone is addicted to their smartphone these days, so why not use that to your advantage? Hospitalitytechnology.com found that more than half of diners base their decision of where to eat based on whether or not a restaurant has mobile payment capability and if they have a user friendly app. Some restaurants need to catch up though, as only 49% allow mobile payment and 41% have an app. If you want to read more about the importance of mobile payment and its future in restaurants, check out our blog on the topic!
4. Point of Sale Pushing Forward
Does your restaurant's point of sale system need an upgrade? If you think so, you're not alone. About a quarter of restaurants with older POS systems are planning to upgrade in the next year, according to a report released by Starfleet Research. Some other key takeaways are that 93% of restaurateurs want a point of sale that will lead to increased loyalty and positive word of mouth, and 78% see POS mobility as a factor in their decision making process. Luckily, Toast can do both of these, plus more.
5. The State of Full Service Restaurants
Full service restaurant owners deal with questions all day, regarding food sales, table turn times, check sizes, and more. If you run a full service restaurant, we're here to tell you to stop guessing. In September, Toast released a report on the state of the full service restaurant industry, exploring the ways that alcohol sales, appetizers, and more impact your bottom line. We collected data from over 700 full service restaurants, and the results are fascinating. Did you know that guests who order alcohol will spend over 100% more on their check, and only 62% of FSR sales come from food items? To get all the facts, download our full service restaurant industry report for free right now.
September 2016 For Restaurants
So what information can we pull from this past month? Well, while customers are being more selective about what and where they eat, there's an opportunity for restaurants to succeed by listening to what their customers and - more importantly - the facts are telling them.
What do you think the biggest stories were this month? Let us know in the comments below, and subscribe to the Toast Restaurant Management Blog for more updates.