When it comes to the corporate restaurant landscape, there are some big changes coming. Two pieces of news portend major shifts in the way that consumers are interacting with their food and beverage industry.
First, news recently broke that over a hundred Applebee's locations across the nation will
soon be closing after a 6.2% dip in same store sales. Applebee's brand president John Cywinski characterized the closures as house cleaning.
At the same time, fellow casual restaurant chain Chili's has laid out plans to reduce the number of items offered by up to 40% in an attempt to speed their service after 6.5% decline in traffic in their company owned stores over the last quarter.
But what's driving these sudden changes?
The recent American Customer Satisfaction Index shows a considerable drop in customer satisfaction for many sit down restaurants. This fall has resulted in a first for the Index: fast food restaurants actually managing to achieve higher satisfaction ratings than sit-down restaurants.
Still, 34% of Americans eat at a casual dining restaurant on a weekly basis, suggesting that their is still a market for this sort of dining experience. So what can you learn from these trends? We've put together a few important takeaways.
- Strong Theme: Of the top five rated full-service restaurants, none of them are simple burger joints. From the folksy, southern-styled Cracker Barrel to the pseudo-Tuscan vistas of the Olive Garden, restaurants who seek to set themselves apart from the simple burger and fries centric eateries received more customer satisfaction.
- Fast Casual: The restaurants that had the best showing are the ones that blend the divide between fast food and casual restaurants. The restaurants that are equipped with the commercial meat tenderizer machines and industrial dough mixer machine and can turn out high-quality food at a fast pace are set to continue to succeed in the need future.
- Elegance in Simplicity: Taking a note out of Chili's playbook might seem counter-intuitive, but by focusing their menu onto a select few items, they are able to focus on speed and better distinguish themselves from an overcrowded market.
The change in the casual restaurant landscape is a great opportunity for restaurant owners to learn from industry leaders what is and what isn't working. By putting that information to work for you, you can ensure your businesses success and longevity.
For more information on commercial meat tenderizer machines, dough rolling machines, and dough sheeters, contact Pro Restaurant Equipment today.