Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Restaurant Trends

"This is not a restaurant!" a seemingly angry customer yells at the poor front counter girl as he walks into Wendy's at the Flying J.

He had expected a regular sit down restaurant with pretty little waitresses floating around.

Well, it's expected that restaurants use new tactics to draw in customers and so locations, menus and restaurant themes are all changing at a rapid pace. You may have noticed the cafe-style look that McDonalds has taken on or KFC and Taco Bell hanging out in the same spot.

It's all about sales.

To thrive in an economy where you can get just about anything over the Internet and delivered to your doorstep, creating an atmosphere that people want to be in is a top priority for the food industry. That and experimenting with locations seems to be one of the latest trends in fast-food and other sit-down restaurants.

Choices are also at the top of the list. The ever-growing market for health foods has prompted several food chains to add salads, wraps and low-fat and sugar-free items to their menus. Keeping a competitive menu with competitive prices is key to maintaining your customers. If they don't like either, they are out the door, almost as quick as they came in.

You will notice different themes as you enter a restaurant, such as have it your way or hospitality. Customer service is the most important but then you have a certain way it is laid out for you. Those themes change more often as the popularity of it dwindles.

So the next time you notice something odd or innovative, realize it is the marketing department doing their best to catch your attention. You should appreciate that. In the information age, consumers have seen just about everything. If it catches your eye, it must be worth at least one spin.

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