The restaurant industry is back on track with multiple new openings every week. Many see this new era as the golden age of restaurants driven by landlords across the nation that now see restaurants as an essential building block.
Purveyors with food/beverage or equipment & supplies and a full set of business service from insurance to banking have an unprecedented opportunity to build and to add customers to their portfolio. With that in mind, innovative entrepreneur Rick Wilcox has simplified access to those Coast to Coast restaurant openings. Wilcox has created one of the nation’s most comprehensive data basses of new restaurant openings: The Restaurant Activity Report (RAR).
RAR is a company that provides data on new restaurant openings and trends in the industry. Their data is valuable to restaurant, who use it to make informed decisions about new business opportunities and changing market conditions.
Wilcox and his team led by marketing director Kari Warner have taken a close look at the the trends impacting the restaurant and food service industry.
One of the biggest questions on everyone’s mind is whether takeout and delivery services are here to stay. “While some restaurants may scale back their services, both takeout and delivery will remain options for current and new eateries,” Wilcox noted. “Delivery and takeout were growing in popularity even before COVID-19, but the pandemic has accelerated this trend. Now, with more consumers moving to hybrid work weeks, these options have become essential for many restaurants’ survival.”
The value The Restaurant Activity Report (RAR) subscribers comes from the data base’s ability to read between the lines. “With the rise of food delivery services, the aggressive pricing of 3rd party providers, many restaurants are considering building their own in-house delivery service,” Warner said. “Building an in-house delivery service can provide restaurants with greater control over the delivery process, improve customer service, and potentially reduce costs associated with third-party delivery services.”
RAR’s trend analysis also predicts that touchless technology will become even more prevalent in the industry, with robotics playing a big role. “We actually offer an outbound eblast program and one of our participating companies build robots to be used as wait staff, Wilcox explained. While this is an interesting development, it’s also a bit scary. The traditional definition of hospitality is one person to another person, and robots may take away from that. However, it’s a sign of the future of restaurants continuing to evolve and implementing more touchless options wherever possible.”
Many vendors who subscribe to RAR, use it to read trends of what cuisines are on a growth curve. “There are more quick-serve restaurants than fast food places,” Warner detailed. “There has also been a rise in new, independent restaurants, which now make up a significant portion of new restaurant openings. These independent restaurants often cater to niche markets, such as vegan and health-focused consumers. As more consumers become health-conscious, these types of restaurants have become more popular.”
RAR is also a go-to for a read on the traditional brands in the marketplace. “Existing brands, have used the softening of the commercial retail marketplace to their advantage,” Wilcox said. “They are always expanding and opening new locations, in many cases it has given them the opportunity to upgrade their space in existing markets to higher performing locations.”
RAR is an essential resource for anyone looking to sell or market their products or service to restaurants or foodservice operators. The on-line service provides weekly updates of valuable data to vendors and suppliers to identify which brands are expanding and where, allowing them to target their marketing efforts effectively. “In a challenging environment like the one we are in, having access to reliable data and analysis is more important than ever, and RAR is helping to provide just that,” Wilcox concluded.
Rick Wilcox is a seasoned veteran in the food industry, with over 30 years of experience working with foodservice magazines and owning an online gourmet kitchen store. In an effort to bridge a gap in the market and provide valuable insights to vendors and suppliers, The Restaurant Activity Report (RAR) has become a vital resource for the food/beverage or equipment & supplies industry professional looking to reach the restaurant and foodservice community.
To learn more about RAR, visit their website.