We’ve learned a lot in the past year and a half. The restaurant world was flipped upside down. Many of us were not ready for such drastic changes. We learned how to survive. We learned how to be flexible. We continue to roll with the punches of operating a foodservice business during a pandemic. And we have had to learn how to start overcoming the challenges of shortages – food, supply and employee shortages.
What is the new normal? What changes are here to stay? How can we continue to survive and even grow?
This year, our trends are including tips and are covering the complete package of food and operations within our four walls. Food is always an important part of our business and the trends for the coming year. But we must consider operations and how we must adapt as a business year after year to be successful.
- More LTOs
Focus on bringing in new items and featuring seasonal or special items for a limited time.
- To Go & Delivery
The focus now must be on perfecting our processes and products so that we are the #1 choice when people need something quick to eat, because the need for convenient meals is here to stay and will only continue to grow.
- Think Flavor
You can add flavor in a variety of ways, from the ingredients you use to the spices and sauces you incorporate.
- Less Inside, More Outside
Outdoor dining can be a big draw for customers, especially for Midwesterners during the spring, summer and fall.
- Local & Clean Label
Locally grown, less ingredients, less chemicals and less added ingredients.
- Cleaning & Sanitation
There is probably no more important tip or trend than to make sure you are keeping up with the cleaning and sanitation of your business from top to bottom and front- to back-of-house.
- Savvy Social Media
People have gotten quick with scrolling through their social media feeds. So, you have to post something that will grab their attention.
- Rethinking Proteins
Given supply challenges, price increases and food trends, we may want to explore new options.
Being adaptable is a good strength to have, and our ability to use it as a strength is going to continue to be put to the test.
- Less on the Menu
These days, less is often more.
- Recruiting & Retaining Employees
We must focus on not only recruiting new employees but also retaining them.
- Dive into Your Books
Now is a great time to review income and expenses and make sure you’re on track.