“The UK’s casual dining market is changing. Consumers are expecting more than ever from their restaurant experiences and the era of the national chain may be coming to an end.
Dave Gosling – Hospitality & Leisure Sector Advisor
A guide for restaurant entrepreneurs
Good news is hard to come by in the UK’s restaurant sector at the moment, but here’s some – consumers are spending more on leisure and restaurants than ever before.
This situation begs a number of questions. With consumer spending in these areas on the rise, why are so many restaurant businesses in the UK struggling? And what can they do to avoid this?
The truth is that despite increases in consumer spending, there has been a significant increase in competition in recent years and a number of restaurants are chasing turnover, without focusing on the gross profit. These factors, combined with increasing cost pressures, have put their business model under greater strain. A period of market adjustment is now needed to address this.
In the meantime, there are opportunities for businesses to develop a business model that is based on a deep understanding of what consumers really want and delivers excellent customer service, in order to secure more of their available spend. By taking a step back to find out more about the target market and implementing a clear and measurable business strategy, restaurant entrepreneurs can stand out from the crowd and steal a march on larger competitors.
The rules of good business remain true of course, but it is also important for new and growing players in the restaurant market to develop a compelling proposition with the pulling power to encourage consumers to spend their money, time after time.
The key to achieving differentiation in this fast-moving marketplace is transforming the act of dining out into something different that consumers will relish and want to repeat.
Going to a restaurant is no longer just a matter of having a meal, diners are looking for a unique, leisure experience from a restaurant that understands its target market and offers exceptional customer service.
If further evidence is needed of the importance of creating the right dining experience, there is much published research about millennial preferences. In its UK Millennials Report, culture marketing agency, Inkling, discovered that only 23% of millennials valued goods and material possessions over experiences.