Commercial Food Service Industry

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Commercial Food Service Industry

Three trends related to the growth strategy of full restaurants and fast-foods in the U.S. are out-of-the-box dining experiences, health and wellness offerings, and ghost restaurants. Out-of-the-box dining experiences encourage repeat customers visits and are one of the growth strategies employed by successful U.S. restaurants. Farm-to-table restaurants are among the 10 most profitable types of restaurants in the U.S. as of 2019 showing customer preference for health and wellness food offerings. Additionally, in 2019, restaurants in the U.S. are looking at off-premise sales through ghost kitchens as the next big channel to drive revenue.

Out-of-the-box Dining Experiences

  • Restaurants are creating dining experiences to give themselves a competitive advantage since many outlets offer great food and exceptional customer service.
  • Restaurants are being compelled to think out of the box and create unique dining experiences so that dining is transformed into an unforgettable customer experience that drives repeat visits.
  • For example, The Chef Club in New York is a unique restaurant that features rotating chefs and allows customers to dine on the signature dishes of the best U.S. and international chefs.
  • Some unique restaurants are focused on specific themes such as Ninja Dining in New York has a ninja warrior theme. The waiters are dressed as ninjas, and they serve the food while displaying nunchuck tricks.
  • Off Menu Week was created by Resy to offer customers unconventional, behind-the-scenes experiences at their favorite restaurants. During Off Menu Week, restaurants in nine major U.S. cities will serve customers their experimental new concepts, off-menu secrets, or one-hit wonders that never made their menus.
  • This trend was selected because one of the growth strategies that successful restaurants have employed is providing customers with exceptional or unique experiences to encourage repeat visits.

Health and Wellness Offerings

  • Consumers in the U.S. are becoming increasingly interested in functional foods and ingredients that occur naturally in certain foods.
  • Fast food franchise concepts that are based on healthier ingredients and meal choices have continued to pop up across the U.S. Additionally, established fast-food franchises have also added healthy options to their menus in response to consumer demand.
  • More fast food outlets are using locally sourced ingredients, additionally, farm-to-table restaurants, which use fresh produce directly from local farms have become popular in the U.S.
  • According to, Gramercy Tavern is the best farm-to-table restaurant in New York City. It's menu offerings are based on produce and ingredients supplied by local farms and vendors.
  • This trend was selected because as of 2019 farm-to-table restaurants are among the ten most profitable types of restaurants in the U.S.

Ghost Restaurants/Kitchens

  • Ghost restaurants or kitchens are virtual restaurants or kitchens that are devoted to off-premise sales without a dining area or storefront. In 2019, more restaurant startups expanded their ghost kitchen spaces, and this trend is expected to expand further in 2020.
  • According to analysts, virtual spaces create an avenue for a restaurant to grow its delivery channel without the disruption of in-store operations. Virtual kitchens can take away the burden of high real estate costs and make the planning process easier for restaurants.
  • Restaurant chains such as Dog Haus and Chick-fil-A are expanding across the U.S. by rolling out virtual kitchens without a dining room or bar.
  • According to the CEO of Wetzel’s Pretzels, Jennifer Schuler, their virtual kitchens have created more business during the week, compared to in-restaurant locations where most customer traffic is over the weekends.
  • This trend was selected because resturants in the U.S. are looking at off-premise sales through ghost kitchens as the next big channel to drive revenue.