If you own a restaurant, you may be wondering what trends will start to surface for 2015. Fact is, many “new” trends are actually continued from 2014 and are gaining speed. They touch on all aspects of the business, from food to marketing to menus to tastes.
What’s New for Next Year
If you’d like to try something new, take a look at this list and see if your customer base would embrace some of these ideas:
- Locally-sourced Food. With the organic market taking off—you can even shop organic in your neighborhood grocery store—it’s not surprising that the farm-to-table movement has grown. Be sure that you’re taking advantage of produce, meat, and other food that is local to your area. Supporting these businesses means that your customers will support them too!
- Promote Yourself. You can’t always rely on your customers to promote your business. But since as much as 70 percent of new business is gained from word-of-mouth, you can’t afford to lose your rightful share of the market. Pepper your restaurant with comment cards that survey diners, or ask them to leave a review on Yelp or Facebook if they enjoyed their experience.
- High-tech Help. Most eateries have a Facebook page, Twitter account, or website. Your restaurant should be easily accessible—just a click or two away on someone’s smart phone or tablet. Use apps like OpenTable or Wait Time so that your customers can get in line for their dining experience before they even walk onto your property.
- Healthier Choices. With so much emphasis being placed on health, it was going to affect people’s food sooner than later—and now it may influence the food that you prepare and serve in your restaurant. Some people prefer nutritious food to make up every part of their meal, instead of just having a salad at the beginning. Others may have dietary restrictions, such as gluten-free or sugar-free, while some cannot eat certain ingredients due to possible severe allergy reactions.
- Mash–ups. When your customers watch culinary TV shows, they are starting to see entire dinners placed on waffles, bacon put on cupcakes, and potatoes layered on pizza. Don’t turn up your nose—it’s a great tactic to get new folks in your doors! Just a few people raving about a mash-up meal will have everyone else wondering what the fuss is about.
- Bitter is Better. Everyone is talking about this—darker coffee and chocolate, hoppier beers, and vegetables like watercress, dandelion greens, kale, and endive are all coming back in style. Post a sampling on your menu and see if it gains traction!
With 2015 poised to be a successful year for our industry, we suggest that you consider a few new concepts to keep your customers coming through your doors, and of course, pick up some new fans.