Restaurant Trends for April 2012

Posted on April 2, 2012
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Spring has long been synonymous with awakening. It’s the time of year when customers stretch out the day’s length as the sun stays perched in the sky further into the p.m. hours. Outdoor seating areas beckon for friends to gather and enjoy cool beverages and hot topics. Amusement parks and ball stadiums dust off concession equipment as school-aged children anxiously tick off the calendar awaiting the long summer vacation ahead. Store fronts come to life as avenues and boulevards fill with strolling pedestrians. With the trees blooming billowy bunches of fragrant flowers, spring pushes through.

Customers gather around an ice cream concession stand

What a great time to look ahead towards the warming trends for Restaurants in 2012. From taxes to concession services, it’s time to dust off the winter doldrums and get ready for the sunny days ahead.

FSW Staff FSW Staff (139 Posts)

The writing team at FoodServiceWarehouse is dedicated to bringing you the freshest tips, tricks and trends for your professional or home kitchen.

1 Reply to "Restaurant Trends for April 2012"

  • Ramon Winemberg
    July 9, 2012 (11:22 pm)

    The consumer today has come to expect more and more from the products and services they purchase. In 2011, sales at restaurants nationwide reached $604 billion and American consumers enjoyed more than 60 billion meals away from home. According to a Culturewaves® report that studied recent trends, consumers will seek out choices that give them exactly what they want, when they want it. In this age of instant access technology, consumers have the ability to research, compare and decide where their hard earned dollars are spent. With those dollars, these consumers are looking for a combination of speed, convenience and service. Progressive businesses are seizing on this opportunity and are enhancing their products and services through innovative new concepts and offerings.
    There is no consumer services sector where these evolutions are more evident than in the restaurant industry. New service techniques, like viewing a menu and ordering food off an iPad and menu enhancement options, such as providing healthy options are spreading. Industry studies have shown that 80-85% of restaurant consumers maintain loyalty to a brand because of the experience as opposed to the meal quality or price.
    According to Corvirtus, a company focused on cultural influences, “Approximately 70 percent of all purchases are made by loyal customers. Additionally, increasing customer loyalty by a mere 5 percentage points can actually increase profits by an average of more than 65 percent and growth by more than 100 percent.” The most popular and successful brands today are setting new levels of consumer experience through two significant strategies: convenience and customization.
    The need for consumer convenience is being satisfied in several unique and innovative ways. According to the National Restaurant Association’s 2012 Restaurant Industry Forecast, 53 percent of respondents said convenient delivery directly to their homes was very important and 40 percent craved convenient ordering options, such as online ordering via website, smartphone application or self-service customer-activated ordering terminal. Some quick serve restaurants, like Burger King, have begun testing meal delivery.
    Many highly recognized restaurant brands have joined the mobile food truck craze of taking their products to the people. As today’s consumers are becoming more and more health-conscious, restaurants have picked up on this trend and are now handing more control of the meal over to the individual diners. Mintel’s Foodservice Trends Report showed that 58 percent of consumers like to customize their food orders. Fast casual restaurants like Chipotle, for example, allow customers to customize their food orders through a variety of fresh ingredients and options. The lifestyle of today’s consumer demands higher levels of service and as a result, are responding favorably to a better brand experience through new options for convenience and customization.

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