Is The Restaurant Industry Recovered From The Recent Credit Crunch?

  • Philip Barnes
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The articles sing a different language altogether. The indefinite article is used if the speaker has not mentioned the restaurant before. It is also regularly used when referring to a restaurant in general: as in eating in a restaurant. In this instance the plural form of the word is also acceptable, with a zero article: like eating in restaurants.

As food habits have changed over time, so have people’s tastes and preferences. Many customers now prefer dining in a fast-food restaurant. This is not just because of the quality of the food but also because these establishments are often staffed by young people. The young staff can be seen conversing with one another in an integrated team environment. Today, many of these young people are returning to school and earning a degree, making it more difficult for some restaurants to survive the economic recession.

So, how does a dining establishment survive these tough times? One answer may be to use advertising to attract new consumers. Advertising professionals know how to take advantage of social media outlets such as Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn to drive the message about their restaurant to the right audience. If the message is well-crafted and targeted, consumers will talk about it, share it and, hopefully, return to the restaurant. A social media campaign for a takeout pizza joint may include:

A crisis is always hard for any business. The restaurant industry faces a crisis every day. First there was the Great Recession, which took its toll on many restaurant sales. Then diners weren’t buying enough pizza and other takeout products. And then the flu scare hit the restaurant industry and consumers stayed away from restaurants in droves.

Now a growing number of restaurant owners are using an effective marketing approach to deal with these issues head on and keep the business moving. They have created a supply chain framework and structure for the restaurant industry to help dine-in customers overcome the challenges highlighted above. The core of this strategy is to provide a quality product at competitive prices, while offering a unique dining experience. Dining in a restaurant is becoming a harder challenge to pass through.

Many restaurateurs blame the economic crisis on their lack of creativity. However, it has become more evident that restaurant owners have to come up with innovative ways to get their food products into the hands of customers. The traditional restaurants have had to downsize to make way for the new generation of diners. At the same time, there is a huge need for these independent restaurants to expand to capture the market share that is now being held by the chains. Many restaurants have gone out of business simply because they could not compete in price with the chains.

The problem faced by many restaurants is that they do not have an effective marketing strategy that will attract new customers. Although there may be initial success because customers are impressed with the novelty of a new concept or restaurant, most will be disappointed with the menu, ambiance or service. To win over the hearts of new customers, restaurateurs need to change the way they present the offerings. They should explore innovative food concepts or ask their local customers for referrals.

Whatever is the new menu, a strong marketing strategy should be developed to promote it. Many restaurants are working on a model to attract new customers, which is aimed at producing a buzz about the restaurant. A smart restaurant will use social media, traditional advertising tools and traditional marketing tools to increase awareness. While there may be a short term setback, the restaurant industry will emerge stronger after the crisis.

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