If you’re interested in getting into the restaurant business, it’s a good idea to keep track of how dining habits and trends are changing. The hottest flavors and fads of last year are slowly being moved out of menus as newer and more exotic flavors are needed to get diners in the door. However, the restaurant industry is changing in many other ways besides flavors, ingredients and marinades, and you’ll need to keep on top of all of these changes to make sure that you’re selecting and operating your franchise correctly. These are some of the big changes in the industry for 2015.
More Technology at Restaurants
As the average diner is becoming more tech savvy, restaurants are being forced to keep pace. The average consumer now expects every transaction to be as simple and convenient as when he is buying something on the Internet, and this raises service expectations for everyone in the industry. Some companies are trying to compete by offering more digital and online customization.
For example, virtually all of the leading pizza franchises now have sophisticated online ordering systems that let customers choose from different crusts, level of doneness, toppings, and even how much of the toppings are placed on the pizza. They were the first type of restaurant to have to adapt this way, but they will not be the last. The franchises that are on the forefront of this technology integration will be the first to profit, too.
Fast Casual Gets Fancy
Every year, the fast casual industry continues to grow in America, and more and more consumers are choosing to get their lunch and dinners in places like Chipotle, Panera Bread, Five Guys and Shake Shack. Fast food restaurants are still very profitable in most places, but the industry is clearly moving elsewhere. Due to the great work and marketing of some of the leading franchises, fast casual restaurants are thought to offer fresher, healthier and better prepared food than fast food establishments. They continue to be great options for investment.
New Flavors This Year
Bacon and sriracha have been huge, but it seems like the public is already getting over these flavors. Where will the next big fads come from? It is hard to predict. Some people believe nduja and chili-infused honey will be the next big things, but no one knows for sure. Even trendy items like kale and frozen yogurt are declining in popularity as people are looking for something different and unique for their next dinner and dessert.
If you’re looking for a restaurant franchise, you should also take a look at how they update and expand their menus. Though there are some places that serve the classics that will never go away — think pizza, burgers and tacos. You may also be interested in the franchises that are constantly reinventing and incorporating the year’s biggest and buzziest flavors. When a big franchise gets media coverage for its exciting new menu items and flavors, it means big business for franchisees across the country.