Many organizations are finalizing their budgets and plans for 2020. However, the food industry has a particularly tall order to fulfill. Consumer demands are continually changing, which leaves some restaurants with stale business plans. The organizations that are seeing great success are remaining competitive with new menu offerings in addition to their staple items.
Here are three ways the restaurant industry must keep innovation at the forefront of their business strategies:
Market Products That Will Make an Impact
Many organizations in the food industry miss the mark by only marketing items that have previously generated significant revenue. While there is room for this approach, product innovation must be equally as important. Products that drive change and trends for healthier options, better packaging, and sustainable shelf life should not go unnoticed. Restaurants and food companies that can simultaneously satisfy customer demand, while forging new paths to drive the industry forward will see growth and success.
Commit to Taking Necessary Risks
The food industry should remember to answer the charge to continue to take risks. Consumer demand has greatly shifted to more health-conscious options within the last decade. For this reason, the food industry can make bold commitments such as reducing sugar, sodium, and saturated fats by 10% 1 . A vast majority of the American public under consumes fruits and vegetables, while over-consuming sugary, fatty foods. Incremental changes can produce small wins, but the food industry should take the initiative to take big leaps towards pushing a healthier lifestyle and higher profitability.
Downsize with Customization
IHOP is already taking steps towards raising their brand awareness while offering something new and exciting for its customers. The restaurant chain has plans to unveil Flip’d by IHOP this Spring, in Atlanta, GA 2 . Locations in New York City, Dallas, Boston, and Chicago will soon follow. Flip’d by IHOP will offer traditional menu items, but in smaller space, with a few new twists. The new IHOP spin-off will feature a build-your-own pancake bar, made-to-order breakfast burritos, and a signature coffee brew selection. IHOP researched customer behavior for over a year, before solidifying the Flip’d concept. The company found that most customers wanted the ability to customize some of the menu options within a fast-casual breakfast space.
Although the food industry has made great progress with current innovation, there is still room for improvement. Organizations should find ways to avoid the same repetitive cycles in the new year. Healthy menu options, mobile ordering kiosks, and varied dine-in choices are all great areas for the food industry to explore. Businesses in the food industry should consider these already developed concepts, and continue to explore new ones.
1 Carmakers Got Religion On How to Innovate. Can Big Food Follow? by Hank Cardello
2 IHOP Plans to Add a Fast-Casual by Alicia Kelso