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Beverage Trends 2017: Coffee

Beverage Trends – Coffee

Beverage Trends Coffee

Are You Offering Fresh Coffee?

Is your drink menu full of only standard options and written in at the bottom of your menu corner? If so, you may want to consider adding in coffee, or a few coffee options, to join the growing market of restaurants that feature coffee as an all-day option and has a growing customer base of people stopping in to get a drink and a snack or to do some work at your tables.

A sort of Starbucks phenomenon is taking place in a wide variety of restaurants. Consumers aren’t always looking for a full sit-down meal or even a meal through the drive-thru window. A lot of the time, especially if your restaurant offers free Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi with purchase, what customers really want as a place to sit down with or swing by for a hot coffee, a cold coffee, or any sort of the numerous customizable drinks that have become increasingly popular. While coffee is still predominantly associated with breakfast and business offices, it is increasingly a universal drink  that can draw in a crowd — especially if you offer novelty, convenience, or both. Customers are looking for hot coffee for their commute, a cold drink for the afternoon, or sometimes even a late-night pick-me-up for when office hours or studying stretch out. Being the local restaurant or the reliable franchise that offers what your customers are looking for consistently can go a long way to not only retaining customer loyalty but bringing in customers looking for a snack or a quick meal, too.

It used to be that drinks accompany a meal. But with new trends, new consumer behavior, and increasing numbers of people working on the go, it’s turning out that everything else may be accompanying the drink. If you are looking to expand or want to further capitalize on this market of busy coffee drinkers, our consultants at TRG can help you devise new business strategies, start an operational analysis, and see where your business can grow now and in the future. Please contact us at TRG Restaurant Consulting if you have any questions or want to talk to a consultant.

2016 Beverage Trend Review

2016 beverage trends

We’re crazy about all things restaurants here at TRG. Forecasting trends, real time analysis, and review and reporting are our bread and butter as restaurant consultants. With the end of 2016 fast approaching, it’s time to take a look at some of the biggest 2016 beverage trends. No surprise, locally sourced ingredients tops the list (as we’re sure they will continue to), while thoughtfully composed mocktails have been a hit, and renewed fanaticism in Tiki has been a win on both sides of the bar. Read on to check out our full list of 2016 Beverage trends.

 

2016 beverage trends artisanal cocktails

Local and Artisanal Ingredients

The beverage world of 2016 has seen a continued move away from complicated ingredients, preparations, and presentations. Master mixologists with their overdone drinks are out, while fresh, simple, and local ingredients are in. Aside from local breweries and wineries, the likes of small batch tonic, ginger beer, and liqueurs have now made it to the big stage, and we couldn’t be happier about it.

 

2016 beverage trends cocktails

Mocktails

Long gone are the days of virgin daiquiris and margaritas as the only non-alcoholic cocktails options. Mocktails today are being crafted with equal attention to detail and composition as their boozy counterparts, utilizing savory elements such as herbs, as well as more premium ingredients like non-alcoholic falernum.

 

2016 beverage trends tiki cocktails

Tiki

Perhaps in attempt to pay homage to the cocktail kings and queens who paved the way,  bartenders today have gone tiki-crazy. A quick glance at the high end cocktail bars of San Francisco, Chicago, New York, and Boston show rifts on tiki-classics from the likes of Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic. With approachable flavors and ingredients, historical relevance, and eye catching presentations, Tiki drinks are a beverage trend here to stay.

 

2016 beverage trends OAC rum

Rum

Forget the spiced Captain Morgan handle you used to swig in college and make room for the new era of rums. A neutral spirit capable of many forms and expressions, today’s rums are on a broad spectrum with everything from Jamaican rum to Demerara rum and  AOC-protected rhum agricole. Complex and versatile, the past year has seen this once-forgotten spirit back in action.

 

2016 beverage trends draft cocktail

Draft Cocktails

Imagine being able to turn out a whole sleuth of good drinks – fast. Welcome to the world of Draft Cocktails. Bartenders prep and batch drinks prior to service so that a pull on the draft handle is all you need for a perfected composted cocktail. The advantages here are many, speed and efficiency topping the list, but be sure to keep an eye on things like proper scaling, dilution, and clean tap lines.

 

2016 beverage trends lower abv drinks

Lower ABV Drinks

Two martini lunches a la Don Draper are a thing of the past. Guests now are happy to enjoy sake, sherry, vermouth, and wine based cocktails and still be able to drive home. These are great bridges for non-cocktail drinkers, and a valuable tool for restaurants without a full alcohol license.

Menu Development – Increase Your Restaurant Revenue

Increase Your Restaurant Revenue During Off-peak Hours  Menu Development

Snacking is not just for in-between meals – Menu development for the next generation

 

Over the past decade, eating habits are shifting in response to a shift in the American culture and lifestyle. In 2014, Bloomberg did a study that indicated people are spending almost as much money dining out than eating at home. The possibilities for increasing profits may lie in the way people are eating today. The demand for quick, healthy snacks are on the rise among people who like to eat a few small meals a day.

 

Changing Menu Preferences

The Technomic 2016 Snacking Occasions Consumer Trend Report highlights the importance of snacking and reveals some opportunities for restaurants to increase market share in this space by capitalizing on the trends. The report indicates that 60 percent of consumers snack at least twice a day and 37 percent would like more restaurants to offer mini-sandwiches that they can eat as a snack or light meal. These trends had double-digit increases and suggest that restaurants may need to revise their menu development.

Some of the key takeaways of the report are diners want healthy snacks in place of, or to go with full course meals. The trend has rapidly changed as 40 percent of consumers are eating healthier foods between meals, more than they did just two years ago. According to the 37 percent of respondents, if bundled mix-and-match snacks were available, they would order them. These diners are not looking for a typical meal. Proper menu development is critical in this aspect because studies show that 49 percent prefer snacks that are different from breakfast, lunch and dinner fare. 

 

A Transforming Culture And Demographic

Having to conform to a hectic lifestyle, dual income parents and single parents are eating outside of the home at least once a week. Additionally, many parents want to provide healthy snacks for their children in between meals. However, the real “snackies” are the millennials. There are three defining characteristics about this group. They are budget conscious, they want healthy food and eat a few small meals a day and they prefer to eat at off-peak times. As their purchasing power increases, restaurants will have to rethink their menu development in order to capture their business.

In the Technomic 2016 Snacking Occasions Consumer Trend Report, some of the responses by millennials were not that surprising. If available, 44 percent of millennials would order snack delivery from restaurants. Additionally, 54 percent of this group prefer unique flavors and pairings in their healthy snacks.

 

Where The Opportunities Lie

The report also generated some interesting information that has the potential to drive more revenue and increase market share in the snack category. A restaurant consultant can help you with your menu development to capture these missed opportunities.

While 56 percent of snack purchases are planned, 44 percent of people attribute their snacking to an impulse buy. Restaurant consultants can help catch that impulsive buyer with better placement and creative menu design. Leveraging the restaurant consultant’s knowledge can also help restaurateurs take their share of the snack market. With statistics that demonstrate consumer snack buying behavior favoring 77 percent of snack purchases at retail locations and only 23 percent bought snacks at restaurants there is room for growth. Work with a restaurant consultant to develop an atmosphere that grabs some of the 72 percent of people eating their snacks at home.

Learn more about how menu development can help transform your snack business on our TRG consulting service pages.

Resources:

2016 Snacking Occasions Consumer Trend Report [Technomic]

Americans spending on dining out just overtook grocery sales

Food Waste: Problem to profit through menu design

Menu Design

There are plenty of studies that will tell you that anywhere between 30 and 40 percent of the overall food supply in the U.S. ends up in landfills. According to a 2014 study, restaurant sector respondents reported approximately 84 percent of food waste was literally thrown away.

The impact on profit

The report estimates that almost 16 percent of all food waste is generated by the restaurant industry. On average, survey respondents generated 33 pounds of food waste per thousand dollars of company revenue. When you put that into dollars and cents, it adds up to a great deal of lost profit.

The restaurant industry is highly competitive and remaining profitable is the key to existence in this overcrowded marketplace. Food waste can be one of the largest hits to your bottom-line so menu design is an important consideration in determining how much food waste your business will generate.

Investigating the sources of waste

If your business is losing a considerable amount of revenue due to food waste, a restaurant consultant can offer insight into your main problem areas and help you close the gap on profit and loss. They can assist you in improving efficiency and reducing waste in areas such as purchasing, product handling, preparation and storage. Additionally, your production and services areas should be factored in as well.

Restaurant consultants recommend breaking up food waste into two categories, you will be able to see the full picture of where your food waste lies. First, consider the food you waste before it is served to the customer and secondly, consider the food that is left after consumption.

Before consumption waste

If you are wasting food before it gets to the customer, there are several matters you need to investigate. The first one is, are you purchasing too much? You are not saving money buying in bulk if you throw away products that have expired or gone bad. Begin by monitoring the items you are throwing away. Review your invoices and orders and define what you are buying too much of and analyze the vendors you are using.

Another possibility could be the way you are storing your food. Monitor your storage areas by going through your inventory and figuring out the best way for all food to stay fresh and unspoiled. Moreover, examine your food preparation methods and set up. If your prep station is not set up effectively you may be throwing food out due to prep errors.

After consumption waste

Auditing your post-consumption waste can tell you a great deal as well. For example, are people eating the whole portion? If not, reducing the plating size is an obvious choice. Also, things to take into consideration is food presentation including the wasted cardboard, styrofoam and plastic that is being used. This waste also needs to be managed to improve your profitability.

Menu design

After you have assessed your waste, you should reassess your menu design. A restaurant consultant can guide you through the process based on your waste assessment. If you need to either recreate your menu or business model from scratch or make tweaks to it, having a professional direct the process can end up increasing your profitability.

Whether you are a fast casual or full-service restaurant, changing up your menu is the key opportunity to minimize food waste. Deciding what you are serving, storing, preparing and packaging will impact your bottom line and your food waste carbon footprint.

The key to ending food waste is to reduce, reuse and recycle! Learn more about how menu design can help your restaurant reduce food waste on our TRG consulting service pages.

2016 Restaurant Menu Trends

 2016 Restaurant Menu Trends

2016 Restaurant Menu Trends

The restaurant industry is constantly changing. In the competitive world of food service, it’s important to stay well ahead of the year’s industry trends. Menu design for sustainability, interesting new flavors, and convenience are becoming more important to your customers this year. In order to help you stay on trend, we’re bringing you the top 10 restaurant trends for 2016.

 

Locally Sourced Meat and Seafood

Your customers are becoming more and more concerned about where their food comes from. Not only do they want the freshest ingredients, they also want to lower their impact on the environment by making the best choices when it comes to food.

 

Hyper-Local Food

In addition to local meats, customers want to see more local produce on the menu. For many diners, the closer the better when it comes to fruits and vegetables.

 

Fast Casual

Busy diners are flocking to fast casual restaurants, but speed isn’t their only concern. These customers want quality as well as speed, making chef-driven fast casual restaurants a major contender in the foodservice industry for 2016.

 

Convenience

Services such as Amazon and Uber are paving the way for convenience for today’s consumers. Restaurants should tap into this trend by making their food as easy as buying a new book on Amazon or catching a ride with Uber.

 

Clean Menus

Health concerns may cause diners to cook at home rather than dine out, but if your restaurant offers plenty of healthy options you can keep customers coming through the door. A well designed menu can keep your customers coming back for more great, healthy options.

 

Healthier Kids Options

Typical kids’ menus may offer items such as chicken nuggets or macaroni and cheese for picky eaters, but parents are starting to expect more creative and healthier options for their children. This year, you need to think out of the box when it comes to feeding younger guests.

 

Sustainability

Along with locally sourced food, diners want to know that their dinner comes from sustainable sources, especially when it comes to seafood. A well designed menu featuring locally sourced meat, seafood, and produce will attract diners looking to enjoy a great, ethical meal.

 

Spice It Up

Customers aren’t just looking for restaurants to turn up the heat, they are also craving more variety in seasonings and flavors. Fusion options are a great way to add new flavors to your current menu while staying true to your restaurant’s vision.

 

Comfort Foods

Although your customers may be looking for more healthy options in 2016, they also want a good opportunity to indulge in their favorite comfort foods like southern fried chicken and artisan ice cream pairings. A well balanced menu will allow diners to get the best of both worlds, offering comfort food indulgences and healthier options.

 

Food Trucks

Diners are flocking to food trucks that offer convenience and new twists on old classics such as fusion tacos and dessert sandwiches. These roaming restaurants are a great way to extend your business by offering your most popular dishes at events and near office buildings during lunchtime.

 

Staying current with new restaurant trends is essential to competing in the foodservice industry. If you’re ready to jump on one of these trends or take a new direction with your restaurant, contact TRG Restaurant Consulting. Our experienced consultants can help you design the best menu to keep your diners coming back for more.

How Restaurants Can Stay Relevant

Restaurant Consultants

Food service is unarguably one of the most challenging industries for a business owner. With heavy competition and high failure rates, it’s important for your business to stay relevant if you want to succeed; however, due to the changing nature of the industry, staying relevant today is not the same as it was when you opened your restaurant doors. Menu design, marketing, and decor seem to change from year to year with new trends and technology. To help you stay on top of your market, we’ve compiled a list of ways you can keep your restaurant growing this year.

 

Give Them What They Want

One challenge restaurants face today is matching their operation to what their guests want. This can be a problem of space, funding, or permits. For example, if customers are looking for an establishment with healthy and indulgent options, but you’ve always touted your healthy and sustainable menu design, that’s a challenge you have to evaluate. Serving up an appetizer that seems indulgent but is still healthy and sustainable is a great way to face your challenge without changing your restaurant’s vision.

 

Listen to Their Feedback

In many ways, new technology is completely changing the way your business runs. Inventory tracking, billing, and ordering become easier with programs designed to take the counting and tracking out of your hands. With the expansion of social media, technology is also making it much easier for you to really know what your customers think of your business. Although some restaurant owners may be dismayed by public reviews on Yelp and Facebook, this is actually a great opportunity to make the changes you need to stay relevant and engage with your diners even when they aren’t inside your restaurant. Take every piece of feedback you get to heart and make the changes they want to see. Respond to all of your reviews, good and bad, to show your diners you appreciate their business and can’t wait to see them again.

 

Know Your Diners

There are plenty of new and exciting things happening in the restaurant industry every year. Many owners jump on these new trends as soon as they can, but it is important to take a second to think about your diners. For example, bacon infusions were extremely popular during 2015. Many establishments very easily added more bacon to their menu, fulfilling a need for their clients. However, if your restaurant is close to a kosher community and you add bacon to all of your dishes, you’ve alienated many of your best customers. Also, even though extremely sustainable meats and vegetables are extremely popular this year, if your diners come to you for great food at a reasonable price, you may have to raise your prices too much for your loyal customers. It’s important to think about your demographic before you change your menu design around new trends.

 

Staying on top of new food industry trends is important for all restaurants, no matter how established they are. If you want to stay relevant by giving your customers what they want and listening to their feedback, a restaurant consulting service is a great way to ensure you implement changes easily and without alienating your favorite customers. Contact TRG Restaurant Consultants for a free consultation.

Cracking the Millennial Code for Restaurants

Cracking the Millennial Code for Restaurants

In any case even the savviest of authorities strives to identify what the deciding factors are that influence Millennials and where they choose to spend their dollars when they go out.

Millennials are an essential demographic; standing 90+ million strong, its the largest demographic accessible, by far.

The study of “Millennials” is focused around how purchasers ages 18-30 buy, perceive and choose (much the same as those in diverse demographics). In any case the study shows very different patterns about Millennial expending behavior. Cracking the Millennial buyer code is no easy task, but restaurant executives are willing to invest in the benefits.

5 Tips To Lower Your Restaurant Food and Beverage Costs

Food and Beverage CostsThis is one of the most frequently asked questions from restaurant owners and operators;

“How can I lower my food and beverage costs?”

In this article we will provide 5 effective steps you can take towards lowering your food and beverage costs. This outline encompasses the basic steps needed to get you on the right path to a more profitable business.  You will also find we have provided a very useful Menu Analysis Template to your use. You may download it for free in section 5 below.

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