These days, competition is fierce and anything your restaurant can do to set itself apart is an opportunity to grow your business. With 87 per cent of food operators more worried about inflation this year than anything else, what are the industry trends that will help drive success this year, and how can you use them to build your brand and your bottom line?
Here are a few of 2023’s hottest trends you can use to get your restaurant more attention – and more business.
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Modifying your menu to reflect the continued diner demand for healthier choices is a smart move. Many consumers are looking for healthy twists on their favourites, dishes featuring plant-based protein, and a way to try new dishes and flavours. This doesn’t signal a dramatic shift to vegetarian and vegan dining exclusively, but 40 per cent of healthy consumers plan to purchase plant-based meat substitutes in 2023, so it’s an opportunity for you to grow your menu to meet demand. Plant-based seafood is emerging as a trend for the year, as consumers continue to prioritize alternative proteins.
As people venture out more and more, diners are continuing to try and maximize their experiences, even when dining. From pickleball to dinner theatre, venues are getting creative in drawing customers in and standing out from the competition.
While extreme changes to your business model may not be in the cards, think of ways that you can add value or up the experience for your guests. Celebrate food holidays, host special evenings, or partner with others in your community. These may be ways that you can get in on the ‘eatertainment’ trend without revamping your whole strategy.
As the industry continues to change and evolve, so does your use for social media, and videos are where it’s at this year. According to Datassential, 77 percent of customers are using YouTube, 48 per cent are on Facebook stories, 45 per cent are on Instagram stories, and 41 per cent are using TikTok.
Not social media savvy? The great thing about live video is that your customers are looking for authentic, real content, and that means that perfection is not the name of the game. If you’re thinking about expanding this part of your business, you could start by posting quick little behind-the-scenes videos as you make dishes or start service, gauge audience response, and tweak your content strategy from there to grow your following.
Not only are your diners interested in your restaurant’s videos, but 43 per cent of diners have taken and posted a video at a restaurant. This affords you the opportunity to showcase your restaurant in a whole new light – and your guests do the work for you!