Restaurant Industry News Roundup: August 2020
Welcome to the ninth month of your 2020 subscription! August’s specials satisfied a diverse palate with a unique wine sample from Singapore. Pair that with a charcuterie board full of solutions to the end of patio season, drive-thru innovations, and everything in between! Join us (and the restaurant industry) in our Restaurant Industry News Roundup for August 2020, as we forge ahead on this uncharted journey through the pandemic.
Sula Vineyards to cash on Singapore’s new love for home wining and dining amid COVID-19 outbreak
Indian-based Sula Vineyards has included Singapore to its export portfolio because of the increase in off-premise dining and in-home entertaining due to COVID. Sula entered Singapore in a collab with Sonnamera. GlobalData reports that Singapore’s wine market is predicted to grow at a 5.1% CAGR and reach a market value of $1.4 billion by 2021. Wine lovers in the country will be introduced to the popular portfolio of wines including Carbernet Shiraz, Dindori Reserve Shiraz, and Riesling.
According to Abhay Sharma, the founder of Sonnamera, “we expect this trend to continue to be strong for several months as more meals are cooked at home and home entertaining takes precedence over dining out.”
Winter Is Coming for Outdoor Dining, So Get Going With Off-Premises
The restaurant industry has been on shaky ground since early 2020. Data released by Upserve shows that switching to off-premise formats isn’t as easy as simply “flipping the switch.” According to Upserve’s survey, which polled players across various types of restaurants, 64 percent of restaurants feel “optimistic” when it comes to the future, but 47 percent struggle to shift their business models to off-premise order formats. In 2020, restaurants had to pivot suddenly from dine-in solutions to delivery, curbside pickup, and find affordable tech solutions to meet the demand for online ordering. However, what should restaurants do when summer ends? Restaurants are looking into drive-thru innovations, solutions to third-party delivery fees, and partnerships to utilize other avenues outside of dine-in options.
Pandemic Sparks a Building Boom for Restaurant Drive-Thrus
Companies like Starbucks and Chipotle are focusing on drive-thru construction in the upcoming months based on what they learned from the pandemic. Drive-thrus are becoming another lifeline for fast-food chains. Next year, Shake Shack is planning a drive-thru model that allows lanes for ordering on-site and to allow pickup. These “Shack Tracks” will include either a walk-up window or a lane for digital-only order pickup. Other companies are exploring drive-thru options for the first time. Meanwhile, drive-thrus have become less popular in some places. Last year, Minneapolis banned the creation of new drive-thru lanes blaming their “impact on the environment, traffic and noise.”
Turning Parking Lots into a Restaurant Goldmine
Before the pandemic, the definition of restaurants was beginning to evolve because of off-premise tools and ghost kitchens. The pandemic has put innovation and novel solutions on the fast-track, making the brick and mortar restaurant essentially obsolete. REEF Technology meets operators in their demand for expanding past brick and mortar concepts. REEF Kitchens are structures like food trucks that can host four to six brands. The structures are placed across properties based on demand and then serve as food carts or digital order pickup spots.
Initially, REEF operated proprietary brands out of the structures. Then, during the pandemic, REEF created partnerships with other restaurant concepts and became a ghost kitchen lifeboat to brands affected by pandemic-related traffic issues. REEF Chief Creative Officer, Alan Phillips, has compared REEF to Amazon’s revolutionization of e-commerce.
How has the pandemic altered your course? Click the link below for our page containing helpful restaurant resources for the COVID-19 outbreak.
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.