Trends in the food service industry are driven by the four “Cs” — cost, convenience, consumers, and competitors. From corner stores to supermarkets and restaurants, consumers in 2017 are seeking high-quality, ecofriendly food options that support a healthy lifestyle without breaking their budgets. In order to keep up and keep customers satisfied, food service operators may need to update equipment such as their POS systems, commercial refrigerators, or cooking equipment. Stay in the know about these four trends that have been shaping food service in 2017.
1. Menu Transparency
Whether you manage a grocery store, restaurant, or hotel food service, consumers want details and transparency when it comes to their food. They’ll have questions about where the food is sourced and how it’s prepared. If it contains antibiotics, nitrates, hormones, gluten, or artificial ingredients, and how many calories the meal entails, customers want to know it all. Ensure that staff, menus, and signage are accurate and knowledgeable, and shy away from making false claims as they can be life threatening to some of your guests.
2. Green Methods and Equipment
2017 consumers have demonstrated an increased pursuit for environment-friendly companies that minimize energy use, reduce waste, and provide food that’s healthy for consumers and the planet alike. Seek out equipment with electronic motors and temperature controls to ensure you’re not wasting energy. Switching to LED and motion-sensor lighting also conserves energy while still displaying food choices in an attractive manner.
3. Consumer-Facing Technology
The desire for convenient food options has resulted in a growing number of micro-markets, unattended locations, and consumer-facing technologies. People want to order, pay, and pick up their goods quickly with little interaction with others. Mobile ordering systems, kiosks, and tablets are lowering operational costs while accommodating a greater number of customers.
4. The Power of Social Media
The new generation of food service customers have grown up with instant answers, opinions, and experiences at their fingertips thanks to technology. All it takes is a quick search to get instant access to reviews of your company, and a few bad reviews can plummet your sales. Be proactive by addressing and resolving bad reviews. This lets the public know that you hear them, allowing you to shape their perception and attitude towards your company. Build an active and positive social media presence.
5. Stay Responsive to Market Demands
Not every food service industry trend will work for your specific business needs. Operators need to balance the cost of implementing new equipment and technology to the long-term investment of enhancing the customer experience. Approach trend adoption as a developed strategy, and you’ll find solutions that keep you relevant and engaged with evolving market demands.
Imbera Foodservice has a complete line of commercial refrigerators designed to meet the needs of supermarkets, micro-markets, and other foodservice locations. While some industry trends may fade out with time, you can never go wrong with high-quality, eco-friendly commercial refrigeration units. Contact us today, and we’ll match you to the equipment that best fits your needs.