Food Aficionado Smart Brief: Volume 8
Welcome back to another edition of The Food Aficionado Smart Brief! We've recently noticed a lot of restaurants have expected a high influx in customers, yet they get slightly demoralized when business falls short of those standards. But not to worry, there is truly so much going on in today's world and we have to be aware that pre-pandemic “normal” may not be returning as soon as we hoped if it will at all. On another note, restaurants and other businesses are struggling to find competent workers as pay becomes a problem. Understandably, with business slow, it's hard to also raise pay for your employees, but this is an entirely new topic for another day. As acai wholesalers, a juice bar, and much more ourselves, we are in this with you... you are not alone. This is not to strike fear into restaurant owners' hearts, but simply to help prepare and understand our current situation at hand.
Three Reasons Restaurant Business is Slow Right Now
1. We Thought We Were Heading Back To Normal… We're Not After a summer in which people were traveling and it felt like the country was heading on a decent trackback to normalcy. A few months later, we have realized that a pre-pandemic normal doesn't appear to be returning anytime soon, or ever. The majority of shoppers that we've encountered are still masked up and concerned about going out too much. Thus, restaurants are seeing major hits compared to their normal operating business. Although there is a clear uptick in food delivery, this may not help every juice bar or restaurant. As we look forward, think about returning to curbside pickup or potentially expanding delivery options. Who knows how long it may be before Americans are heading to eat in at their favorite restaurants regularly.
Consumers are still not back to their normal spending habits
Think about offering curbside pick up again
2. A Holiday Season Like No Other Although holiday spending consistently rises over time, a majority of this is coming from e-commerce or online ordering. This holiday season has felt odd for many reasons: less foot traffic, odd weather patterns, pandemic reactions. What does this mean for restaurants? Well, restaurants may need to market themselves in different fashions than they once have. One potential idea is to offer special holiday take-out or catering options that will help drive customers to your restaurant. From our perspective, we constantly run promotions for our acai and other frozen products throughout the winter. It can be challenging selling acai year-round, as many of our partners have explained, yet this is when we must get creative and keep showing our appreciation for our loyal customers. Overall, hang in there, the cold weather won't stay forever!
Offer holiday specials on take-out / catering
The cold weather mixed with a pandemic will cause slow days
3. Travel is in an Interesting Spot It seems Americans are far more confident traveling this year in comparison to last year. Gen Z and Millennials are traveling the most out of anyone, with around 66% of both groups making travel plans. Additionally, family travel is trending upwards reaching around 65% of families with children under the age of five. With this in mind, college towns are likely to be left much emptier than they were last year, while small family towns may also see desertion as the winter persists. Although travel is higher than earlier times, almost 50% of citizens with travel plans say they may change them given a spike in Covid cases. This holiday season, Americans want to either get to warmer locations or visit family that they, unfortunately, missed out on seeing last year. Therefore, inconsistencies in business are likely to continue through the holiday season.
Travel is trending up
Set travel plans are subject to change
Families are visiting loved ones they haven't been able to see
To Summarize: To the many restaurant owners out there, we know how hard you have worked and how many obstacles you've overcome, especially in the past two years. This holiday season presents another challenge with the pandemic hanging around and Americans being so unsure about their plans. However, we hope to provide insight and value to your business as we are in this position right with you! Continue doing your best, keeping in mind that you are not alone and we are willing to help, and we are positive that your restaurant will reach new heights soon enough!