While the familiar statistic about nine out of 10 of them shutting down in the first year has been disproven, restaurant failure rates are still quite high. A recent study found that 1 in every 4 restaurants closes or is sold within its first year of business. But the news isnt all bad. The total number of restaurants continues to increase for one simple reasonAmericans are eating out more than ever. The average person orders food at a restaurant twenty times each month.
How can a restaurant attract new customers? The most reliable way is by examining statistics and figuring out how and what people eat these days. For example, we know that younger people are far more likely to eat out. Americans from the ages of 16 to 27 eat out 24 times each month! As you might expect, most of those meals are fast food. But there is a lesson to be learned from this.
In a word, young people prize convenience above all else when they eat out. They want something inexpensive and fast. Many restaurants have begun to offer express menus for high school, college, and young professionals. These menus give younger patrons the ability to get a real restaurant experience at an affordable price in about ten to fifteen minutes.How do restaurants accomplish this awesome feat? Express menus typically include plates that can be prepared in only five to ten minutes.
A burger and fries, a Caesar salad, a BLT, a deli sandwich, or soup and a sandwich are all dishes that can be on the table within ten minutes. This will appeal not only to high school students who have gotten used to eating on the run, but also to younger workers.
Most employees prefer eating out, but they simply dont have enough time on their lunch break to get in and out of the average restaurant. An express lunch menu is the perfect solution to this dilemma. The patron will know that he can get a fast and affordable meal and get back to the office on time.
More than half of young people order out at least once a week. They either pick the food up themselves or pay a little extra to have it delivered. Some restaurants have taken heed of this growing trend and they have started offering takeout menus. As the takeout orders grow, it is often necessary to hire a delivery driver.Experts recommend starting slow and offering only a few simple dishes to patrons who want to eat their meals off premises. Larger meals can be expensive to pack and even messy. There is also the problem of mix ups, in which case the patron may demand a full refund and the restaurant will have to prepare another dish.
An incredible 93 percent of teenagers and young adults between the ages of 12-29 use the internet on a daily basis. They chat online, shop online, listen to music online, and even order food online. Yes, thats right! Online ordering is an increasingly popular way to arrange for a meal. The user simply visits the website of his or her favorite restaurant, browses the menu, and orders a meal. The meal can then be either picked up or delivered to the virtual patrons address. Payment portals ensure prompt payment and customer safety.While online ordering began with the chain restaurants, many smaller establishments are getting in on the act.
Not only is it convenient for the customer, but it also brings in new clients for the business. There is also the extra added bonus of positive comments on review sites.A review site is forum where internet users can go to post their thoughts on a particular restaurant, hotel, or resort. Positive reviews on these popular sites have been proven to increase business at top-rated restaurants.Customers also appreciate the convenience of using their credit cards for online orders, as well as while in the restaurant. Every restaurant needs a merchant account to accept plastic for lasting consumer satisfaction.
We have spent most of this article talking about younger restaurant patrons, but now we want to turn our attention to the largest generation in American history. With nearly 80 million members, the Baby Boomers (anyone born from 1946 to 1964) are getting older. And as they age, many of them are paying more attention to health. It is also important to note that while Boomers eat out a bit less teenagers and young adults they are actually more likely to go to a restaurant that doesnt serve fast food.
Whether called a light menu, a diet menu, or a health menu, a special section that caters to patrons who are worried about their health is a great way to attract new business. Dishes that are low in saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol are the most popular entrees. Soups, salads, and smaller portions can also save the restaurant money on ingredients and prep time. Putting the calorie count along with other important nutritional information right on the menu is often appreciated.
Alvin Jelks is a freelance writer who writes about a range of topics including small businesses and restaurants that accept credit cards.