Foodservice Updates is designed to help foodservice operators keep on top of all the industry news and provides tips for keeping business running smooth. We endeavor to provide the latest tips and solutions to keep you in the know.
Independents get a piece of the pie
Times of challenge create opportunity – and more tech is emerging to help level the playing field for independent businesses trying to compete with large national and international brands. According to a National Restaurant Association survey, one-third of independent operators feel they are falling behind when it comes to using the technology that could support their business. But new products and payment structures are making these technologies more accessible for independents. For instance, Slice, the online ordering platform for independent pizzerias, recently launched a POS system and online rewards system designed specifically for those businesses – many of whom have been slow to adopt technology while the likes of Domino’s are tracking customer preferences, upselling repeat customers and enabling them to know when their delivery driver is on his way. A recent report from Food & Beverage magazine indicated that it’s becoming more common for restaurant technology companies to offer lower up-front costs and subscription fees, as well as leasing options to accommodate operators that can’t afford to make large investments in equipment up front. You may also be able to negotiate deferred payments and contracts that include consulting time. If cash registers and pencil-and-paper ordering is still the norm for you or if you’re simply not getting the kind of real-time information you need from your system, now is a good time to approach restaurant technology companies to see what they can offer independent restaurants. The Restaurant Technology Network is a good source for information and resources including pro bono consulting and you can always ask Team Four for help in getting started too.
Ghost kitchens find a new captive audience
Among the many aspects of life that are evolving because of the pandemic is residential real estate – perspectives are changing about the best places to live and people are looking for their living environments to fill a wider variety of needs. While flight from urban areas might not be as pronounced as media reports might have you believe, according to a Barclays Capital report on commercial real estate, urban developers are still feeling the need to redesign communities to attract and retain residents in creative ways: Think multifunctional spaces that allow people to live, work, socialize, work out and eat without leaving the complex. As a result, these developments are becoming a growth area for ghost kitchens. The Spoon reports that the virtual restaurant network C3 has partnered with an apartment developer to serve up meals for delivery, as well as for onsite service in bars and pool areas at communities in Phoenix and Nashville, with other cities being added soon. If your restaurant is looking for a new niche, consider making a pitch to self-contained living environments – from extended-stay hotels to apartment complexes to senior living condominium communities. These facilities may not only have the kitchen space your business needs but also the concentrated demand for food that feels special
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