Restaurant Industry News Roundup: October 2019
We’re officially in the last two months of the year! The spooky season was memorable, but now we’ve entered the time of year where turkey LTOs run rampant. We’ve filled this serving of news to the brim with turkey, gravy, and sides, including a new kind of ghost restaurant, Popeye’s chicken sandwich craze, and a restaurant we think you should try if you ever find yourself in Beijing. Put on your elastic waist pants and take a seat!
Former Beijing Temple Named World’s Best Restaurant
TRB Hutong has achieved this title from an influx of positive reviews from TripAdvisor users over the past year. The restaurant’s location is in a formal temple. It features a courtyard, serves European dishes, and offers an extensive wine list. The five-course meal costs around $97. TRB has been open since 2012, and in 2018, it was ranked number seven on the TripAdvisor Best Restaurants List. According to owner Ignace Lecleir, he opened the restaurant with the goal in mind to represent the Chinese culture. If you’re ever in Beijing, check it out.
Technomic Names Top 2020 Foodservice Trends
Trends come and go every year, but what are the foodservice trends for 2020? According to Technomic’s report, trends are reported to shift towards flavorful, healthy ingredients, sustainability, and value. When it comes to sustainable offerings, they’ve included natural resources in the pursuit of menu innovation. These natural resources will mostly be parts of familiar plants that have been previously overlooked, including avocado blossom. Consumer demand is shifting toward plant-based menu options and more daring flavors; therefore, restaurants should take a hard look at their menus. The report also recommends that restaurants shouldn’t wait for yearly or quarterly trends, but should take advantage of fast-growing fads.
The most significant trend may be that of a potential recession. Customers are more cautious when it comes to spending. Technomic suggests restaurants should consider running exclusive value deals and loyalty-program related rewards to continue to drive in-store business. Aimee Harvey, the managing editor at Technomic, indicates that overall, consumers are moving to a “back-to-basics mentality,” and operators should think back to the lessons learned in 2008 for a direct value story.
A New Kind of Ghost Restaurant is Brewing
The main goal of delivery platforms is to stand out from their competition and continue to drive revenue. How can they achieve this? They are partnering with celebrity chefs and lifestyle brands and launching limited-time restaurants. Several examples include Uber Eats’ Breaking Bad– themed virtual restaurant; Uber Eats partnered with Rachael Ray, and Grubhub partnered with Lettuce Entertain You and Bon Appetit.
The National Restaurant Association’s research predicts off-premise dining channels to make up almost 80% of the industry’s growth by 2025. Senior Food Analyst, Morgane Richert, states that differentiation is a priority among delivery platforms. Ghost restaurants aren’t a huge cost to these platforms and their partners and can be flexible in a way brick and mortar restaurants can’t.
Popeye’s Sandwich will Return to 150 Locations in November
If you thought the Popeye’s sandwich movement was over once they ran out after their Twitter war with Chick-fil-A this summer, we have good news! Popeye’s is bringing back the chicken sandwich in November. One hundred fifty locations within the franchise Sun Holdings Inc. will once again sell the famous fried chicken sandwich. According to Bloomberg, Popeye’s CEO has reported that those restaurants are also hiring 400 employees to handle the demand for the sandwich. Popeye’s was reportedly not prepared for the hype that was a consequence of the social media wildfire in August.
Bloomberg reports that Popeye’s will be ready for the demand for The Sandwich after they admittedly weren’t ready the first time.
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About the Author
Devyn is the Social & PR Specialist on the Marketing Team. She has a B.S. in Communication and an M.S. in Global Strategic Communication. She liked QR codes (before they were cool) ever since a two-week trip to China. She’s obsessed with true crime and enjoys quality time with her friends and family. Ask her about books she’s read, Criminal Minds, her dog-child, or her favorite cocktails!