Consumers Looking for Restaurants That Are Clean, Green and Superfast

Consumers Looking for Restaurants That Are Clean, Green and Superfast

According to Foodservice Equipment and Supplies Magazine, revenue increases of over 10% are expected for fast-casual restaurants in 2017. As consumers look for higher quality food and greater convenience, fast-casual restaurants are finding themselves well positioned. Today’s consumers want it fast, but they aren’t willing to lower their quality standards.

That leads many consumers to choosing fast-casual restaurants. Leaders in the fast-casual category include Chipotle, Panera and Jimmy John’s. The slightly higher premium that is paid for healthier food has not scared off consumers, in fact, it has become a sort of proof to consumers that the food they are buying is of good quality. Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer said “Customers are demanding new food culture in a bid to be healthier and live a better lifestyle” in an interview with Entrepreneur Magazine. Euromonitor International named “Greener Food” as one of its Top 10 Global Consumer Trends for 2016, indicating a strong focus on healthy food options, and pointing to Chipotle as “part of a new segment of ‘fast-casual’ restaurants.” Panera boasts that “100% of our food is 100% clean” and now offers on-line and in-store kiosk ordering to eliminate or reduce wait times.

So what does this mean for restaurants that do not fall under the fast-casual label? What can be learned from the recent success of the fast-casual restaurants?  1. Speed Matters: Make sure your restaurant’s systems and processes are geared for efficiency and that your staff works with a sense of urgency. 2. Keep it Real: Millennials in particular are looking for “clean food.”  Think about higher quality, healthier foods and greener processes. While there was some backlash, the farm-to-table trend is still gaining popularity. Euromonitor International claims “a key aspect of green food is eating locally-grown food.” Knowing that one’s local community is being supported by restaurants in the area is especially important to millennials. Many companies already buy locally, so placing a focus on that would be a good marketing idea.