Restaurant Operators plan to expand

Jonathan Maze of Nation’s Restaurant News posted an article yesterday highlighting the findings of the 2017 American Express Restaurant Trader Survey. The survey reached out and polled 488 owners, managers, directors, an CEO’s of independently owned restaurants. One surprising finding is the optimism that many restaurant operators still possess despite recent sales trends across the nation.

More than half of restaurant operators and managers, 54 percent, said their revenue is up over where it was a year ago. And 72 percent said they expect revenue to increase over the next year.

And 83 percent of operators said they plan to hire, while roughly a third of operators said they plan to seek financing over the next 12 months to expand or add technology.

Other than sheer optimism and plans to expand, the survey also uncovered a few other noteworthy findings.

“Delivery is a big deal to Millennials: According to the survey, 68 percent of Millennials ordered delivery over the past month. By comparison, only 36 percent of Baby Boomers ordered delivery.

To be sure, more than half of consumers prefer dining out, while only 29 percent prefer takeout and only 12 percent prefer delivery from a delivery service. And Abrams noted that many Millennials like delivery because they have families and don’t have the time to prepare the food.

And 58 percent recently used an ordering and delivery service like Grubhub, compared to 35 percent of Generation Xers and 21 percent of Baby Boomers. “

“People still like humans. The vast majority of consumers, 75 percent, prefer restaurants with in-person service versus digital platforms.

But again, Millennials are OK with the tech: 39 percent prefer digital customer service, while 28 percent of Gen X and 12 percent of Baby Boomers prefer digital.”

“Go local. Consumers like local ingredients. More than half, 56 percent, said it’s important for restaurants to use locally sourced ingredients.

By comparison, 44 percent of restaurants currently used locally sourced ingredients, but another 39 percent are planning to do so.”

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