Forecasting in the Restaurant Industry, How Are Restaurants Keeping Up?

Forecasting is being used across the nation in order to find out what new foods and technologies are going to be used within the restaurant industry.  Since we are so attached to our technology, trends have changed drastically.

The reports are showing that about half of the consumers interested in eating out are looking at menus online in order to see if the restaurant is up to their standards.  Thus, making it possibly harder for restaurants to bring in new customers if their menu is not up to par.  This is especially important because ‘”the typical American palate is now much more sophisticated than 10 to 20 years ago.”’

Because of this forecasting in restaurants is now not only for how many customers are coming in, but the newest trends in food.  And restaurants are having some difficulties getting customers to come and sit down at their establishment because about seventy percent is now coming from take out and food trucks out of convenience.  Since seventy percent of the industry’s traffic is coming from off site many restaurants and food vendors have conformed to using food trucks that drive around neighborhood to neighborhood. However, the city of Chicago passed an ordinance that does not allow food to be prepared on the actual trucks.  This means that the vendors would either need a physical restaurant or at least access to a certified kitchen.  Due to this ordinance these vendors will have to either invest more money to continue or get out of the food truck industry.

In order to keep up with these constant changes in the restaurant industry technology is being more relied upon in the actual establishments to encourage guests to come sit down and eat.  For example, at a Chili’s restaurant you will find a tablet on the table where you can play games, watch move previews, and pay your bill.  However, it is being said that more restaurants will participate by having iPads, in which, you can look at the menu and see more detailed pictures and descriptions of the menu items.

Along with all of these trends, many consumers are now more conscious than ever about where there food actually comes from.  People are looking for sustainability especially in large cities where there are many neighborhoods that are considered food deserts.  Restaurants are recognizing this and most of the newly opened establishments really take pride in offering sustainable food that has come directly from local farms.  And other restaurants are changing their menus in order to be friendlier to locally grown ingredients.

Do you typically go out to eat at an actual restaurant or do you find yourself getting take out?

How do you feel about restaurants using more sustainably grown ingredients?

Would you rather go to a restaurant that uses technology such as iPads or tablets for the tables or just a simple mom and pop’s?

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