As they say, the dining industry can be a very fickle one. While everyone needs food, the concept, location, pricing, economy, and service have to be perfect to work. But that will hardly be enough to ensure a diner’s success. What’s the secret, then, for a dining establishment to last years in the business? It’s really hard to say because even established brands struggle from time to time.
Yes, even the biggest fast food chains find themselves struggling to survive a highly competitive environment. With so many new concepts, dining trends, and restaurants popping up every once in a while, these businesses also get to feel the pressure.
This is why it’s not surprising for a lot of people to ask just how the fast food industry is faring in the current climate. Is it still at the top of the dining out pyramid?
What Exactly is the Environment Like for Dining Establishments Today?
Before we answer the question posed above, let’s first address what the current dining out climate is like. According to experts, it’s practically the golden era for those who love to dine out. There are tons of options available today, not just in terms of cuisine, but also in the price range and availability.
One of the most notable changes in the industry as of late is the rise of ethnic cuisine diners. Back in the day, if you want to sample a specific cuisine, you either have to travel to where it’s originally from or befriend an immigrant and visit their home. Today, if there’s a sizable immigrant community near you, you can be sure to find a restaurant serving their native delicacies.
The rise of fast casual diners is also all the rage as of late. These establishments sit between fast food and casual dining establishments as they have a full-service set up. What sets them apart is that they’re more laid back than casual dining restaurants but are still cozier than fast food joints. The numbers show that they’re some of the strongest players in the restaurant industry as of late, giving fast food and full-service restaurants an even tighter competition.
Eating out at home is also proving to be a healthy trend as of late. Deliveries and takeaways are also becoming very popular as of late. Not everyone is eating at restaurants anymore but most of them still enjoy commercially prepared meals through these methods.
Restaurants with delivery and pick up services aren’t the only ones providing the masses their meals anymore. Food delivery services, convenience stores with prepared meals, and food trucks are also gaining a lot of traction lately as they offer great convenience for diners. So much so that some experts consider them as the biggest disruptors in the food industry.
Where Does Fast Food Stand in this Environment?
Experts say that fast food joints still have a pretty strong hold on the restaurant industry even if a lot of chains are losing their touch. With the stiff competition they face and the vast number of options available to diners, it can be hard for well-established joints to compete when people want to try something different.
Fast casual diners alone prove to be forces to reckon with. As diners can get more service from these places without having to spend way more than they will do at a fast food, lots of people are definitely better charmed by these eateries.
The good thing is, a lot of people are still charmed by the nostalgia that fast food chains bring. So even those who are trying to eat better still find their way to one of these eateries every once in a while.
Their convenience is also quite hard to beat. As fast food offer drive thru services, they still offer an easy way to get food while on the way to or from somewhere. Being a quick and efficient source of food is still a highly appealing trait these places offer, so they continue to survive their ever-changing and highly-competitive industry.
Who are the Biggest Winners in this Climate?
If you’re wondering who are the biggest winners in the industry right now is, you should look at the all-day breakfast chains. Denny’s is one of the best examples as it is one of the rare places to see a steady increase in sales for six years straight.
Breakfast sales are seeing a good surge in the recent years and experts attribute this to the more versatile work times of the general public and the better established trend of going out to eat during the day. Because of this, more and more eateries are also exploring new ways to offer breakfast which, in turn, further coaxes out more diners to go out in the morning.
While predictions how fast food will take over the world in the new millennium didn’t really come into fruition, you can still be assured that fast food isn’t going anywhere. These chains will still give you a nice, filling, albeit high in cholesterol, convenient meals for a very long time.