In a recent Nielsen survey, only 20% of respondents could define what an organic product actually is, despite the fact that 70% of consumers say they buy organic foods. Meanwhile, nearly 60% of consumers claim they are concerned about GMO foods, only 40% could explain GMO.
Reviving Your Business
If you run a casual dining restaurant, you likely have seen a slow recovery from The Great Recession. Now, researchers from Boston Consulting Group think they know why. Most CDRs have been too slow to change with the times. In a world that caters to cravings, fast service, and good value, CDRs have struck out on most levels. Just look at Red Lobster. In the cravings' department, younger crowds like late-night and breakfast dining -- not something CDRs do. Health and wellness menus are also not high on the list of CDRs, Boston Consulting says. And they also do not do much in the way of converting customers into regulars. Are CDRs the dinosaurs of the restaurant industry? While Boston Consulting sees their popularity continuing to erode, they can stem the tide by addressing some of the basics mentioned in the research. Lobster to go anyone?
What Brings Customers Back?
It is not about the food. At least that is the finding of a new survey of nearly 100,000 diners by the Rewards Network when researching why consumers become return customers. Researchers say that the primary reason for return visits to a restaurant is the "overall experience." That takes into account such things as quality, service, cleanliness, and atmosphere. Even with the best food in town, consumers tend to not want to return if their overall experience was not a good one, says Rewards Network. In addition, diners who rate their overall experience as high are also more apt to recommend a restaurant to their friends and family. And a rewards program for frequent patrons that offers personalization and good value will not hurt either.
Serving Alcohol Responsibly
The holidays are upon us and it may be a good time to remind your staff about serving alcohol responsibly. Here are some tips from the veterans:
- Talk to your customers. That helps to establish why they have come by and may tip you off about their intentions. Is it to have a good time or to become intoxicated?
- Watch for changing behaviors, such as becoming overly friendly, using foul language, ordering more and larger drinks, slurring words, or staggering.
- Don't over pour drinks and keep track of how many and what types of drinks patrons have.
- Offer food and water, both of which slow intoxication.
- Say when if you feel a patron has had enough, and do not allow customers who have had too much to drive.
Sure, it is all common sense, but it also is important that your staff understands their role in keeping your guests safe... and your restaurant in business.
There has been much written about the younger generation of Americans, but few of us can actually provide an accurate description of Millennials as a group, Nation’s Restaurant News says. Until now, that is. According to NRN, Millennials as a group are the most educated in history, although the majority are still under educated and underemployed, thanks to the influx of millions of young newcomers. Forty-three percent are non-white, the highest percentage of an age group in U.S. history. Because two-thirds of people under thirty lack a college degree, nearly 12% are out of work! And those who do work have an average income of $30,000 or less. Lack of financial security also has Millennials marrying later than previous generations, with the average being about 28. Despite the tough times and competition, nearly half of young Americans believe that the country is headed in the right direction and its best years are ahead. Let's hope they are right.
Surrender Your Cell Phone, Get A Discount
In the never ending debate over cell phone use in restaurants, some creative eateries are offering an attractive discount to patrons willing to check their phones, The Huffington Post reports. While the experiment is winning over converts among Wednesday evening diners at Sneaky's Chicken in Sioux City, Iowa, similar proposals, including a ban on food pictures, have met with chilly responses in places like Washington, D.C.., New York, and Los Angeles. Some chefs actually support the food picture trend, claiming it is free advertising. Still, there is nothing more annoying than someone on the phone during a night out. The discount idea may well be worth a try among cellphone weary clientele.
Three Tax Deductions Worth Fighting For
Everyone knows that the Congress is dysfunctional. But did you also know that it may be costing you money as a restaurant owner? Because of Congressional gridlock, several tax break extensions impacting restaurants are being held up by the current Congress and if not enacted by the end of the current session, they may require you to refile taxes next year to get those breaks. Here are the top three, says the National Restaurant Association:
- The enhanced tax deduction for businesses and individuals that donate food inventory to charity.
- A 15-year depreciation schedule on restaurant-building improvements and new construction, retail improvements, and leasehold improvements. Without congressional action, the depreciation schedule will remain at 39.5 years.
- Work Opportunity Tax Credit, which offers businesses tax credits of $2,400 to $5,600 for hiring employees from demographic groups who historically have a hard time finding employment.
If you agree that Congress needs to act, the NRA is asking that you contact your Congressional representative immediately.
Per Capita Spending In Restaurants Grows
The National Restaurant Association released figures recently showing that the per capita spending in restaurants averaged $1071 in 2012, more than 2% higher than the last time the survey was released. While 90% of Americans say they enjoy dining out, experiences vary widely due to several factors. The primary driver is income. Those earning $70,000 or more a year account for half of restaurant spending. Another driver is family size and age. While larger families do go out, smaller families spend more when measured against their total food bill. Having young children proves to be a damper on dining out, but where you live plays a role as well. For example, families in Miami tend to dine out less frequently than those in Washington, D.C. For more details, see: http://www.restaurant.org/new-research/research.
Importance Of Music In Restaurants
Music or no music? That is the question. In most younger restaurants, music plays a vital role in helping to set a mood, the Nation’s Restaurant News reports. With a plethora of online and digital music sources available, restaurants have a wide variety of choices that can be tailored to the place and even time of day. In one eatery, for example, music is meant to offer a sense of familiar comfort. In more edgy eateries, wait staff sometimes can hook up their iPhones to shares their own favorites with customers. From acoustics to volume, the delivery of music to the dining experience is becoming a real science.