I know that traditionally, these sort of predictions are made at the end of the year as funky little fillers for trade websites. I predict that’s all about to change. Here are my top five predictions on what’s in store for the restaurant world in the future. I say top five, but to be honest I only came up with five in total.
As restaurants compete with traditional entertainment forums, multiple table turns will become harder to achieve and profits will be threatened. Get ready for the Uber model of surge pricing. You want to eat at 8 pm, you’re going to pay 10% more.
A halal or organic logo on the menu will no longer be enough. There is going to be a tidal wave of information that the restaurateur will need to come clean about; calories, sugars, fats, additives and preservatives. All this information will be made available to the customer, through mandatory laws enforced by governing bodies. All processed foods from sauces to meat patties will be regulated and controlled. Restaurants can no longer claim ignorance or hide behind vague labels. Accountability is coming.
Tock, the ticketing software built by Nick Kokonas, allows restaurants to sell tickets to their customers. It reduces the bankrupting no-show or last minute cancellations and makes sure the customer, and the restaurant are taking the reservation seriously. You buy theatre tickets, airline tickets and movie tickets up-front – why not restaurant tickets too?
Don’t just sell food – sell time.
The millennials want immediacy; they want speed. They want now. Customers will be able to place their food order, whilst they are on their way to the restaurant. Restaurants will work to the customer’s schedule. That’s what Netflix, Tinder and Uber all do. That’s what restaurants will do.
Take-away and delivery – but not as we know it.
Early in 2015 and for the first time in history, Americans spent more money in restaurants and bars than they did on groceries. Home delivery and e-commerce will hit this industry like a sledge hammer. I’m not talking your fast food burger meal arriving semi cold in 45 minutes after fourteen phone calls with a lost delivery boy. I’m talking premium restaurant food, delivered efficiently and accurately to your door. Fast Fine Food – it’s on the way.
Bonus Food Sheikh Thought!
The restaurants that are going to excel will sell something extremely uncomplicated. Chicken, steak, good times, social credibility, nostalgia. One of them will do, but not all of them. There is profit in simplicity.