As a restaurant owner, you’ve had time to reflect on the prior year and plan ahead for the year to come; looking at what worked in 2013, what didn’t and what they need to do to continue to grow and remain profitable in 2014.
Here are the top 5 trends for restaurants in the coming year. As you’ll see, 2014 is looking green.
Farm-to-table trend to increase: Some restaurants, such as The Restaurant at Meadowood in Napa Valley, are going so far as to cut out the middle man by owning their own farms and literally offering a farm-to-table experience. This trend is only expected to grow.
Gluten-free options on the rise: Other big trends predicted by the National Restaurant Association for 2014 include: gluten-free menu options, healthy kid dining, Southeast Asian cuisine and non-wheat pasta/noodles (from rice or quinoa).
Shifts in technology: On the technology side of things, restaurants will continue to push the boundaries of the smartphone and tablet space in 2014.
Payments and customer experience: Near Field Communication (NFC) will have an impact as a form of payment in 2014 and while this won’t be the year it sees wild proliferation, restaurants will be increasingly adopting it. Augmented reality, such as Google Glass, may also gain some traction as a way patrons can look inside a restaurant or view a menu or see images of the food.
Increased use of data: Restaurants are using data from their reports to make better decisions about how they sell and use inventory. These reports help them to make informed business decisions in their day-to-day operations, and helps improve the bottom line. An integrated CRM, or customer relationship management, platform is also gaining ground to produce an improved customer experience. A CRM platform also ensures customer loyalty and helps builds the customer base.