How Will These Business Trends Impact the Restaurant Industry?

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2018 was a good year for the economy, which is always a great thing for the restaurant industry.

But what will 2019 bring?

The U.S. Federal Reserve predicts that the gross domestic product will grow by 2.5 percent. The unemployment rate is expected to continue to drop too.

But when it comes to labor, this means the labor pool will only be more shallow. However, this is a good thing for restaurants in the sense that more consumers will have a deposable income to spend.

That just means it’s time to take your business to the next level. In a recent “Entrepreneur” report, it outlined five business trends expected to reign in 2019. One of which is that there will be more personalized experiences because these resonate with customers.  

“Next year, take a page from Dunkin’ Donuts. The breakfast brand recently reported a 3.6 percent redemption rate for a mobile coupon campaign aimed at a competitor’s customers in Rhode Island. What’s more, ten times the number of redeemers took a secondary action, such as mentioning it on social media,” writes “Entrepreneur.” 

In 2018, data privacy became a hot topic, especially after the Facebook data breach.

In a recent episode of The Barron Report, host Paul Barron breaks out the Cambridge Analytica scandal and how it may be affecting your restaurant. Listen below to see how users are engaging with your Facebook content and how this data debacle has been impacting your restaurant sales.

With a series of data breaches being revealed in 2018, customers have become much more weary to share their information and for good reason.  

“In the coming year, avoid purchasing data or otherwise acquiring it without consumers’ consent. Not only is regulatory pressure increasing on companies that do so, but Deloitte reports that 71 percent of purchased data is inaccurate,” writes “Entrepreneur.” 

Instead, interactive content is a great way to collect guest data. Whether it be offering free Wi-Fi, collecting guest info for a waitlist, etc. With these methods, guests are willing to share their data for convenience.  

Although meal-kit subscription services struggled in 2018, “Entrepreneur” predicts that other subscription-based companies will continue to flourish.

See what the other business trends are that are going gain momentum come 2019 at “Entrepreneur” now.

Facebook Makes Quick Rebuttal to the Latest Accusatory NYT Article

Mark Zuckerberg |   Shuttershock

Mark Zuckerberg | Shuttershock

At the end of March, Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal hit the media.

Soon the hashtag #DeleteFacebook was trending on Twitter.

“According to Facebook, data from about 300,000 users was originally collected by a Cambridge lecturer named Aleksandr Kogan in 2013 for a personality quiz app. But given the way Facebook worked at the time, Kogan was able to access data from "tens of millions" of friends of those users, Zuckerberg said. While Kogan collected the data legitimately, he then violated Facebook's terms by passing the information to Cambridge Analytica,” writes "CNET."

Facebook tried to keep the error hidden from the public because it eventually was revealed that the social network was aware of the infraction in 2015. Facebook, instead, demanded that Cambridge Analytica destroy the information immediately. As reported by "The Guardian" and "The New York Times," not all data had been deleted, according to information provided by the former data scientist for the firm and whistleblower, Chris Wylie.

Listen to the podcast below to learn more about the Facebook data debacle and it’s impact on restaurants.

While the social network was dealing with this backlash, another scandal was getting media attention– its lack of response to the Russian interference during the 2016 election.

In October of 2017, the "NYT" reported that at least 126 million American Facebook users were reached by Russian propaganda.

Late last week, the "NYT" released an in-depth article about how poorly Facebook handled the crisis. A day later, Facebook released a rebuttal via blog post to point out some of the inaccuracies.

Facebook defended how to reacted to the Russian activity and included a quote from Mark Zuckerberg's, Facebook CEO and founder, hearing to Congress.

“Leading up to Election Day in November 2016, we detected and dealt with several threats with ties to Russia … [including] a group called APT28 … we also saw some new behavior when APT28-related accounts, under the banner of DC Leaks, created fake personas that were used to seed stolen information to journalists. We shut these accounts down for violating our policies," said Zuckerberg.

Besides Facebook issuing a quick response to the "NYT's" claims, the social network had a press call to cover how the community is being enforced. This report will now be released quarterly. The company will be reporting on specifically how many cases of bullying and harassment and child exploitation were found and the number of fake accounts deleted by moderators.

Zuckerberg also said that Facebook is ramping up its content moderation to reduce sensationalist content and will “train AI systems to detect borderline content so we can distribute that content less.”

But will this be enough to win users back?

According to Foodable Labs data, there has been a 70 percent decrease in food influencers using Facebook over the past year. 40 percent of restaurants aren't using the platform currently.

Read more about the Facebook scandal at "The Verge" now.

How Rich's Helps Define Clean Label and Sustainability

Consumers are demanding authenticity.

Authenticity in their products, foods, brands, you name it.

On this episode of The Barron Report, Jen VanDewater, Vice President of Health and Authenticity at Rich Products Corporation, sits down with our host Paul Barron to discuss how a large company like Rich’s is addressing consumer concerns over clean labeling and authenticity when it boils down to the products they offer.

Listen above to learn more about this company’s sustainability and social efforts!


Show Notes:

  • 03:57 - Driving Factor Pushing Companies To Make Changes

  • 04:32 - Defining Clean Label

  • 06:47 - How Rich's Monitors The Market

  • 08:29 - Social Trends Monitoring

  • 10:47 - Trends In The Marketplace

  • 11:38 - Customer Portfolio Analysis

  • 13:06 - Verifying If Products have a Clean Label

  • 14:16 - How Rich's Looks at Data around Clean Label

  • 18:31 - Trends in Consumer Demand

  • 22:52 - Real Meaning of Sustainability

  • 26:08 - Rich's Sustainability Efforts

  • 28:22 - Operators Attitudes Towards Sustainability

 
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Female-Led Funding Startup, AccelFoods Helps Other Food-Focused Startups like Soozy's Thrive

Ever wondered how grocery stores will look like five years from now?

This is something Jordan Gaspar, co-founder of AccelFoods, thinks about daily.

AccelFoods is a funding startup that invests in other startups that have the potential of disrupting food categories in the grocery aisles and beyond through their innovative products.

On this episode of The Barron Report, our host Paul Barron speaks with Gaspar and Susan Chen, CEO of Soozy’s, a frozen, gluten-free baked good product company that has partnered with AccelFoods in order to grow its business. The three discuss how the relationship has been between the venture capitalist group and the investee, Soozy’s role in its snacking category, what types of companies AccelFoods seeks to invest on, and trends in the marketplace among other topics.

Listen above to learn more about these trailblazing companies!


Show Notes:

  • 01:43 - Purpose of AccelFoods

  • 03:48 - Soozy’s Role in the Frozen Food Segment

  • 05:47 - AccelFoods’ Investment in Soozy’s

  • 09:26 - Types of Companies AccelFoods Invests In

  • 10:47 - Trends In The Marketplace

  • 14:38 - Soozy’s Differentiator in Snacking Category

  • 17:52 - Product Packaging

  • 23:16 - Size of Companies AccelFoods Invests In

  • 26:09 - Macro Understanding of Food Industry

  • 28:00 - Impact of Social Media for Soozy’s

  • 29:58 - Future Growth Plans for Soozy’s

  • 31:52 - Challenges in Male-Dominated Venture Capitalist World

 
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Why East Hampton Leads The Top 50 Sandwich Innovators List

After a quick stint at law school, Hunter Pond decided his true passion laid with the restaurant business.

“I just felt this gravitational pull to the industry and it was strong enough... [that] I dropped out of law school after one semester,” said Pond. “...It was a rough three months trying to convince everybody that this was the right move for me.”

On this episode of The Barron Report, our host, Paul Barron, sits down with Hunter Pond, CEO of East Hampton Sandwich Co. to learn how this concept came to be and made its way to become the top Sandwich Innovator concept from our free Top 50 Sandwich Innovator Report.

East Hampton

“I studied the marketplace and I saw that the key differentiator in all of the fast casual sandwich players out there was the bread,” said Pond.

According to Pond, everything that went in between the breads tasted the same, from the lettuce and tomatoes to the meats.

“I kind of looked at it as a mathematical equation and thought, ‘if we could just figure out a way… to utilize our kitchen to focus on what goes in between the bread, I can outsource the bread baking to local European-style bakeries and that would produce, in theory, a higher quality product,” said Pond.

Hunter Pond wanted East Hampton to be the ingredient artisan of the sandwich category while partnering with a bread artisan to provide best sandwich possible to consumers.

Take a listen to the podcast above to learn more about East Hampton’s beginnings and future plans!

Show Notes

  • 00:51 - Top 50 Sandwich Innovator Report

  • 02:18 - How Hunter Pond Got His Start

  • 05:50 - Inspiration for East Hampton

  • 07:25 - Key Differentiator in the Fast Casual Sandwich Segment

  • 09:13 - Consumer Driver Is Ingredient Quality

  • 10:27 - Quality Beyond The Food

  • 13:03 - Future Plans for East Hampton

  • 15:47 - Sourcing

  • 24:21 - Instagram

  • 27:42 - Hiring & Real Estate Challenges

  • 30:40 - Hunter Pond’s Industry Outlook

About the Report

The free Top 50 Sandwich Innovator Report is based off a sandwich study conducted by our sister company, Foodable Labs. “We put together a study that looked a consumer sentiment around mentions of their favorite sandwiches and then we poured out the shops and concepts that came out on top through our algorithm…,” says Barron. That’s the same algorithm that ranks Foodable’s Top 25 Restaurants in each city, for example.

 
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