The Restaurant Group Blog

Chain Restaurant Growth Report 2016

Restaurant Growth Report 2016

Despite this wildly contentious election, the state of our nation has been improving and continues to do so. The economy is steadily growing, unemployment is down, and banks are loaning again, but eight years out of The Great Recession where are we in the terms of the restaurant growth?

As the capital has once again begun to flow, people are opening restaurants, purchasing franchises, and frequenting establishments now more than ever in the last ten years.

But where are they choosing to put their money, and where are they choosing to spend their money?

The top 10 of the Top 100 Chains are a safe bet, housing the brands we are all familiar with – McDonald’s, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, and Chick-Fil-A.

These are sales powerhouses and show no sign of slowing down anytime soon. McDonald’s takes the number one slot by a landslide with $35.8 BILLION in sales, while number two, Starbucks clocks in with a comparatively meager $15.6 billion. 

But what’s changing? What discernable shifts are taking place, opening up room in the top ten for formerly second-rate money makers? As restaurant consultants, this is what we’re most interested in. For one, with Domino’s surpassing Applebee’s, 2016 marks the first year no casual dining chain was included in the top 10 highest grossing brands. It’s not that Applebees’ had a bad year, it’s more accurate to say that Domino’s had a great year.

Let’s take a look at what this means for the restaurant business…

For years the public had to choose between speed of service and quality of food. That’s no longer the case with limited service restaurants like Chipotle, Panera, B. Good, and Sweet Greens surging ahead. WIth these options you’re no longer confined to either a lackluster hamburger via drivethru window or 45 minute sit down meal.

This is related to a familiar sentiment you’ve seen echoed on our blog before; quality. Consumers are craving simple, honest ingredients with thoughtful preparations, and they’re willing to pay for it. As a nation we’ve become more focused on what we’re putting into our bodies and where exactly that produce, poultry, meat, or fish is coming from. This has been the driving force behind quality focused food in an expedited time frame.

Consumers aren’t ready to give up their McDonald’s, Burger King, and Taco Bell just yet, as evidenced by their presence in the top 10 highest grossing chains. These are established brands where consumers will find a very expected product and service. Your quarter pounder isn’t going to taste much different state to state and nor will the time frame in which you wait, or your general dining experience differ all too much. However, we are seeing tremendous growth is in lesser known brands such as Jersey Mike’s Subs, Chick-Fil-A, and Wingstop. 

2017 will usher in continued growth in the brands and establishments that are serving tasty and healthful food in an expedited setting. We’ll see more growth in the chicken sector, and continued shift away from casual-dining establishments in favor of limited service restaurants or independently chef-owned restaurants.

Looking for a more fine-tuned analysis? Contact us here at TRG Consulting for a free quote, and stay tuned to our blog for all things restaurant industry related.

Panera, Chipotle and Starbucks Investment in Customer Demand

With new technology and capabilities being released on a daily basis, the consumer’s demand for the next new and exciting product or service is higher than ever. There is no exception when it comes to restaurants either. The top contenders in the restaurant industry have to stay on their toes and be ready to implement changes into their menus, services, etc. at a moment’s notice. Here are some innovative approaches and services from industry leaders that are changing the restaurant game:

The State of the Craft Beer Industry’s Growth

Craft Beer Industry
Photo by Jono Haysom

Craft Beer History

Brewing craft beer has been a long-held tradition for centuries throughout European history, but breweries slowly crept over to the States as people migrated west. Because of prohibition and other various factors, craft beer breweries have trickled in and out of America over the past few decades, but in recent years the craft beer movement has expanded its reach in America and today’s breweries appear to be here to stay.

Online Marketing for Restaurants “do’s and don’ts”

Restaurant Marketing

Currently, the top marketing trend for restaurateurs involves the use of social media sites. Facebook of course heads the list of the top most popular and successful sites to advertise on.

However, Google+ and Twitter have become equally as important. The key to making these sites work for you is in making a commitment to maintain and follow up with key information on a daily basis; otherwise like any other tool when not utilized properly results will be unstable at best. While many business owners see this as just another chore, having a successful Facebook presence can increase revenue as well as your customer base. If done right, using social media for marketing can be easy and profitable.

Training Tips: Converting New Customers into Regulars

How to Turn First-time Customers Into Regulars

Restaurant Training

Regulars are the life-blood of most businesses, and they all started with a first visit.  How do you know it’s a first visit? The welcoming statement should gather information so you can tailor the service and make the visit special. This can be done quickly and easily with two questions:

Weekly Restaurant Planning Guide

Restaurant PlanTaking Small Steps to Achieve Larger Goals

A well-organized weekly plan can truly make the difference between a growing profitable establishment and a drifting restaurant. Whether you are running a small “mom & pop restaurant”, a high volume casual restaurant, a theme restaurant, a fine dining restaurant, any food service venue or bar, the fact is the same… You must be organized and have measurable systems in place to be successful. Another truth is, “It doesn’t happen overnight”. In order to reach those long term goals, restaurant owners and operators should focus on likeminded and beneficial short term goals.

How to Increase Restaurant Profitability

Increase your Restaurant's Profits

Increase your Restaurant’s Profits

There are several steps involved in increasing your restaurant’s profit margins.

First you need to evaluate your business, or have a non-biased professional conduct an in-depth operational analysis.  An operational analysis will identify any areas that need improvement and a plan of action will be delivered to you as a guide on how to implement the new procedures.

In most cases, several minor changes in your daily operations can have a significant positive impact on your overall profitability and your way of life.

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