Restaurant Industry News Roundup: May 2019
As summer approaches, restaurant industry news is really heating up. We’re firing up a hearty helping of topics from environmental action taken by the UK government and the relevance of bars to Burger King’s contest to help app users pay off their student loans. This month’s special is news from the National Restaurant Association Show that was held in Chicago. Be careful, this roundup is spicy!
UK Government calls on businesses to halve all food waste by 2030
Environmental Secretary Michael Gove and food surplus and waste advocate Ben Elliot hosted a ‘Step up to the Plate’ symposium inviting retail and hospitality leaders and having them commit to tracking and decreasing their food waste. The eventual goal is to begin reporting and taking measures to reduce food waste by the end of 2019. Participants will also be a part of Food Conversation Week in November 2019. When it comes to food waste, Elliot says that it is “an environmental, moral and financial scandal.” The symposium was to be the first step taken to make a change.
When it comes to environmental actions taken by the UK Government, this latest push to decrease food waste by 50 percent by 2030 is one of many, including a Resources and Waste Strategy that was announced in December.
5 Key Takeaways from 2019 National Restaurant Association Show
This year marked the Centennial celebration of the National Restaurant Association Show. Held annually in Chicago, exhibitors from all over the country gather for a few days of thought leadership, education sessions, networking, and product demonstrations. Since the show is filled with so many happenings, Restaurant Business presents five takeaways from this year’s show:
- Success depends on agility and adaptability – Sunday’s Signature session panel member, John Cywinski, who is also the president of Applebee’s, said that there is a growing need for delivery service options, even though the current model for delivery is unsustainable.
- Coaching and classrooms – Education was prominent throughout the entire show from how-to-classes to demos and chats throughout McCormick Place.
- Cause for celebration – There was fun to be had at the National Restaurant Association show as well. There was a daily celebration exhibitors and other attendees could participate in featuring a giant cheesecake created by a local Chicago bakery.
- Hot food and beverage trends – There was an abundance of specialty foods and beverages present from everywhere around the country. Show attendees also scoped out fresh ingredients.
- Plant-based products are in growth mode- These plant-based alternatives, including Impossible Food items and Tofurky, are slowly becoming more common.
One more tidbit is that the National Restaurant Association CEO and President, Dawn Sweeney announced that this will be her final Show in her role. She will be retiring at the end of 2019 after serving 12 years as President and CEO.
Are Bars Struggling to Stay Relevant?
Customers want more than food and drinks from bars, as 55 percent of Americans are choosing to stay in and drink instead of going to a bar. Seventy-four percent of people consider a night in to be more relaxing than going out. The biggest factor to most is that drinking at home is cheaper than going out to drink, therefore bars are struggling to address the decline of patrons. When it comes to cost, it’s referring to more than a simply financial cost. People don’t want to waste time commuting or don’t want to leave their homes to find entertainment.
What can bars do to make their customers want to leave their homes for drinks? Check out this article for suggestions. First, it’s suggested to think about the entire experience of the bar overall. Offer customers experiences that they can’t achieve themselves. Second, consider social media. Is the bar’s food picture-worthy? If so, bars should consider exploring their menus and food options further to entice customers and make them want to take pictures of the food on the menu. Lastly, what’s the difference between the bar and the supermarket? Bars should make it a point to offer options that their customers can’t make themselves.
Uber Eats reportedly adding monthly subscription
When Uber became public, pressure was mounting to increase profits. According to Bloomberg, ridesharing has been decreasing while the food delivery component, Uber Eats has been steadily increasing. The addition of the monthly subscription may help to improve customer loyalty and boost usage. Uber had already employed Ride Passes, but wants to continue to combine Uber and Uber Eats to provide the company a competitive advantage.
Uber Eats has been adding application features including order tracking and other features in London and Toronto. The Uber Eats subscription, Eats Pass, is estimated to cost a base $9.99 a month and would waive individual delivery costs. Although it hasn’t been confirmed, an Uber spokesperson told TechCrunch that “we’re always thinking about new ways to enhance the Eats experience.” Food delivery subscriptions are predicted to be increasingly common soon mainly because food delivery services would be more cost effective and possibly increase delivery orders at restaurants, drive sales, and help create a more loyal customer base.
Burger King Wants to Pay Off Your Student Loans
In 2018, it was reported that over 44 million Americans are affected by student debt. According to LendingTree, $1.56 trillion is owed. Burger King launched the Whopper Loans contest, which will award their customers with assistance in paying their student loans. Throughout the contest, which ends on June 6, the company will be giving away 300 prizes with totaling $250,000. Most of the prizes will be in the amount of $500, and, one customer has the chance to win $100,000. To enter the contest, customers need to download the Burger King app and make a purchase through the app. If the user is over 18 years old and there is a loan in their name, they are then eligible to enter the Whopper Loans contest. They would need to provide their email and the amount of their monthly student loan payment.
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About the Author
Devyn Nance is the Marketing Coordinator at QSR Automations. She graduated from the University of Louisville with a bachelor’s degree in Communication and from Loyola University Chicago with a master’s degree in Global Strategic Communication. She considers herself an (amateur) profiler – trained solely from watching every episode of Criminal Minds. Outside of work, Devyn loves to shop, travel, hang out with friends and family, read, and watch shows on various streaming platforms.