As 2023 begins, industries and organisations across the globe have begun to forecast, evaluate and predict what may happen in the year ahead.

In this time of uncertainty, we sat down with ResDiary CEO Colin Winning to hear and share his expert thoughts and opinions on emerging trends that the restaurant and hospitality industry should be aware of coming into 2023. 

Waiter handing out menus
“The rise of the set menu”

Amidst the cost-of-living crisis, Colin expects price-sensitive consumers to be stricter in their management of dining out budgets and is therefore encouraging restaurants to invest more time and creativity into their fixed price menus. He says, “it’s essential you promote these Prix Fixe menus amongst your restaurant’s standard al la carte and other dining options”.

“Your menu will need engineering”

In an increasingly competitive market, restaurants are pulling out all the stops to promote their dining experiences, however this shouldn’t stop once diners make their way through the doors. Once diners are seated, restaurants should be doing all they can to provide a positive experience that encourages not just positive reviews, referrals and return visits, but consumer spend.

Restaurants should be investing in carefully curated menus that position higher yielding items front and centre, but also make sure to utilise your consumer behaviour insights and menu design to identify psychological pricing and opportunities for upselling”, Colin says.

“The more locally sourced produce, the better”

Across our Dish Cult platform, Colin highlights a vast increase in searches for restaurants offering locally sourced produce, and expects more restaurants to be looking at their supply chain to see where it’s feasible to provide such an offering.

“From my research I’ve seen stats revealing more than half (51%) of UK consumers factor sustainability into their food selection process, an eight per cent rise since 2019, so restaurants are encouraged start to think local when looking to appeal to their increasingly food-conscious customer”, Colin says. 

Mother and daughter eating a dessert in restaurant

“Make sure your customers are loyal”

As consumers become more cost conscious and attentive to budgets, Colin anticipates more return visits to restaurants as diners look to manage expectations and the risk of an underwhelming experience. 

A restaurant should now be investing in customer service more than ever, appreciating the value of each customer and the impact this can have on repeat business. 

“You may need to start taking credit card details and deposits”

With no-shows showing no-signs of stopping, more restaurants are preparing to accept credit cards and require deposits at the point of booking, especially for peak periods.

Colin, like the rest of the industry, knows how damaging the cost of a no show can be. Not only does it result in zero spend from the expected diner, but it also obstructs other potential diners from pre-booking, directing their business elsewhere.

“The future is tech, so embrace it early” 

Highlighting the two major drawbacks of phone-based and pen and paper systems, time and staff availability, Colin highlights the availability of staff during restaurant’s operating hours, with other duties inviting pressure for your team to take reservation requests. 

He says “as convenience will continue to be one of the most important factors in a consumers decision making process the pen and paper model is becoming less sustainable”

“There is increasing proportion of the market becoming inaccessible to P&P restaurants and without an online booking platform, the continued shift towards online booking systems such as ResDiary will signal the final blow to the feasibility of the traditional pen and paper system”

“React to these trends early to take control”

“With this difficult year drawing to a close, there are many challenging trends that will no doubt affect the ins and outs of all my client’s businesses” 

“But to make these challenges instead become opportunities, the hospitality industry needs to focus on examining the benefits of each one and how it can ultimately aid their businesses stability and growth throughout 2023”

Colin Winning - CEO - ResDiary - Portrait

About the author

Colin Winning is Chief Executive Officer at ResDiary

If you’re getting prepared for 2023 and want to find out more about how ResDiary can support you and your venue team, why not get in touch with one of our experts today or book a personalised demo. 

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