Ok, we get it. Restaurants got clocked this year. No one escaped the ‘non-essential’ tag and everyone paid a price. However, amidst all this, we saw a resilience from some, a certain toughness forged from necessity but leaning towards innovation. And to those select few went the spoils. Seeing those power-pivots, those new ideas, we decided to ask consumers across the country about some of the things we think are making a difference. After all, we’ve been working with restaurants on design, operations, and scale for a long time, so we’re obliged to know.
From One, Many
That’s right. The opposite of our national motto, e pluribus unum, because, in this instance, consumers are telling us that what used to be called a “restaurant” is no longer. That simple term, “restaurant” (definition: a place where people pay to sit and eat meals prepared on the premises), has shifted meaning in the minds of this century’s ultra-spoiled, grew-up-onridiculous-convenience food consumer. They want their food delivered to them, they want to pick it up on the way home, AND, lo and behold, they still occasionally want a great sit-down experience. Wow. This says one thing to us:
Not one, but many different formats. Instead of a single cookie-cutter model that is stamped out across the tundra, the consumer is ok with completely dark kitchens for pick up and delivery only. Which is cool, because of lower real estate and labor costs.
But some things never change, which means that experience still matters. A GREAT experience, that is.
To use an ancient expression from the rock n roll 80’s, bottom line, they want it all. Which, given other currently successful models like Amazon, Alibaba and Walmart, makes a whole lotta sense (70’s too). From what we can tell, the old restaurant platform has now turned itself upside down in order to rise back up and become successful again and to meet the customer on their own mental turf. Here’s your new playbook; you now must be all of these things to all of the people all of the time:
Lots to do, right? But as the great Anthony Bourdain once said, “if anything is good for pounding humility into you, it’s the restaurant business” – here here. And here’s to the new consumer – may you visit us frequently, any way you’d like.
For additional information please contact Mark Bateman at firstname.lastname@example.org