The COVID-19 pandemic put many restaurants in a tough position: Adapt operations to support new technology, or face the threat of closing their doors forever. Rapid evolution is nothing new for the restaurant industry, but modernizing operations through technology has become essential to staying competitive. 

Keeping up with trends and finding competitive advantages are indispensable strategies to boost profits in the restaurant industry. With that, here are some restaurant trends that can help drive your bottom line.

  1. Differentiate your restaurant with digital dining and modern convenience.

Customer preferences and demands shifted dramatically during the pandemic. Many diners traded the traditional dine-in experience for digital ordering and delivery. Food delivery apps are now a regular part of daily life for diners, making delivery-only restaurants a viable trend in 2022 and beyond.

Delivery and curbside pickup were previous luxuries that now come standard to make dining more convenient for customers during lockdowns. These remote dining trends won’t be disappearing any time soon, and businesses must find new ways to optimize these processes alongside their regular dining operations as establishments reopen for dine-in. 

Restaurants should continue observing what their competitors are doing to find the best ways to creatively evolve in their area. This may include incorporating more digital conveniences into dining in—like bringing a credit card reader to the table—or supporting more events through live music or local community-building opportunities

  1. Benchmark your KPIs against the competition.

Reviewing nearby restaurants can help you find new ways to stand out while also helping you to benchmark your progress. 

Look at other restaurants and examine what unique niche or role you fill for area diners. Are you the affordable option? Do you offer the best entertainment or bring new people to the neighborhood? Are you active on social media? How does the experience customers have at your restaurant stack up to others nearby based on online ratings?

Once you’ve looked at your local data, zoom out your perspective to explore how your restaurant looks compared to similar ones across the country. Reviewing national restaurant benchmarking statistics helps your business effectively set new goals and KPIs to target. By baselining your goals against national statistics, understanding where your business ranks, and taking regional trends into account, you can create a pathway for growth with clear indications of success. 

  1. Forecast future success.

After such an unpredictable period for restaurants, now is the time to prioritize forecasting. Benchmarking can help your team define goals and objectives both for the short term and the long term. As you define your KPIs, ask yourself: How can you consistently make your restaurant better? Answering this question clarifies your strategic vision and guides your development. 

To get a more accurate picture of the future, look at real estate projections in your area and development projects to understand how the region will evolve. A more environmentally conscious or affluent clientele may be moving in, and you’ll want to be ready to shift your buying patterns to meet new customer demands. 

  1. Track revenue and spending over time.

The restaurant business is a number’s game—maintaining consistent revenue and spending is a must to stay in business. Technology plays an important role in helping companies keep expenses aligned with goals and KPIs. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies struggled to meet revenue goals and had to spend more money to meet new digital operations needs and heightened safety measures. Now, as revenues rise, businesses must spend wisely on the advancements that will have the most impact on improving customer experience. Analytics can help businesses see which spending activities will provide the highest ROI.

  1. Leverage your data for growth.

Analytics offers far more than financial information. Reviewing your data can provide key insights into what meals people are ordering, when they’re visiting, and what’s drawing them into your restaurant. With this information, you can easily shift your buying patterns or event schedules to accommodate your customer preferences. 

Data also offers insight into how to save money in the future. Benchmarking your business is difficult without visibility into your data, but with that information, you can discover new ways to support revenue-driving activities and reduce expenses. Plus, data can even empower your hiring decisions, making it easy to see the impact your staff makes on their shifts and where you need to find new like-minded employees. 

How Technology Helps Your Restaurant Adapt to Trends

Your business is gathering valuable data all the time—in fact, the average business has 100x more data now than in 2000. But without the right tools to analyze that data, you’re left guessing what improvements to make in your business. A modern, intuitive, and growth-oriented franchise and business technology solution offers the visibility you need to strengthen business performance and make decisions with confidence. 

Turnkey reports, forecasting tools, and business ranking capabilities support informed budget planning. With a detailed budget, you can make the changes you need to bring in new customers without breaking the bank. Plus, when paired with a top-notch Human Capital Management (HCM) platform, you can bring your benchmarking capabilities to the next level, manage complex payroll requirements, and increase overall profitability.

Enhanced analytics capabilities are more than just a trend in the restaurant industry. For many businesses, these tools empower teams to make better decisions, gain transparency into business operations, and jump on the trends that deliver high ROI. 

ProfitKeeper by PrimePay is here to support you

The process of collecting and analyzing data does not have to be manual. With ProfitKeeper by PrimePay, you can take advantage of cloud-based software to automate financial tasks that help increase profits. Our Restaurant Analytics Bundle gives you the accounting insight you need to increase your restaurant’s profitability year after year. 

Imagine a service that not only does the work for you but ensures the data is accurate and useful: That’s ProfitKeeper by PrimePay. Click here to learn more.

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