Restaurants: more technology and less scooters.

innovazione nella ristorazione
Michele Caprini
28 Apr 2019

Rewind: our words regarding the restaurant industry, after the event in Milan on the 21st of June 2018. “In the given situation and having to take into account a demanding and unpredictable client base, technology is clearly an advantageous weapon and, recently, one for survival”. We could rewrite the above line by line today yet, 10 months later, the urgency become even more ominous.

The FIPE Report

The FIPE numbers for Italian restaurants  in 2018 are testimony to this urgency, confirming a common and global trend.

In Italy, traditional grocery shopping has decreased by 7% since 2008. On the other hand, eating out has increased by 8% with a total value greater than €43 billion.

Today it represents 36% of total grocery shopping and it will reach 40% by 2030. In the United States, half of the food consumed is from eating out, in 50% of cases it occurs in the large brand chains.

However, the trends of different restaurant types are not homogeneous. The traditional offer is finding it difficult to keep up with the food delivery trend.

Food delivery, between opportunity and threat

Once again according to FIPE/Confcommercio data, food delivery resulted in €350 million in revenues, a 69% increase since 2017. For Coldiretti/Censis, this delivery trend encompassed 19 million consumers in 2018.

These numbers are testimony to a fragmented territorial reality. In Italy, only 14% of the population lives in the main 10 cities. Consequently, covering delivery in new town squares is part of a dedicated growth plan for food delivery companies.

For the time being, these are potential partners for restaurants seeking growth or client consolidation through a new delivery offer. Yet the development, typically in cities, of “dark kitchens” clearly highlights the potential danger given by delivery “rider”.

The looming threat of potential Sunday closures places an uncomfortable weight on restaurants which have their base in malls.

The common benefit

Many restaurants, to this day, have still not renewed their offer to clients, maintaining the same characteristics which are now thirty or forty years old. The crucial urgency here is innovation in all fields.

New consumer trends will quickly bury the old-fashioned paper menu and waiter service. Self-ordering technologies, apps and streamlined ordering process can, instead, keep up with these trends. Payment systems need to do this. Data analysis and the consequent tailoring of offers to each individual client go hand in hand, soon this will include the data gathered by voice ordering. Free Wi-Fi is now a must for many clients visiting restaurants.

Customers will not be the only ones benefiting from technology. Kitchen and wait staff delivery timing, the correct management of orders, the integration with delivery services, the automated order planning to suppliers and work shifts will be decisive factors for owners.

No change results in no growth. More importantly, no change does not guarantee survival. This applies to everything, especially the restaurant industry.

A cena con Retex