During the last few years, the UK’s restaurant industry has been on a turbulent journey with the pandemic leading to numerous closures, job losses and financial struggles. Nowadays we are dealing with an additional cost of living crisis as well.
Consequently, there has been much speculation as to what the future holds for conventional dining out.
What Are The Views On This Topic?
Recently, Andy Hornby – CEO of The Restaurant Group (owner of the renowned Wagamama chain) released his take on the current state of affairs; he believes that casual dining in the UK might not reach its former heights post-pandemic. The global health crisis has shifted people’s outlook on dining and socialising, making them more likely to stay in and dine, either with an online delivery or by cooking their own meals.
Nevertheless, he believes that it doesn’t mean the end for mid-market restaurants and chains; people still have a desire for great tasting food and drinks that they’re willing to pay for! This news was made this clear in his statement and with that being said, it’s evident that well-operating food and beverage businesses will still have a bright future in the UK!
In an increasingly difficult atmosphere of rising food costs, exorbitant rent prices, and in some cases labour shortages, these statements have come at a crucial time for the UK’s restaurant market. These issues are putting immense strain on mid-market chains which must struggle to remain profitable while providing quality services.
🍜 The chief executive of Wagamama has said chain restaurants will never be as ubiquitous as they were pre-pandemic, but insisted they will not disappear from Britain’s high streets altogether https://t.co/CsWgycl01S— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) March 12, 2023
Actions Being Taken By The Restaurant Group
Recently Hornby, who owns Frankie & Benny’s as well, also declared that they would be ending operations for 35 restaurants throughout the UK due to rising living costs which have diminished annual earnings. Revealing their intentions, The Restaurant Group explained that it will convert several of these sites into new Wagamama restaurants, as this is their most favoured and popular brand.
Even though the pandemic has caused disruption in traditional restaurant dining, many hopeful signs are emerging. People seem to be returning to their beloved restaurants, but consumer behaviour has now changed from what it used to be! Restaurants must reflect these evolving requirements in order to remain competitive.
What Is Changing with Potential Customers?
More and more diners have become increasingly interested in healthier eating choices such as plant-based menus and ingredients sourced sustainably. Furthermore, restaurants must look into investing in more advanced online ordering systems and consider adopting a hybrid model that merges dining-in with home delivery.
Establishments must try even harder to capture customers’ attention and loyalty. With more individuals now looking for a convenient food delivery option than ever before, this has become increasingly critical.
What Do Other Restaurants Need To Do To Keep Up?
These days, restaurants need to do more than just offer delicious food and excellent service; they must also create an unforgettable experience for their customers through powerful branding and innovative marketing techniques.
Restaurants that prioritise customer interaction, personalization, and loyalty programs have a unique advantage over their rivals; making them more relevant in the industry and allowing them to stay ahead of the competition.
All in all, while the future of restaurant dining in the UK may be uncertain, it is far from gloomy! As customers start to come back to restaurants, those that offer top-notch food, service and value for money will remain on their radar.
Though, in order to remain competitive, restaurants must evolve and prioritise healthier food options, embrace innovative technology, and strive for uniqueness.
With this approach, restaurant chains can transcend these tumultuous times and continue to flourish by providing their customers with scrumptious dishes that they will be thrilled to invest in!