2020 – What Your Customers Will Expect from Your Restaurant

2020 - What Your Customers Will Expect from Your Restaurant

The digital age means changes in customer expectations.

Over the last decade, the food and restaurant industry has seen many changes and evolutions.

More and more people are enjoying eating out multiple times per week. In fact, Americans eat out more than 5.9 times per week on average.

Because people are eating out in your community, you want to stay updated on the last trends for 2020. Here’s what your customers will expect from your restaurant this year and moving forward.

Small, Simpler Menus

In the last year, many restaurants began tightening up their menus to relieve operational issues. In addition, smaller, simpler menus make it easier for diners to choose what they want to eat while making it easier for you to keep a cost effective food inventory.

Restaurants who streamline their menus can operate more efficiently, get orders out to customers in record time, and improve the quality of their food.

Smaller menus tend to produce higher volumes, which is always good for your growth.

Plant-Based Meat Items

In 2020, many restaurants have already jumped on the plant-based meat bandwagon.

This should continue throughout the year as more diners try to eat healthier while taking advantage of the latest trend.

So, while you’re simplifying your menu, do take care to find a place on your menu for plant-based meat items that fit in with your overall brand.

More Healthy Choices

In addition to wanting to be trendsetters and eat plant-based meat, Americans continue to be more conscious of all the food they eat.

Many restaurant diners are looking to their favorite neighborhood restaurants to provide healthier options on their menus. They are look for vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options as well.

Your customers are concerned about the environment and the impact on it. This has trickled down to what they eat as well. If you can show them you purchased organically or locally, you’ll engender yourself to them.

You’ll find that customers are more loyal to your restaurant when they believe you care about the same things they do – in this case a more sustainable lifestyle.

Show your diners you care about your carbon footprint and tell them where your food comes from.

In addition, when it comes to your to-go containers, try to be as environmentally friendly as possible. Your customers expect it, and when you provide it to them, they’ll be more loyal to your restaurant. (tweet this)

A Growing Delivery Sector

Even before the COVID-19 virus, customers were demanding more delivery options simply for the convenience.

The number of people ordering food from their smartphones for takeout and delivery has grown over the last few years. It continues to grow now as one way restaurants can survive the coronavirus.

Delivery options are just another way the restaurants can leap over the competition while meeting customers’ expectations.

Choices for delivery are available as many restaurants opt to use food delivery services while others offer to deliver their own food.


Know your customers, and you’ll know how to meet their expectations.

Instant Gratification

Today’s diners want what they want, and they most often want it now.

With the onset of the digital age, instant gratification became they way many people live their lives. After all, they can open their smartphones, order from any restaurant they choose, and have their food in under an hour.

The 21st century has created a generation of people with little patience and lots of expectations.

So, to do your part to meet their needs, you’ll want to find ways to provide your food to people more efficiently.

Look for ways to streamline your processes without sacrificing quality to meet this new customer expectation.

The Foodies

There is a new subset of the population that deems themselves bonafide “foodies,” whether they have a culinary degree or not.

Today’s Millennials and Generation Z young adults (and to some degree those a little bit older) revolves their days around what they’re going to eat. They are always on the lookout for the newest, most interesting food.

These foodies may spend copious hours each walk watching cooking shows, so they think they know a lot about what food should look like and taste like.

Then, they are coming into your restaurant expecting to find the same.

You can cater to the foodie by providing a unique experience for diners that takes them someplace interesting. You’ll also want to consider artisan food that is natural, organic, locally-sourced, eco-friendly, and sustainable.

While they usually look for something healthy and without a lot of calories, the foodie is also known to splurge on a “treat” if it’s perceived value is tantalizing enough.

Foodies aren’t generally cost conscious, so the items they’ll order may be the more expensive ones on your menu, too.

A Personalized Experience

Like the foodie, many diners come to your restaurant for the whole package. For example, if your menu offers Peruvian food, they want to feel like they’re actually in Peru.

They want a server who is well-versed in the foods and customs of the area. They want you to cater to them and create an amazing experience as they eat their meal.

Consider your ambiance. Does it match your menu? Are your servers up to speed?

If you offer the complete package to diners, you’re more likely to see them return.

To Conclude

We’ll leave you with the one thing customers will expect from you restaurant above all else.

That is excellent customer service.

Your diners want not only an authentic experience, but they want to know you care about them. They want to know that it matters to you if they enjoyed their meal. (tweet this)

The customers who dine at your restaurant want to be treated like guests with exceptional customer service. In fact, if they love your food but hate your service, they may not even return to your restaurant. And, vice versa, if your food is okay, but your service is exceptional, you’ve got a lifelong customer.

The best thing you can do to grow your restaurant is train your restaurant staff, both the front and back of the house. Provide ongoing customer service training. Really teach them how to treat people and behave with your customers.

When your employees are happy and well-trained, they are more able to provide the excellent customer service your restaurant customers expect.

At Restaurant Engine, not only do we create great, responsive websites, but you can count on us to create a website that drives business to your restaurant and edges you above the competition by using mobile-friendly design with a terrific user experience. Ready to take the plunge and create a website with an online menu, blog and beautiful photos? Get your free website consultation today!

Images: Rohit Khadgi and Piotr Wyszomirski on Unsplash

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