Find out how consumer behaviour is changing in the food and beverage industry
The restaurant industry continues to thrive with most people eating out about twice per week. Even so, there are a plethora of eateries to choose from so you have to do what you can to ensure your restaurant stands out from the crowd.
One of the best ways to do that is to follow consumer behaviour changes, then make appropriate changes in your establishment that will meet or exceed the expectations of your customers.
We gathered seven of the most important changes in buying behaviour; the food and beverage industry is experiencing right now. Keep reading to learn more about these and to see what you should do about them.
1. Health-conscious Choices
Not long ago, you could have offered an entire menu of fried foods, and nobody would have batted an eye. However, consumers are becoming more health-conscious and looking for food options that line up with those ideals.
Here are some things to check your menu for:
- Low-calorie dishes
- Low-carb and no-carb meals
- Gluten-free options
- Vegetarian meals
- Vegan dishes
If you don’t have any of these, it may be time to overhaul your menu to ensure you’re meeting the demands of your customers that want to eat healthily. If you do already have dishes that meet this need, be sure to highlight them, so they’re easy for customers to spot.
2. Focus on Sustainability
In addition to protecting their bodies, many consumers today want to protect the earth as well. For those in the food and beverage industry, that means taking steps to show their desire to produce their fare sustainably.
One of the simplest ways to do that is to use paper bags for takeout and takeaway foods. You can also offer more vegetarian options, create seasonal dishes, and source foods from local farmers.
3. The “Eat Local” Mantra
Speaking of local eating, that’s one of the trends that go along with sustainable eating and healthy choices. This leads many consumers to seek out small, local restaurants over popular chain locations.
If you’re already one of these small businesses, capitalise on that by reminding your customers of that fact and incorporating that into your marketing campaigns. If you’re already part of a larger franchise, find ways to make your location feel local.
To take this idea to the next level, consider growing some of your own herbs and microgreens to use in the restaurant. It doesn’t get much more local than serving food that’s grown on-site!
4. Innovative Drinks
Your older patrons may continue to order what they have for the last thirty years or more, but younger generations are looking for ways to step away from traditional flavours when it comes to drinks.
Craft beer is one example of what many people are craving today. It fulfils much of what consumers want today in their food. It’s unique, local, and sustainable. Add some local craft beers to your bar and see how well they’re received.
You’ll also want to think about your mixed drinks. Encourage your bartenders to get creative and play with flavour combinations to come up with innovative cocktails to surprise and delight your patrons.
5. Eating as an Experience
Let’s take a step away from the food for a moment to talk about the rest of your restaurant. Today, people are no longer collecting material things like refrigerator magnets or books. Instead, they’re collecting experiences.
This holds true when people go out to eat as well. They don’t go out just to enjoy a good meal. They also want to have a particular type of experience and for the meal to be memorable.
There are a few ways to go about creating a dining experience for your customers. You can come up with a theme for your restaurant or change up some of the existing decorations to create a new look.
6. Share-worthy Dishes
Today, a picture is worth more than a thousand words. That’s because people share everything on social media where images get far more attention than text-only images.
If you want to market your restaurant to people and reach a wider audience, you need to use social media marketing. The core of your marketing campaigns should be images.
This is something you should be keeping in mind as you make dishes to photograph yourself. Every dish that leaves the kitchen should be just as share-worthy, so your customers will take the initiative to post your dishes on their social media accounts.
You can also provide behind-the-scenes looks at your restaurant and use images to tell your brand story, which helps to connect your customers to your business. Videos may be an even better way to share this type of information with your audience.
7. Incorporating Technology
The final change we’re seeing in consumer behaviour is the desire for more integrated technology. Customers want to use their technology and technology in your restaurant to have a better overall experience.
An easy way to incorporate technology into your restaurant is to allow customers to place online orders through your website. These can be delivered if you offer takeaway or be waiting for your customer to pick up from you.
Having a point-of-sale system is another way to use technology in your restaurant. This has many benefits which include:
- Faster service
- Flexible payment options
- Fewer errors
You can also use these systems to track inventory and employee activities. They can often be integrated with other software programs so you can run your restaurant more smoothly.
We Can Help You Accommodate Consumer Behaviour Changes
Now you know some of the ways consumer behaviour is changing in the food and beverage industry. If you want your restaurant or food business to stay competitive, you’ll need to implement some of the changes we mentioned.
We can help your company in the technology realm. Our point-of-sale systems can help you provide better customer service by meeting the expectations of everyone that comes into the restaurant.
Meet your solution here and find out more about how we can help your business grow.