Saturday, April 6, 2024

California Restaurants Don’t Worry Customers Will Come Back


Yes, service is going to be disrupted as operators cut back to much, or make miss calculations on customer demand.  That’s just what happens according to Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® when the cost of labor goes up rapidly. Remember this is not the first time that has happened.

Consumers are more concerned about weather they should be or want to be cooking at home or paying more at a restaurant?  We know the answer, and they don’t want to cook from scratch at home.  

So, the first question to ask is what is the size of your customer household, as that will definitely play a role in deciding whether cooking at home or eating out is more economical. Here's why:

Cost Benefits for Larger Households:

·         Economies of Scale: When you cook for a bigger family, you can buy ingredients in bulk which often brings the price per serving down. A large bag of rice will feed multiple people for several meals, whereas a single serving restaurant meal has a higher per-person cost.

·         Leftovers: Leftovers are a lifesaver for larger families. Cooking a big pot of soup or a pan of lasagna can provide multiple meals, reducing the need to cook every night, which saves time and money.

Challenges for Larger Households:

·         Time Commitment: Cooking for a big family can be time-consuming, especially if everyone has different preferences. This can make takeout or restaurants seem more appealing.

Cost Benefits for Smaller Households:

·         Smaller Portions: Restaurants often serve portions that are too big for one person. At home, you can cook exactly what you'll eat, reducing food waste.

·         Ingredient Usage: Specialty ingredients for a single recipe might go bad before you can use them all up in a smaller household. At restaurants, you get the variety without the waste.

Challenges for Smaller Households:

·         Minimum Quantities: Some ingredients, like spices or vegetables, come in quantities that are too large for a single recipe. This can lead to waste and make pre-prepared or restaurant meals seem more attractive.

The Bottom Line:

In general, cooking at home becomes more cost-effective as the number of people you're cooking for increases. Larger families can benefit from economies of scale and leftover meals. However, time constraints can be a hurdle. For smaller households, restaurants can offer portion control and variety, but you might pay extra for convenience and less common ingredients. All that said here are three reasons customers will come back:

1.       Unique and High-Quality Dining Experiences: California boasts a rich culinary scene with a focus on fresh, local ingredients and innovative dishes. Diners seeking specific cuisines or an ambiance they can't find elsewhere might be willing to pay a premium for that unique experience.

2.       California's Celebrated Food Culture: The state has a reputation for being a trendsetter in food. From farm-to-table movements to celebrity chefs, California restaurants often lead the way. Foodies and those who value being part of the latest culinary trends may prioritize these restaurants even with price increases.

3.       The Overall Value Proposition: Price isn't the only factor. Even with a bump, some restaurants might still offer a good value proposition. This could include exceptional service, generous portions, a beautiful ambiance, or a combination of these. If the overall experience justifies the cost, diners may return.

For international corporate presentations, regional chain presentations, educational forums, or keynotes contact: Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions.  His extensive experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator, consultant, brand / product positioning expert, and public speaking will leave success clues for all. For more information visit, FoodserviceSolutions.US or call 1-253-759-7869


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