Restaurant News Roundup: January 2019
In the first month of 2019, the news centered around generational spending, troubled partnerships, data, and mobile order-ahead technology. There was also some good news concerning the restaurant industry. This month’s round-up is a full serving of information minus the calories.
Restaurant Industry Achieves Best Results in 3 Years
Ending 2018 with a strong December, the restaurant industry had its best sales year since 2015. More specifically, same-store sales during Q4 increased by 1.4 percent compared to Q4 in 2016. One of the biggest questions in the industry is whether the sales growth is coming into restaurants themselves. In a short-term outlook, off-premise business has contributed to the growth for chains. Restaurants are also generating better sales through higher checks as average guest checks grew 3.1 percent in Q4 year-over-year. The rate at which guests are spending per restaurant visit grew during the past quarter.
However, the problem with retaining quality employees persists. Turnover in the industry continues to rise. According to TDn2K’s People Workforce Index, 74 percent of companies stated that it’s difficult to find qualified hourly employees. While 59 percent reported they are having a tough time hiring management. There’s more information here.
Starbucks Runs Into Early Troubles With Uber Eats Partnership
Starbucks has decided to tackle delivery in the U.S. and China by using Uber Eats and Alibaba Group. With this decision to offer delivery services, splash-proof lids, individual delivery containers, and tamper-proof packaging seals have resulted in higher-than-average checks in the early months of the program. Starbucks announced the expansion of its partnership with Uber Eats to six additional cities outside of Miami in the future.
The company also has plans to integrate their software with Uber Eats to allow Starbucks Delivers to be available on the Starbucks Rewards app and the Uber Eats’ app. In China, Starbucks has expanded Starbucks Delivers to 2,000 stores in 30 cities since partnering with Alibaba Group. For more information on Starbucks’ foray into the delivery space, check out this article.
Pizza Hut & Starbucks See Growth in Mobile Orders During 2018
Starbucks saw an increase of 12 percent in 2018 in mobile order sales. In the case of Pizza Hut, 50 percent of its U.S. sales were placed through a mobile app. These innovations in technology can help restaurant operators create more customer loyalty and possibly attract new customers
Convenience is becoming more of a priority for diners. In fact, 92 percent of customers prefer to use apps to order from quick-service restaurants. Out of that 92 percent, the majority of them have a positive perception of placing an order with a quick service restaurant. Through mobile ordering platforms, the average check size can increase by 20 percent. As restaurant operators further explore their options, they can use the companies that are already using mobile order-ahead options. Read more about the benefits of mobile order-ahead technologies.
Why Restaurants Can’t Neglect Baby Boomers
Born between 1946 and 1964, baby boomers still hold a lot of purchasing power when it comes to the restaurant and retail industries. However, restaurants and retailers are putting little to no effort into marketing towards baby boomers. That said, retailers and restauranteurs are advised to continue paying attention to baby boomers because, according to Nielsen, this generation holds about $30 trillion in wealth and have 70 percent of discretionary income in the United States.
Unlike other generations, baby boomers have more time to spend this discretionary income on leisurely activities, including dining out. Baby boomers still represent profitable opportunities for operators. How can restaurants and retailers still cater to baby boomers? Check out these tips.
Data-Driven Decisions for Restaurants: How to Collect, Analyze, and Profit
How can restaurants use data strategically to reveal insights into very part of their business? The majority of restaurant owners don’t know where to start, but inventory data could be a starting point. What ingredients are needed to prepare each dish? What is the profitability of each dish? Considering inventory data restaurant operators can monitor food cost and monitor any discrepancies to begin to rectify. Financial data allows restaurants to keep track of profit, loss, cash flow, and costs.
Kitchen data allows operators to determine the efficiency of your staff, dish turnaround time and any patterns that may be a cause of concern in the kitchen. Considering the use of data to help streamline your restaurant’s operations? Check out this article to learn more.
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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.