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The U.S. restaurant industry is
expected to take steps to become more environmentally responsible while also
focusing on strengthening relationships with customers, according to a new
study of foodservice trends for 2019 from the market research firm Mintel.
Over the next 12 months,
restaurants are expected to:
- Create a sense of community
with their customers by selling branded merchandise, taking
stances on social issues deemed important to consumers and supporting
organizations that are important to diners.
- Adopt more environmentally
friendly practices and make sustainability the new norm by
offering compostable straws, establishing partnerships focused on the greater
good versus competitive advantages and other related business practices.
- Implement stronger policies to
prevent sexual harassment and making other employee
retention advances designed to attract and retain what Mintel describes as “top
talent” by protecting and supporting employees at the workplace.
- Use technology to improve the
convenience for customers so that wait times are shorter
and meals can be delivered straight to customer doors in addition to allowing
for more customizable menu choices and providing better customer service.
The Mintel study also notes
that restaurants can become partners with customers when it comes to the environment,
social causes and service advances while developing stronger bonds with them
throughout the year.