In a previous post, we mentioned the idea that post corona virus, we'd see a rise of a need breed of restaurants. To have a little fun, we thought we'd explore what we'd imagine they'd be like. Who knows, maybe this will give you some ideas to implement when this pandemic is over with.
No matter if you have a couple at the cash register or one for each table, this will streamline ordering. We've seen examples at McDonald's where you can order at the register normally or at their kiosk. Chili's also had kiosks at their tables for a time as well. The only human engagement you get is that when a server brings you food & drink. Think about how many minutes it takes to turnover a customer. How many minutes could you save by improving the ordering process even by a couple minutes?
Whether it's a drive-thru or a walk-up window, this small change to restaurants, we think, will be a key feature that will open up the ability for any restaurant to serve more customers more efficiently. We also speculate some people won't be able to get over the germaphobic habits of social distancing and will continue to avoid crowded spaces like a dining area. This designated spot separate from your main area will be attractive to people who fit this profile.
You may be thinking that everyone has one of those because they use Uber Eats, Postmates, Grubhub, and the like. That's fine, and while you can incentivize the use of delivery more, there's only so much you can do. Granted, there are 3rd party delivery services like Grabit that have the customer pay the delivery fee upfront instead of taking a cut from the business owner. We're saying have an in house delivery system like a Domino's has. The benefit of this is you get to keep the money in house instead of giving a cut to a third party. This opens another avenue to generate sales as well as offer flexibility in case dining in is no longer an option.
Smaller Dining Areas
In the wake of the corona virus, we won't be surprised if new gen restaurants downsize their eating areas. It's been painfully clear just how much restaurants rely on dine in customers alone. Meanwhile, things are becoming more mobile, aka, takeout and delivery oriented. Embracing the ideas listed above, there isn't a heavy reliance on one type of dining experience so if one is removed from the game, the business won't take as big of a hit because their business model was built to be supported by more than one mode of serving food.
Le gasp! What do you mean? Less options?! Yes! Think about it, how many restaurants have a lot of options and only a handful of those are actually profiting the business? To site a case study, Ford hired Alan Mulally from Boeing to get them back on a profitable track again. He sold any assets that weren't profitable (Jaguar Car Co.) and only kept making car models that were profitable as well. The end result, Ford was the only car company that didn't need a bailout when the great recession hit in the late 2000's. We expect this to be applied to the future of menus as well. Restaurants will have less to buy, less to store, and less cost associated with either. Heck, Raising Canes is another great example of having a more niche menu.
Higher Priced Menu Items
Gone will be the days of competing for price. More and more restaurants are opening up with higher priced menu items with higher quality items. This price model is allowing these establishments to expand at an exponential rate. Izzo's Illegal Burrito, Chipotle, Walk On's, and Jimmy Johns come to mind. They're more expensive than their typical competitor, quality is better overall, and people love it. Some of these places also make you pay for every little thing, there's no such thing as a combo or saving money on a combo. Overall, the owners of these new restaurants will have a highly profit margin going in rather than following the herd and figuring out how to raise it later.
High Performance Customer Turnover System
It's much more than just getting a customer's order, serving them food, having them pay so they can leave. That's too general. Specifically how will you reach those points needs to be answered. New Gen Restaurants will invest in the technology and crew to get a customer turned over in minimal time. This might mean getting kiosks for ordering, having a com system so hosts know where people can sit, servers know when a person sits down, when to check up on the customer for refills, the list goes on. Even shaving off 5 min from a dining experience means you are 5 minutes closer to serving another customer during that day that you possibly weren't going to be able to. This will require an all hands on deck attitude to get this up and running.
This ties into the higher price model. These restaurants will be able to effectively incentivize their customers to do what they want. They can afford to place a 10% discount on online orders if they want. "I have a low profit margin." will no longer be an excuse for these establishments. They'll be throwing every trick in the book to get people ordering with them: Rewards programs, discounts, promos, etc.
While we can't predict the future, these ideas are mere speculations based on the changes that could be brought about due to the corona virus. At the end of the day, each restaurant owner during this time needs to ask themself, "How much would I pay to get more customers doing business with me?"