July Restaurant Industry News Roundup
If you don’t think the year is speeding by, JULYing to yourself! Scan this QR code to access our secret summer menu options. Tantalize your tastebuds with pressing restaurant industry questions about reservation platform company wars, and taking TikTok a step further to search for potential staff. It’s all this and more in our July Restaurant Industry News Roundup! Hurry up before these savory summer selections are gone forever!
Will Restaurant Sales Booms Bust?
Businesses are trying to gain traction in this slightly (maybe?!) post-pandemic world, but there’s still a long way to go. For now, the restaurant industry is strong and is even experiencing a surge, but there’s a downside. “Commodity prices are soaring due to shortages and the labor shortage is a problem that is restricting capacity in the industry,” according to Joseph Pawlak, Managing Principal at Technomic. June’s restaurant sales passed May’s by 2.3%, while customer numbers almost reached pre-pandemic numbers. During that time, lunch sales figures indicated a return to pre-pandemic meal routines. Chipotle reported a 70% recovery of in-store sales and 80% retention involving digital sales.
While this is good news, inflation looms over the industry. Within the last year, inflation increased by 5.4% in June. If this continues, miscellaneous spending is usually the first to go for consumers as 74% reported that they plan to reduce their discretionary spending in a recent report. Based on a survey by the National Association for Business Economics, the persistent supply chain and labor market constraints will cause inflation to remain for the future. Meanwhile, staffing shortages and industry employee abuse from customers are continuing to run rampant. What’s next for the restaurant industry?
Resy Rocks Reigning Reservation Rostrum
Throughout the pandemic, restaurant reservation technologies were an integral part of limiting incoming traffic to comply with quarantine restrictions. With more people vaccinated and going out to dinner, companies like OpenTable and Resy have seen recent growth. As of May 2021, both sites reached pre-pandemic record highs. OpenTable is still holding as the market leader, but Resy is gaining ground. Resy recently saw an increase in traffic about four times as much as OpenTable. Comparing figures from May 2020 and May 2021, OpenTable’s traffic improved at 568%, while Resy improved at 2015%. People are eager to start dining out again, and they don’t mind using alternative dining reservation sites. Have you reserved a table lately? We hope so!
Make TikTok Your Resume & Other Staffing News
Where’s the best place to look for Gen-Z workers? If you’re Target, Chipotle, or Shopify the answer may very well be TikTok. Well, TikTok Resumes at least, which lets candidates submit visual resumes on the social platform. On the heels of the pandemic, workers are hesitant to return to the industry. Chipotle has a whopping 1.6 million followers on TikTok, they wanted to lean into their energy. Or in the words of Marissa Andrada, chief people officer for Chipotle, “TikTok Resumes is a way to engage with them in a way they already like to connect with us.”
Restaurants are following Chipotle’s lead. Denny’s wrapped America’s Diner Hiring Tour. McDonald’s announced that it would increase hourly pay, give its workers paid time off, and provide tuition assistance. In the spring, Darden Restaurants launched an initiative to spend $17 million to give hourly workers a one-time bonus and raise wages overall, including tips they receive. With all these efforts, the industry unemployment rate reached 10.9% in June. Have you applied for a job on social media?
July Restaurant Industry News Roundup: Conclusion
While things are settling down, we remain alert to the challenges of tomorrow. With the delta-variant looming and unemployment rates high, it’s imperative to stay prepared, including investing in the right restaurant technology now to prepare for an uncertain future. Did we miss anything exciting in our July Restaurant Industry News Roundup? Let us know in the comments section below!
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About the Author
Devyn Nance is the Marketing Coordinator at QSR Automations. She graduated from the University of Louisville with a bachelor’s degree in Communication and from Loyola University Chicago with a master’s degree in Global Strategic Communication. She considers herself an (amateur) profiler – trained solely from watching every episode of Criminal Minds. Outside of work, Devyn loves to shop, travel, hang out with friends and family, read, and watch shows on various streaming platforms.