⭐ Is 2024 the bounce-back year for restaurants?

4 min read
⭐ Is 2024 the bounce-back year for restaurants?

Could this be the year that restaurants finally bounce back to pre-pandemic levels? The National Restaurant Association thinks so. Pull up a chair to learn more in today's edition of The Prep. 

 On the menu:

⭐ The NRA's state-of-industry report
🥑 Plant-based Mexican restaurants
📱 Diversifying revenue streams 
🍲 Visit Italy's small town cuisine

Will restaurants finally recover in 2024?

The National Restaurant Association's State of the Restaurant Industry report is here, and it's packed with insights for owners navigating the year ahead. Key takeaways include:
• Sales sizzling: The industry is projected to break the $1 trillion mark, surpassing pre-pandemic levels.
• Hiring spree: The workforce is expected to see a welcome boost of 200,000 jobs.
• Value-conscious diners: Customers are tightening their belts, so be prepared for a focus on affordability.
The report offers insight for adapting your strategy and securing your restaurant's success in 2024.

Read more at NRA.

🎧 Take-Away with Sam Oches, Episode 57

New management style preps young leaders for tomorrow

Amy Hom, a former executive who has worked with brands like Red Robin and Sweetgreen, is also a co-founder of LEAD. This organization is committed to providing networking, education, and development opportunities for emerging leaders in the restaurant category.

In this podcast, Hom sheds light on the persistent high turnover in the restaurant industry, particularly at the crucial level of the general manager. 

Listen to the full episode here.

The popularity of plant-based Mexican cuisine

Plant-based Mexican cuisine is becoming increasingly popular, and Tacotarian offers insights for other restaurant owners curious about the trend. The restaurant's unique selling point lies in their in-house crafted "meats" that offer familiar Mexican flavors with a flexitarian twist. The menu at Tacotarian features jackfruit barbacoa, mushroom asada, soy chorizo, and innovative creations like mashed potato and veggie tacos.

Explore this trend at Nation's Restaurant News.

Garnish trend relies on minimalism and aesthetics

Minimalistic geometric garnishes are the new cocktail craze. Bartenders showcase artistry atop readily available block ice by using citrus coins, cleaved fruits, and jellies. This trend adds a thoughtful touch that's both Instagram-worthy and palate-pleasing while reducing waste by utilizing leftover ingredients.

Dive into the trend at Punch Drink.

Why restaurants should diversify revenue streams

Restaurants should adopt proactive strategies, such as diversifying revenue streams through delivery options, events, and merchandise. Additionally, restaurants must optimize their operations to reduce waste while negotiating with suppliers to improve efficiency.

Learn more tips at CPA Practice Advisor.

Local food tourism in Italy's small towns

While most people think of Italy's larger cities for food and wine tourism, smaller towns such as Bergamo, Camogli and Modena offer local fare that pleases the pallette. Tourists can indulge in Bergamo's creamy polenta taragna and savory casoncelli, or savor Camogli's fresh seafood delights like stuffed anchovies and seafood risotto. Meanwhile, in Modena visitors can sample balsamic-glazed pork dishes.

Find out where to plan your Italian small-town stops on Express.

A pinch of this and that

Bobby Flay opens new flagship restaurant
Fast-food workers in Calif. could unionize 
Restaurant and refugee training program expands
A closer look at Chipotle's exploding growth
How and why to eliminate single-use plastics

Will this be the year that things start to feel "back to normal" in restaurants?

In many ways, the pandemic ensured that restaurants will never be the same, though. Technology that was adopted for short-term solutions is now a permanent part of restaurant and consumer culture.

So what does the "new normal" look like to you and your staff?

I'd love to hear. Reply directly to this email to reach me.

You can also forward this email to a friend or colleague.

I look forward to connecting with you each week – thanks for coming to the table for The Prep.