Growing your restaurant business means being ready for a shifting market. Demand for restaurant services is often dictated by the economic health of a region. When households have extra income, they will eat out more often and the National Restaurant Association found that 2019 should see continued sales growth. However, restaurant owners can expect significant staffing challenges and they will also likely need to update their technology strategies to meet consumer demand.
There is real potential on the horizon for restaurant owners. But there are also some areas where innovation is needed. Thinking about alternative approaches to lending and financing can position your business for growth. Here’s a look at four key trends that are making such funding tactics necessary.
Renovation is becoming a common theme in the restaurant industry. Businesses are working to update their spaces for digital-focused consumers. This might mean weaving elements of fast-casual dining into your design. It could also include using minimalist concepts. Yet another issue is trying to respond to operator demands for renovation. The need for upgrades is clear.
Building spaces with eye-catching traits is also key. A Forbes report detailing an interview with industry expert Jason Clampet highlighted the growing move toward spaces designed for Instagram users. Dining out is becoming a shareable experience. And restaurants have a chance to capitalize on the trend through design choices aimed at social media users.
A financing program can enable you to handle remodeling demands. From small tweaks to complete overhauls, short-term loans give you flexibility now. So if you’re stuck waiting for a large-scale traditional business loan, the trend may move on before you get your money.
2. Menu Upgrades
Farm-to-table offerings and internationally-diverse menus are becoming the new normal. On top of that, retail sales of plant-based foods that directly replace animal products grew by 17% from August 2017 through August 2018.
Demand for alternative menu items and upgraded menus in general is a real issue to address. And the trial and error required to make major changes can be expensive. Consider a working capital loan that can offer flexible financing so you can tweak your menu and advance your restaurant without as much risk.
3. Service Expansion
Approximately 38 percent of dining trips somehow involve the use of a mobile device, a Windstream Enterprise study found. Digital opportunities are changing how people interact with restaurants. This is giving restaurants an opportunity to change how they attract and engage customers. For example, 20 percent of guests pre-order food before entering a restaurant.
Investing in technology, staff, or new operational tactics can play a key part in helping you offer new services. And doing so can fuel the process of growing your restaurant business. Small, short-term loans make these kinds of changes much easier to address.
4. Equipment Upgrades
Making a technology change to keep pace with the rest of the sector isn’t always simple. The Windstream study found that lacking resources for technology equipment upgrades is the top challenge restaurants are facing in dealing with digital demands.
Beyond tech issues, restaurants must also handle constant wear and tear on kitchen equipment. As such, they can benefit from modern solutions that reduce energy use and allow for greater operational efficiency. Alternative loans for equipment financing can be key in facing these challenges.