Understanding the consumer tastes and industry trends is key to restaurant success in 2020 and beyond!

Do you understand your customer's needs? Do you know their eating habits or are you trying to offer them what you think is best for them?

The world is changing rapidly, and so are your customers’ eating habits. Eating out or ordering-in is not an escape from cooking any more. It has become a lifestyle.

Demarcation of Consumer Demographics

Digitization has definitely led to a tremendous increase in the number of orders that restaurants and third-party aggregators receive on a daily basis. The numbers are quite impressive and there’s no doubt about it.

But then there are some restaurants that are still not able to reap the benefits of digital ordering despite of being in the digital space for long. The reasons could be many, but one of the many reasons is the inability to change with the changing times, especially in the menu department.

Recipes that may have worked for the boomers, may not sound appetizing to generation Z. Millennials and Gen Zers are health conscious. They understand their bodies ' needs and they are well aware of their options. They are constantly looking out for food that goes well with their requirements.

Heading into the New Year, Bharti Batra, the founder of Restolabs, a leading online food ordering system for restaurants, advises restaurants operators to focus their efforts on

understanding what their consumers are looking for when they order food from their restaurants or visit the same to dine-in.

“In recent years, the restaurant industry has become a complex space. There is clear segregation in consumer interests: on one side you can find a group of people who are willing to pay a premium price for organic, healthy and exotic dishes, and on the other hand, there are consumers seeking value for their purchase”, she adds.

A platter of Hummus and Pita for $10 could be a great deal for a diet-conscious person, but a food enthusiast would be looking at a Double Cheese Decker Burger for the same amount.

Restaurant menu reflects the restaurant strategies and target demographic. Whether you run a luxury diner, a QSR or a Food Truck, updating the menu on a regular basis is vital for survival in today’s fast-changing world. Apart from this, having exact pictures of the dishes and key ingredients mentioned in the description are a few requisites of success in the current market.

Analytics Reports can help gauge the effectiveness of dishes by cost and sales. If the numbers are low, it’s time to replace them with innovative dishes that satisfy the taste buds, as well as help keep the gut happy and healthy.

Solution: The New Wave of Digitization

While it’s easy to introduce new dishes, updating the physical menu may not be as economical for restaurants, especially the smaller establishments. This is where online ordering websites/apps come into the picture. The flexibility that this entire ecosystem provides to restaurants is splendid.

Online ordering menus eliminate the need to design and reprint menus whenever you want to make changes to it to match your customers’ wants. You can easily make changes in real-time. More restaurants are now starting to enjoy the benefits of a digital restaurant menu. They are flexible, customizable and offer opportunities to upsell.

Robust online ordering systems like Restolabs not only allow you to update information with the click of a button but also enable restaurants to upsell the most profitable menu items without being pushy.

“Customers prefer making their own choices when placing an order instead of having someone tell them what to buy. Having an efficient search system coupled with a well-segregated menu will help boost the individual check value”, adds Bharti.

The Conclusion

The millennial trends have been changing every now and then. This is the generation that’s more exposed and aware of its expectations from particular businesses. Quick delivery, free delivery, enticing packaging, fresh food, and real-time tracking are some of the new consumer demand. Restaurants are constantly adapting and innovating to meet these expectations.

On the other hand, food chains are using concepts like fresh, organic and healthy to capture the growing trend and attract customers. When strategically executed, changing the menu as per the changing demands of the consumers can revitalize your business, optimize its selling power, as well as persuade customers to reorder.

An in-depth study of the insights through various digital channels is a great way to understand which dishes are bringing good sales for you, and the key to success is having the ability to quickly change the menu as per the acquired data. Once you’ve nailed down these aspects of online ordering, you’ll be able to reap the benefits from your investment.

Writer | Digital Marketer | Entrepreneur. Good food and a Good Book keep me sane!