When the pandemic shut down industries worldwide, the U.S. restaurant industry endured some of the most challenging market conditions in history.
The National Restaurant Association reported more than 110,000 restaurants shutting down temporarily or permanently in 2020.
Another report by CNBC describes American restaurants and food service companies suffering major loss of staff and financial instability.
Many restaurants had to redefine their operations and had to become flexible to fit into the patchwork of guided laws by states through the rising swells of the pandemic.
However, the first rays of vaccination breakthroughs promised upliftment from the permanent state of limbo.
While battles still wage on medical fields, restaurant website design companies working behind the table. Restaurants are slowly bringing the nation back to its feet.
Restaurants are learning:
- To operate with a lot less in-person foot traffic
- Tackle the demand of online ordering
- Third-party delivery vendors collaboration
- Improve Social media strategies
- Restaurant website development
Restaurants finally started expanding their digital footprints with the use of restaurant website designs giving the country more reasons to become digital.
Restaurants are becoming a huge hit in the U.S. food delivery sales segment, and it is estimated to potentially top $1 trillion revenue by 2030. (Euromonitor)
A latent force behind the U.S. kitchen’s progressive pace is frontend restaurant website designs.
Websites today are highly engaging, fully manageable, and interactive which have become possible with affordable restaurant web design companies.
Terri Bloomgarden, co-owner of Canter’s Deli says: “We do a lot of takeout and delivery, and if you don’t have a separate area for that, customers don’t understand what you’re doing when they are in the restaurant, waiting in line.”
For many like Terri, website development was the answer that turned out at the most convenient times and was profitable for the operators.
Let us examine how these U.S. restaurants are becoming the new face of Post-pandemic America:
1. RESTAURANTS ARE EXPERIMENTING WITH NEW MODELS
Another line of concept making rounds in the restaurant industry in the United States is Ghost Kitchens. Take Domino’s for example, it’s essentially been following the concept since its inception.
It is a model which focuses on food preparations with no waiters, no dining room and no parking lot. Just chefs cooking meals for pick ups only.
As online deliveries surge, big brands like McDonald’s and Chick-fil-a are also experimenting with their kitchen-only models.
These brands accept orders online through their applications or food ordering platforms such as their restaurant websites, Uber Eats, DoorDash, Seamless, GrubHub, etc.
Surveys indicate that cheaper, faster, and more reliable delivery order websites capture 50% of drive-through service, 50% of takeaway, and 25% of dine-in services.
Currently, there are 1500 ghost kitchens in the United States along with other markets such as China, the UK, and India.
According to CNBC, third-party platforms such as Kitchen United, Cloud Kitchens, and Ketope make it easier for restaurants to test ghost kitchens.
Investors are pouring millions of funds to help companies expand. The Halal Guys, Wow Bao, Dog Haus, FAT Brands have also jumped on the ghost kitchen bandwagon.
2. OFF-PREMISE FOOD ORDERING IS HERE TO STAY
There is no doubt that restaurants are adopting delivery websites and apps to take the center stage.
According to Michael Schaefer, Global lead, food, and beverage, Euromonitor International: “Covid has accelerated some of the existing trends.”
Another review by Huffpost describes: curbside pickup and delivery accounted for 90% increase during the second quarter of last year.
More and more restaurants are stepping out of the traditional brick and mortar store system and a major factor behind has been covid-19.
With two-thirds of Americans ordering food online, the addressing markets are expected to grow from $375 billion to $467 billion by 2025.
Doordash Kitchens was one of the biggest IPOs (initial public offerings) in 2020. The company started trading at $182 per share giving it a market capitalization of $57.8 billion in December 2020.
According to Edison Trends Data, “DoorDash has become the leadest food delivery service app contributing a total of 45% market share ahead of Postmates at 7%, GrubHub at 17%, and Uber Eats at 28%.
3. RESTAURANTS ARE BECOMING COST-EFFECTIVE
Setting forth an advanced kitchen is an arrangement that requires large capital investment. You need to pay waitstaff, for buying furniture and hire a workforce to run it.
However, restaurants today with online food demand do not require any space for clients. Orders are prepared by cooks and picked by clients. Customers can order food by simply going through the restaurant’s website.
Numerous business visionaries are deciding to set up restaurants with online facilities as a perfect formula for owners to get more customers at their doorsteps.
Some investors recommend that modern restaurants can settle up to 40% less in working costs as compared to restaurants set up in the traditional setting.
Euromonitor’s lead Michael Schaefer is of the opinion that modern kitchen concepts today “takes out the costs associated with traditional restaurant formats and it makes food delivery more cost-effective.”
HOW RESTAURANTS ARE ADAPTING TO THE GHOST KITCHEN FORMAT?
Brands are pacing up to the concept of ghost kitchen pretty fast.
In 2019, McDonald’s opened its first ghost kitchen in London to meet its growing demand for delivery.
Chick-fil-a also made headlines by opening its delivery-only operations around the pandemic in New York.
The CEO of Chick-fil-a estimated that digital sales could exceed $2.5 billion in 2020 which was more than their double in 2019.
A case Study: Wow Bao
Another American food chain- Wow Bao, made success with its dark-kitchen model. From April to Oct 2020, Wow Bao launched 100 dark kitchens across the country.
The company has expanded to locations across the United States including San Francisco, Portland, Los Angeles, Miami, Austin, and Minneapolis.
As per CNBC- For a $2000 fee, Wow Bao sends a participating restaurant the required onboarding, training material, and other equipment to prepare the food.
Out of these, 36% of profits go towards buying food ingredients and packaging, 25% to third delivery parties, and the rest of the 39% go to the restaurant.
TIPS TO MAKE YOUR RESTAURANT WEBSITE MORE APPEALING
Restaurant industry is a truly productive action plan and invigorating for businesses. Here are some tips to kickstart your American kitchen website:
1. CREATE AN ENGAGING WEBSITE
Your website is the window to your image; it offers visitors and clients an opportunity to connect with your brand’s vision and goal. Invest additional energy on making your site outwardly engaging and completely utilitarian to take orders.
There are various professional website builders like Reliqus who can help you build high-quality, premium, mobile-responsive websites.
Getting such help will allow your business to incorporate engaging menus, quality images of food items, cart order assistance, client surveys, and much more. All these components play a vital role in enhancing the consumer experience for the time they are living on your site and stick with them, even when they leave.
And that is just the beginning!
Andy Wierderborn says:
“You really have to have brand awareness if you’re going to go into a modern kitchen concept. You can’t just expect on a delivery app that customers are going to know what your brand is and then start ordering from you?
But if you have brand awareness when you get into a market your customers see you as
“oh! I didn’t know that restaurant was in town. I want to order from them.”
2. INCORPORATE AN ENGAGING MENU FOCUSED ON CONVEYANCE
The manner in which individuals consume food is continually changing. Indeed, because of their busy life and the comfort of requesting food, 52% of grown-ups who request takeout, conveyance is a fundamental piece when they order food.
Restaurants profoundly benefit from this pattern since they are explicitly made for off-premise eating and can help individuals arrive at a purchasing decision through creative restaurant websites.
Besides, you can set up a blog section inside your restaurant website to talk about your food journey experiences. This will allow your visitors to see your passion for the industry. Your blog entries are a circuitous way of establishing your expertise and showing your clients you’re a specialist in your field.
You can post new menu items, anecdotes, testimonials around one of your staff individuals, and much more.
By doing this, you add an individual touch to your business, sustain your web-based presence and fabricate dependable associations with your clients.
3. IMPROVE FOOD ORDERING JOURNEY
The restaurant business is about volume and time effectiveness.
Thus, to be fruitful and accomplish consumer loyalty, you need to execute proficient cycles and better revealing work processes to guarantee the most accurate precision and association in your food ordering journey.
Beginning when you get the request for the order, you really want to try to advance the time it takes to satisfy every last one of these means.
Characterizing some normalized working methodology and putting resources into computerized equipment can assist you with smoothing out activities and guarantee a fast process.
Third-party food delivery partners likewise assume a significant part in this.
Usually, food delivery is the easiest way to get the food to customers; doorstep. But this relationship between restaurants and third-party food delivery apps is fraught with problems.
An article published by Chicago Tribune states:
“Some restaurants are hiring their own drivers. Others are partnering exclusively with a single third-party platform so they can exert more control. Many are trying to drive customers to their own websites, rather than the outside companies, for online orders to avoid fees that can take a 40% bite out of each transaction.”
4. GIVE YOUR CUSTOMERS AN INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE
It is hard to argue that simplicity can be beaten especially when it comes to making technology accessible to a general audience. Since not every individual holds a degree in Innovation & Technology, the gaps are bridged by web designers ensuring each component is clean and in an understandable manner.
The interactive User Interface of the website performs best with minimal concepts. More modest and more explicit menus mean less difficult buying, more viable creation, and greater edges.
Customary eateries make a normal of 4 to 5 % edge on food and interactive restaurant websites that realize how to improve food expenses can raise that to 7 or 8 %, which in the long haul can affect the business hugely.
5. OVERSEE WEBSITE MAINTENANCE
The whole concept of food ordering journey depends vigorously on getting orders from clients through web-based stages like sites, versatile applications, call focus boards, outsider food conveyance administrations, web-based media.
Thus, maintaining all orders physically can immediately turn into an issue and create a lot of issues, for example, deferrals and request mistakes.
In this sense, innovation and mechanization apparatuses assume an urgent part to guarantee functional effectiveness and keep away from botches.
It’s ideal to put resources into hiring professional website maintenance experts that ensure to monitor your orders rolling in from numerous sources and channels.
In addition to the fact that this helps you plan quicker and exact food orders, it additionally limits manual exertion and the dangers of miscommunication.
6. OFFER QUALITY ASSISTANCE
Offering extraordinary customer service and experience to your clients is the primary objective of each business.
This turns out to be significantly more vital when you’re running an online restaurant knowing that you scarcely have any degree to straightforwardly connect with your clients.
Your restaurant website design can convey minute details:
- How much time does food preparation usually take?
- Who is the chef?
- Story of your business
7. ENGAGE IN SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
Social media and web-based publicizing can advance your success by drawing in new clients. Making content online is an extraordinary means to get to know your customers and let your customers know about you.
Utilizing Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook to feature eye-catching visuals like photos of your delightful dishes, fun recordings, in the background minutes, etc expands commitment rates and tempts clients into evaluating your food.
Ewwwww! Stop drooling
You could likewise use these platforms for web-based publicizing to draw in rush hour gridlock to your restaurant website design. Make a point to incorporate a simple way of requesting or downloading content with a single tick.
8. CREATE HIGH DEFINITION GRAPHIC POSTS
These days, it’s impossible that anybody looking to order food will not look for a fast google review search on sites or social media platforms.
You ought to subsequently list your eatery on top café survey stages (Yelp, Trip Advisor, and so on) and make a Google my Business Account to show up in the neighborhood.
Along these lines, clients will actually find you effectively and you will actually want to get evaluations and audits to help your standing.
Opening a restaurant is practical and an incredible choice for rising businesses today looking to foster their business.
However, the underlying expenses of a traditional set-up kitchen are driving entrepreneurs to seek modern kitchen concepts with less staff as significantly low-investment requisite options.
Truth be told, a modern kitchen concept for the most part doesn’t need development or redesign work but definitely demands the construction of restaurant-based websites for communication.
According to Edward Lee, restaurateur and co-founder of The Lee Initiative of the opinion that: “The restaurant crisis is still going to be with us for a while” however, the business will pick up as restaurant website development administrators pollen. But it’s still a huge abyss to overcome.
Industry experts say that people are becoming increasingly comfortable going out and growing inch closer to returning back to restaurants post-pandemic.
“What the pandemic did was give everyone time to reflect. I do hope that the other side of this is a restaurant industry that’s kinder, more activist, more worker-friendly, more sympathetic, and more about truly a community.”