Our Take

Musings on the Foodservice Industry

The Defining Restaurant Trends of 2020

Mar 05 2020

The restaurant industry experienced several impactful changes in consumer demand throughout 2019. Many restaurants focused on growing their technological capability by implementing robot-friendly kitchens, drive-thrus with artificial intelligence, and other innovative resources. This increase in technological awareness was coupled with a rise in the minimum wage throughout the country, which heightened operator demand for technological tools. 

Operators that recognize upcoming popular trends, such as investing in helpful tech resources, will position their business for success in 2020 and beyond. It often requires proactive thinking and ensuing action to capitalize on consumer demand, which is vital for sustained growth in the restaurant industry.

Here are the five trends that restaurants must be aware of in 2020:

  1. Utilizing Lifestyle Campaigns and LTOs in marketing efforts: Industry leaders are increasing the use of lifestyle campaigns and limited-time offers in an effort to boost customer retention. LTO’s can help increase visibility on social media and drive additional traffic to their location.
  2. Shrinking the Menu: Reducing the menu helps cut down on ingredient and labor costs. It will also help your operation shorten waiting-time for customers, which creates a more efficient, enjoyable dining experience for your customers. 
  3. Emergence of Ghost Restaurants: Ghost restaurants are locations that feature a kitchen, but no store-front or dining area for customers. These spaces can be shared among multiple restaurants. They are projected to become an increasingly viable option for operators because of the tremendous growth in third-party delivery services, such as DoorDash, GrubHub, and UberEats.
  4. Popular Flavors will come from Micro-Chains: Micro-chains are restaurants that have three to nineteen locations and offer creative flavors and menu items that drive customer traffic and attention. Popular flavors often used by micro-chains include Korean BBQ, sambal, and harissa. Many micro-chains will also experiment with a variety of plant-forward products in their menu.
  5. The Influence of Gen Z consumers: Generation Z consumers, born between 1996 and 2010, are beginning to accumulate wealth and account for a larger percentage of restaurant customers. Resources such as free WiFi and digitally-ordered takeout are expected by Gen Z consumers, so restaurants should be encouraged to implement these features.

Implementing these trends will help restaurants to boost sales and increase traffic throughout 2020.

For more information about these trends, please read on at Restaurant Dive.