2015 is coming to a close, and planning and budgeting for 2016 is in full swing.
While we don’t have the entire year of statistics for 2015 just yet, we can look at the trends for the year thus far to forecast for 2016. Some of the following restaurant industry statistics may come as expected, while others might surprise you.
Here are 10 startling restaurant statistics from The National Restaurant Association’s 2015 Restaurant Industry Forecast.
1. 8 in 10 consumers will visit a restaurant in off peak times if they receive a discount. This mean consumers are willing to spend so long as they can save. Regardless of economic state, consumers are always looking to save a buck when they can.
2. 2015 was the 6th consecutive year of sales growth in the restaurant industry. The restaurant industry not only bounced back from the economic recession of 2008, it has thrived. Sales reached more than $700 billion!
3. 1/4 of consumers say technology options are important factors in their decision to choose a restaurant. Experts only anticipate this statistic to grow. In order to remain competitive, you must incorporate some of the latest technologies into your restaurant and marketing strategies. These can include an active social media presence, online ordering, an interactive website, and digital payment methods.
4. 70% of smartphone users view restaurant menus on their phones. If you haven’t already, be sure to include a full menu on your restaurant’s site too. Consumers want to review your menu prior to visiting. In addition, make sure your website is mobile-friendly come 2016. If not, you could be missing out on a lot of patrons unable to find you online.
5. 34% of consumers say technology makes them opt for takeout or delivery more often. If you offer takeout or delivery, then it’s time to really invest in your digital marketing. Consider adding online ordering capability to your site.
6. 6 in 10 chefs encourage consumers to take photos of their food and post it on social media. Why? It’s free advertising! Instagram, anyone? We’ve all poked fun at the people who are constantly taking pictures of their food, but for restaurants, this trend can be a real money-maker.
7. The industry projected to employ 14 million in 2015 – about 1 in 10 working Americans. 10% – That’s amazing! That’s a huge portion of the working population, and restaurant owners will likely need to invest in technologies to stay organized. Back-of-house systems for payroll and accounting automation may become a necessity, depending on the size of your business.
8. Chefs predicted the #1 food trend in 2015 to be locally sourced foods, specifically meats & seafood. And #2 is local produce. Don’t expect these fads to go anywhere anytime soon.
9. 80% of operators say guests are interested in locally sourced items. The best way to capitalize on this statistic is to advertise that your items are locally sourced (so long as they truly are). Clearly mark your locally sourced items on your menu, and don’t forget to promote them on social media!
10. 76% of consumers prefer to visit a restaurant with healthy options. The health trend is no new thing, but it’s continuing popularity means that your menu needs to include healthy options — and they need to be clearly marked.
As 2016 quickly approaches, consider some of this year’s biggest trends to better market your restaurant and serve your customers.
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