The investment firm Stifel have noticed something decidedly disheartening in the US: the first half of 2016 showed that nationwide restaurant revenues are falling. Whether it’s silver service, fine dining or the more casual sit down bar and grills, customers are dropping in number and spending less. The figures are concrete and it’s not good news.
Why Are They Spending Less?
The restaurant business is always seen as a clear marker for changing customer spending and a good indicator of customer confidence. When people feel secure in their finances and in their jobs, they eat out more. For most people, the cost of visiting a restaurant is not an essential outlay and cooking at home is always an option. This means that going out to eat is a small treat, one that can be enjoyed often when you feel confident about money, less so when you don’t and not at all when things get tough.
What Does this Mean to You?
As a cafe or restaurant owner, this is not good news. In order to see the books clear, most small businesses rely on the number of customers rather than the profit made per table. The best way to ensure good customer numbers is through repeated visits, and repeated visits rely on good previous experiences.
Reaping the Margins
Once you can ensure your customers’ loyalty, secondary revenue boosts can make all the difference. Offering fountain drinks using post mix syrup instead of premium bottled drinks can be a big profit maker. Check out different suppliers, such as https://empireuk.com/post-mix-products/ for an idea of how to best supply your customers. Remember, though, that any increase in your margins must come with an improved customer experience. In uncertain times, people want to save money but they don’t want to scrimp on a good experience.
When Will the Restaurant Business Pick up Again?
Current international uncertainty has made many businesses and individuals feel uncertain about their future. A ripple effect starting with slowing currencies and wavering stock markets has reduced the values of many investments. This has happened before during the 2010 recession, and back then restaurants were the first to feel the pinch. However, by 2015, things were picking up again when US petrol prices began to tumble and consumer confidence soared. So fingers cross for another confidence-boosting event.