A successful business over the next three years is going to have a focus on its story and heritage and ensure its authenticity, the customer experience, the use of effective technology for the benefit of the customer, health conscious options, premium offerings with personalisation a key driver, and, of course, the execution needs to be efficient and optimised. Oh, and a little bit of luck. That’s according to business advisory experts BDO, which released its top 10 predictions for 2019 in its latest Restaurants & Bars report.
1. Time for the property see-saw
2019 will be the year that the power shift between tenants and landlords completes. The increasing acceptance by banks and investors that landlords returns need to be realigned will mean rent reviews become more favourable to tenants and opportunities for sites will increase.
2. Focus on independents
2018 saw near constant press attention on major chains and their CVA processes but 2019 will see the media attention switch to the loss of independent restaurants as cost pressures begin to really hit home and consumer sentiment continues to be shaky.
3. Legislation on tips and tronc
2019 will see legislation to determine the treatment of tips and troncs, no matter how much misunderstanding there is over the issue. This comes with a huge risk of it being rushed through and with significant consequences, some of which unintended.
4. Labour remains the number one challenge
The ongoing lack of clarity around Brexit will continue the uncertainty around where labour supply will come from.
5. Food markets increase in popularity
The challenges on the high street as well as in shopping centres mean there is increasing appeal in multiple operators on a single site as a destination in its own right.
6. Restaurants ride to the rescue of retail
With excess floor space, particularly in the large department stores, whole floors could be designated to food offerings — with multiple operators in one space.
7. The trend for health continues
The latest fascination with veganism may fade but the general trend for less meat, less alcohol, and less sugar is likely to continue.
8. Card over cash continues apace
2019 will begin to see the common practice of operators showing a very strong or even absolute view that no cash will be handled on premises. This is easier to administer but also better for fraud prevention which will be a key focus for the industry in 2019.
9. Value menus become the norm
With trends becoming harder to follow it is likely that consumers will flock to set price menus and value driven specials. This goes beyond discounting but is part of the idea that a brand itself represents quality food for a sensible price.
10. The key to success is upsell
Whether through a bar, pub or restaurant, consumers are willing to be led to spend more where the overall experience they are having is feeling fun and valuable. Whether upsell is through technology, at table service, product offering or pairing it will be a lot easier to earn a pound from an existing consumer than a new one.
BDO produces its Restaurants & Bars report twice a year. Click HERE to download the latest copy.